Connecting students with the natural environment around them will help them learn the importance of taking care of their world around them as well as the appreciation for the beauty that exists in something as simple as a prairie flower.
Students could choose three wildflowers to draw from a list of very strange sounding wildflowers, focusing on Nebraska Wildflowers. Foxglove, Houndstongue, Thorm Apple, Old Man's Beard, Sweet Pea, Tarweed, Jewelweed, Bitter Sneezeweed, crowpoison, and a favorite Jack-in-the-Pulpit are a few of the odd names given to these beautiful flowers on the prairie. Wildflower Brochure by NDOR.
A great website to use in the classroom is simply www.wildflower.org
Students created Watercolor Floral Designs by first using their iPads to find two different types of flowers to draw creating simple contour lines. They then covered those lines with black thick fabric paint. When it was dry it created a raised border to keep all the different watercolors in place without bleeding or seeping into other areas. After the watercolors were applied, students brushed colored iridescent glitter glue lightly on small areas to bring in a shine and of course who doesn't love glitter and bling!
Middle School students were challenged to draw a spring flower using the Tayasui Sketches iPad app prior to our traditional Watercolor paintings. It has become one of my favorite drawing applications. It works best if the students save it as a camera shot and then share. We use the free version so it limits us, but certainly doesn't limit creativity!
I live in Nebraska and love teaching art! I get the best of all worlds.... I teach High School Graphic Design, Middle School Studio Art and I am an adjunct instructor at our local college.