Text is Powerful Art Installations

Recently, our school Library teacher Mrs. Wells heard about an art installation that made people stop, change their behavior, and feel something positive.  She led fifth graders in studying examples of art installations in which text has a powerful effect on others.  Fifth graders studied examples by artists such as Yoko Ono, Jenny Holzer, and Barbara Kruger

Today, each fifth grade student installed their own powerful text in school, in order to give a positive experience to others in our community.  This was the culmination of a project that started with brainstorming powerful words, deciding what media to use, and writing letters to adults to request permission to install art in specific places.  Last week students made a mock-up of their installation, and this week they gathered materials and made them.  The results are uplifting, creative banners throughout our school, created with pastels, duct tape, collage, pencils, buttons, and more.

The powerful texts of these installations are:

“Let go” (Dan)

“Treasure life” (Rheannon)

“I can” (Rebecca)

“Always look on the bright side” (Georgia)

“Be colorful” (Miles)

“Laugh at yourself” (Alex)

“Love yourself” (Rosie)

“Don’t judge” (Ella)

“You’re amazing” (Amelia)

“Smile” (Jack, Veronica, JJ)

“Be Strong” (Thomas)

“Head up” (Karta)

“Strong” (Cole)

“You’re unique” (Mosiayah)

“U R Epic” (Ethan)

Thank you to all the adults at LES who facilitated this project, particularly Susan Boss, who provided time, guidance, and materials for students.  If you’re at school in the coming week, keep your eyes open and let us know what you think!

Atlantic Salmon Stock-Out

Last fall we visited the Cronin Salmon Station in Sunderland.  We saw staff there harvest eggs from female adult salmon, stepped into tanks with the adult salmon, and observed fertilized salmon eggs and fry.

In February, our class received 300 fertilized salmon eggs from the Station, which we  have spent the past three months raising in the classroom.  The eggs went from tiny orange globules with black eyes, to little fish swimming around with yolk sacs, to fry that look like miniature salmon.  Once their yolk sacs were gone, we raised brine shrimp in the classroom to feed the salmon.  Fifth graders recorded questions and observations about the salmon as they grew, and maintained the tank regularly.  

On Friday, May 31st, we released approximately 100 salmon fry raised in our classroom into the Saw Mill River near the Leverett/Montague line.  This project was part of a larger restoration project to protect the Atlantic salmon population in the Connecticut River watershed.  Sadly, this is the last year that the project will take place in classrooms.