A Touch of Nature - Molesworth Primary School

A Touch of Nature
This learning sequence helps students work with texture and colour to
develop their skills of recording from their memory and imagination
using nature as both an inspirational and informational source.
7, 8, 9
Year Level(s)
Curriculum area
The Arts
Vocational and Applied Learning
Interpreting and appraising the
works of others
Innovation and Design
Imagining and creating new works
Systems and Processes
Understanding Goal(s) 1 Students will understand that some artists manipulate the
environment to create art works
Students will understand the inherent aesthetic qualities of the
Students will understand techniques and processes for combining
natural materials
Students will understand how secondary elements can be used to
support a story or idea
1, 2
Learning opportunities
Teacher notes and
Ancient forms
Brainstorm with students some examples
where the environment has been
manipulated e.g.
 Crop circles
 Easter Island figures
 Cairns (bushwalking markers)
 Native Canadian stone figures
 Beehive huts, Dingle Bay, Ireland
 Totem poles
 Maori greeting houses
 Mount Rushmore
 Abu Simbel
 The city of Petra
 Mayan ziggurats
 Terraced rice paddies
 Stone Henge
Assessment for learning
Have students explore natural construction
forms e.g.
 Termites nests
 Stalactites and stalagmites
 Beehive
 Cobwebs
 Birds nests
 Cocoons
 Coral
 Shells
 Eggs
 Tessellations and other geological
Assessment of learning
Environmental Art
Discuss with students the genre of
landscape/environmental art, showing them
some images of artists such as Richard
Assessment of learning
Discuss with students the importance of
making art works that respect the integrity
of the environment and its inhabitants.
As a class, model the thinking
technique of ‘I see, I think, I
wonder’ using a picture of a
manipulated environment. Give
students a similar picture as a
stimulus for creating their own ‘I
see, I think, I wonder’
How has the landscape been
manipulated to create a
monument or structure?
What has motivated people to
create such things?
Have students describe the
natural structure they have
researched through journal
notes and drawings.
What structures have been
What makes these structures
Assess student understanding
of the genre of environmental
art through class discussion.
How does the environment
inspire these artists?
Why have artists chosen the
landscape to express their
1, 2, 3
Andy Goldsworthy
Share Andy Goldsworthy’s work with the
Make a list of the materials and techniques
that Goldsworthy has incorporated into his
sculptures e.g.:
 Leaves
 Stones
 Tree branches
 Ice
 Twigs
 Bark
 Rushes
 Grasses
 Petals
 Pine needles
 Thorns
Have students read Goldsworthy’s free
verse that he has developed to describe his
2, 3, 4
Molesworth Environment Centre:
Ask students to describe the landscape,
making a list of key words to describe their
sensory experiences i.e. light, texture,
temperature, smell, colour, contrast, sound,
Re-visit Goldsworthy’s work with students
and ask then to construct ephemeral
sculptures made from materials they have
found on the trail.
Assessment as learning
Have students describe in their
journals the structures,
materials and techniques that
Goldsworthy has used to create
environmental works.
Note to the teacher:
Have students record these
words in their journal, sorting
words in order of importance.
Some simple strategies can be
used to encourage text
construction e.g.:
 Free verse
 Haiku
 Acrostic
Explain that these sculptures are
installations, therefore students need to
consider the sculpture’s relationship to its
surroundings and that they will demonstrate
their awareness of this relationship by
documenting the installation using
1, 2,
Assessment of learning
3, 4
Have students produce their photographic
images and display them with written
captions, in the style of Andy Goldsworthy.
Organise an exhibition of student works,
Have students photograph their
work, making decisions about
composition –
foreground/background/ depth
with invitations, refreshments and a guest
of field, contrast, colour…
Have students make written
notes describing the place, the
materials, the weather
conditions and how the pieces
were attached to each other.
How have I arranged my work?
What materials were used?
How does this work fit in with
its surroundings?
1, 2
Extension Activities
Assessment of learning
3, 4
Explore how to make hand made paper
incorporating found natural objects –
leaves, fronds, petals, moss, grasses,
lichen, seeds, feathers…
Assess student understanding
The way artists
manipulate the
environment to create
art work
The inherent aesthetic
qualities of the
Construct woven animals, nature puppets
and fish weavings using materials such as
bracken, twine and cane.
techniques and
processes for combining
natural material
Explore soundscapes with students. Ask
students to collect and replicate a variety of
sounds from the environment – i.e. bird
calls, people talking, weather patterns...
Allow students to experiment with
instrumentation both conventional and
student designed e.g. drums, ocarinas…
How secondary
elements (sound,
photography, free verse)
can be used to support a
story or idea
Demonstrate natural dyeing techniques
using natural materials e.g. gum leaves,
bracken and bark (these may be
supplemented with things like onion skins,
beetroot and red cabbage).
Create a small book of student works,
describing their visit to Molesworth
Environment Centre.
Kastner, J. (Editor) and Wallis, B (2005) Land & Environmental Art (Themes
& Movements), Phaidon
Goldsworthy, A. (1994) Andy Goldsworthy, Viking Studio
Goldsworthy, A (1990) Andy Goldsworthy: A Collaboration with Nature Harry
N. Abrams
Goldsworthy, A. (2007) Enclosure Abrams Books
Goldsworthy, A, (1996) Wood Harry N. Abrams
Goldsworthy, A. (1994) Stone Harry N. Abrams
Goldsworthy, A., Baker, K. and Thompson, J. L. (2000) Wall: Andy
Goldsworthy Thames and Hudson
Goldsworthy, A. (2004) Passage Harry N. Abrams
Goldsworthy, A. (2008) Time Abrams
Goldsworthy, A. and Friedman, T. (2004) Hand to Earth Harry N. Abrams
Goldsworthy, A. and Craig, D. (1999) Arch Harry N. Abrams