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ArtStream Willow Springs Middle School


Willow Springs Middle School, 2006 Summer Session


Headwaters of the Eleven Point River: Where does the water go?

8th grade students learned about habitats in and along the Eleven Point River from the perspective of a particular native animal. Four field trips were included: walking the headwater tributaries in their town, studying the animals at the Missouri Dept. of Conservation Nature Center in West Plains, and then spending a day at Thomasville studying the river. Students, teacher and artist/naturalist all participated in an ongoing journal of their experiences. 8th graders also created and presented an experiential activity day about the aquatic food web for the younger students, and wrote and presented a play, the Food Web Café.

A note from Sharon Lewis, Willow Springs 8th grade teacher and ArtStream project leader:
Every day was more fulfilling than the last. These summer students experienced a depth and breadth of education which they are rarely treated to during the course of a regular school year.

Many people helped make this summer school experience a great one for both the students and myself. Their resources, time, talent, and most of all their effort these past weeks allowed my students to grow in many ways. The class learned so much in such a short amount of time, formed close bonds, and became a "team". Working with a small group also allowed each member of the class more individualized attention from the adults (no one got "left behind"!). With such a small class and so much time, all the students were able to have a "voice". Because of this, we adults and the other students were able to learn about other related experiences to the topic at hand on any given day. They often learned from each other.

Although the members of this class were already a great bunch of kids, it has been very rewarding to watch them mature as students and delightful young adults. I was pleased each day to watch the kids independently take the initiative to pursue further knowledge on various topics that interested them. Observation skills increased as well as their respect for nature. I would even venture to say that they could hold a pretty decent conversation concerning a watershed and all it involves. They were allowed to be creative in so many ways - sketching and writing in their nature journals, planning their mural, reading to younger students, working with the clay to create some great pieces, formulating the ideas for the play which would teach and entertain. And finally, when a teenager looks you straight in the eye with a big smile, declaring that day's learning activity was "really great "or "lots of fun", you know that it was worth getting out of bed and going to school.



Willow Springs is in the Eleven Point River watershed. The Eleven Point River originates in and around the town of Willow Springs.

ArtStream Journal

Journal 1: Exploring the creeks
Studying the riparian corridor
Sketching at the Nature Center
Clay Day

Journal 2: Field Trip to Eleven Point

Journal 3: Activity day
Making costumes for the play
Working on the mural

Journal 4: The Food Web Café

Subject areas: Riparian and aquatic animals, habitats and food chains, concepts of watershed and karst topography, river dynamics and effects of nonpoint source pollution.

Grade levels: 8th, 1st and 2nd
Number of students: 12 8th graders, 1st & 2nd graders
Artist: Pat Hight
Leader/teacher: Sharon Lewis

    Artist's Evaluation

The development of content for ArtStream has been funded through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region VII, through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, has provided partial funding for this project under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.

This is the Web site of the Bryant Watershed Education Project, based in West Plains, Missouri. Our site is a toolkit for exploring the Bryant Creek, North Fork, Eleven Point and Upper Spring watersheds in the southern Missouri Ozarks.
Learn more.