ENDANGERED POLLINATORS – Tunnel Book, Activist Art

Students create a tunnel book that is intended to persuade people to take action about endangered pollinators based on information they have learned through their own research.

Required Time

180 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 7 to Grade 9

Subject

Language Arts
Mathematics
Science
Visual Arts
Media Literacy

Vocabulary

accordion-fold activist art background foreground middle ground shape space tunnel book

Materials

Crayola Watercolour Paints Crayola Paint Brushes Crayola Coloured Pencils Crayola Washable Glue Sticks Crayola Sketchbooks Crayola Scissors Rulers Pencils

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Steps

ENDANGERED POLLINATORS – Tunnel Book, Activist Art - Step One

Step One

  1. Summarize your research about endangered pollinators.
  2. Decide on what message you want to communicate.
  3. Brainstorm ideas in your sketchbook.
  4. Make 4 thumbnail sketches of different ways to communicate your message.
  5. Choose the idea you like the best.
ENDANGERED POLLINATORS – Tunnel Book, Activist Art - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Make a plan drawing the same size as your finished tunnel book.
  2. Divide it into 3 sections – the foreground, middle plus background, and sky.
  3. Trace each section onto a piece of cardstock paper.
ENDANGERED POLLINATORS – Tunnel Book, Activist Art - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Colour each section with watercolours and/or coloured pencils.
  2. Cut out sections 1 and 2 - the foreground and middle plus background.
  3. Place the sections in order to see how they line up.
  4. Add more details and contrast to add emphasis to important areas.
ENDANGERED POLLINATORS – Tunnel Book, Activist Art - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Measure and cut out 2 pieces of cardstock paper 14 cm x 14 cm.
  2. Measure intervals 2 cm, 6 cm and 10 cm from the left side of the paper.
  3. Draw lines parallel to the left side of the paper at each interval.
  4. Turn the paper over.
  5. Place it face down with the 2 cm line on the left
  6. Measure intervals 4 cm, 8 cm and 12 cm from the left side of the paper.
  7. Draw lines parallel to the left side of the paper at each interval.
  8. Repeat for the 2nd piece of paper.
ENDANGERED POLLINATORS – Tunnel Book, Activist Art - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Use the tip of a scissors to lightly score along the lines on both sides of the paper.
  2. Accordion fold the paper on the scored lines.
ENDANGERED POLLINATORS – Tunnel Book, Activist Art - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Glue the accordion folded paper to each side of the Section 3 paper – the sky.
ENDANGERED POLLINATORS – Tunnel Book, Activist Art - Step Seven

Step Seven

  1. Glue each layer to the folds on the sides.
  2. Use a 14 cm x 21.5 cm piece of cardstock paper to cut out a 2 cm frame.
ENDANGERED POLLINATORS – Tunnel Book, Activist Art - Step Eight

Step Eight

  1. Colour the folds to match the rest of the scene.
  2. Colour the frame and glue it to the folds at the side.
  3. View your tunnel book with fresh eyes.
    - Does it have a sense of depth?
    - Does it show technical accomplishment? How?
    - Does it communicate your intended message? How?
    - What do you like best about your book?

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a tunnel book that persuades people to take action;
  • communicate an environmental message about an endangered pollinator based on research;
  • use coloured pencils and/or watercolour techniques effectively;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

Extensions

Have students:

  • work in small groups;
  • combine ideas to design a giant version of an activist tunnel book;
  • construct the agreed upon design;
  • arrange to install their tunnel book in a community setting;
  • video and photograph (with permission) citizen reactions to their installation;
  • share their observations online via tik tok, instagram, twitter and/or Facebook.

Prepare

  1. Download and display the Space and Shape posters available on this website.
  2. Download images of activist art from the Internet, e.g.,
    Aids Memorial Quilt
    Climate Action
    George Floyd Mural
    Endangered Species Mural
  3. Cut cardstock paper into 14 cm x 21.5 cm (5.5" x  8.5") rectangles - 6 per student.
  4. Gather, and make available books about pollinators, e.g., The Clover & the Bee; A Book of Pollination, by Anne Ophelia Dowden; Pollinators: Animals Helping Plants Thrive (Team Earth) Library, by Martha London; Know Your Pollinators (Old Pond Books) 40 Common Pollinating Insects including Bees, Wasps, Flower Flies, Butterflies, Moths, & Beetles, with Appearance, Behavior, & How to Attract Them to Your Garden, by Tim Harris; The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe (Scientists in the Field Series), by Loree Griffin Burns, and Ellen Harasimowicz; and The Monarchs Are Missing: A Butterfly Mystery, by Rebecca E. Hirsch.
  5. Provide time for students to research an endangered pollinator of their choice.

Introduction

  1. Discuss the importance of pollinators and how they are endangered, e.g.,
    - habitat loss 
    - pesticides
    - diseases and viruses
    - climate change
  2. Ask students to share one significant thing they learned in their research.
  3. Introduce the idea of activist art.
    Art that stimulates an emotional response with the goal of inspiring people to take action to make social change. It’s purpose is to:
    - educate people
    - stimulate strong feelings
    - alter our percetions
    - persuade people to take action
    - provide a critical perspective on an issue
    - use an aesthetic approach to attract attention
    - provide a vision for a better world
  4. View and discuss several examples of activist art, e.g.,
    Aids Memorial Quilt
    Climate Action
    George Floyd Mural
    Endangered Species Mural
  5. Introduce the challenge.

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Create a tunnel book that persuades people to take action.
  2. Communicate an environmental message about an endangered pollinator based on research.
  3. Use coloured pencils and/or watercolour techniques effectively.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - created a tunnel book

    - communicated an environmental message based on research
    - used coloured pencil and/or watercolour techniques effectively
    - kept my paper in good condition
    - explained how my design is intended to raise awareness 
  3. Demonstrate the technique as you guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

Sharing

  1. Ask students to place their tunnel books on their tables.
  2. Provide sticky notes at each table.
  3. Ask students to view the books and select three to comment on. They should write:
    - their own name on the sticky note;
    - the message the artwork communicates;
    - what they see that makes them say that;
    - a specific comment that says something they like or find interesting about the artwork.
  4. Ask students to place the sticky notes beside the artwork. (If an artwork already has 3 sticky notes beside it instruct students to move to another one to make sure all books are viewed and commented on.)
  5. Once the work has been shared ask students to tell how they felt about doing this project.
  6. Have students place the sticky notes in their sketchbooks beside their thumbnail sketches to be handed in with the completed tunnel books.

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their tunnel books – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the design, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads – TunnelBook_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads – TunnelBook_self-assessment.pdf)