Handforth Virtual Gallery – Sherman Elementary

Sherman Elementary, located in North Tacoma, is an innovative STEAM school that follows a project based learning model emphasizing outdoor learning. Project based learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects. Sherman’s latest PBL cycle was launched and viewed by the student body through a video, produced by its teachers and staff.  Click here to see the video., opens a new window

Our exhibit shares a small sampling of the artwork produced at each grade level, as they explored the school wide driving question, “How can NATURE be our teacher?”

Kindergarten - Glass Fusion Insects
Students learned the fundamentals of glass fusion while producing two insects–one to keep and one to hide. The hidden insects lie somewhere throughout Tacoma and the surrounding areas with instructions about how to report their location back to the school before being re-hidden. These locations were then recorded on a map as the children learned about mapping while observing the insect’s movement from spot to spot.

First Grade - Pine Cone Snowy Owls
As part of their study of plant-life and trees, students learn about the Snowy Owl by observing their identifying markings, their habitat, and the owl’s importance to our environment. They also compared the Snowy Owl to other species like the Horned Owl. They have shared a sampling of their Pinecone Owls and a drawing lesson featuring the Great Horned Owl.

2nd Grade - Drone’s Eye View of the Pacific Northwest Waterways
Erosion was studied by the second graders with concentration on what is now known as Wash Away Beach. Using an embossing technique, students furthered their knowledge by tracing prominent shorelines of Pacific Northwest, letting the landforms create the colorful designs in their final drawings.

3rd Grade - Advocating for Orcas in our Salish Sea
Whale health was explored by examining simulated breath and waste samples of the Orca and working models of an Orca food chain were engineered using recycled materials before the students took on the role of becoming activists, supporting the future of these majestic mammals by designing educational posters.

3rd Grade 2019-2020 School year - Discovering the intricacies of Georgia O’Keeffe
These chalk drawings were done for a TPL exhibit last year that was canceled due to the pandemic. The students worked hard studying the intricacies of a flower through a framing technique mimicking the style of Georgia O’Keeffe through chalk, with emphasis on blending. It seemed fitting to give them recognition for their beautiful efforts in this year’s online exhibit. These students are currently in the fourth grade.

4th Grade - Mindfulness in Nature project
Time spent in a sit spot outdoors and descriptive word writing, have prepared the fourth graders for this collage project. The collage consists of items found in magazines, wall paper, tissue, and various other recycled craft papers, to emphasize colors, textures and descriptive words found in nature. The project was completed by adding a foil leaf made up of embossed repetitive patterns, part of a weekly drawing lesson series done in their mindful drawing journals.

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