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ArtStream Willow Springs Fall 2006

Willow Springs ArtStream, 2006 Fall Session

by teaching artist Pat Hight


• To introduce the 8th grade students to the relationship of water quality in their town, Willow Springs, Missouri, located at the headwaters of the Eleven Point River, and the quality of water in the Eleven Point further downstream at Thomasville, Missouri.

• To explore the relationship of human actions to the quality of the environment, especially water quality.


• Point and non-point pollution
• Karst topography and losing streams
• Watersheds

Since our field trip to the Eleven Point River was rained out, there was a school field trip to the Missouri Dept. of Conservation (MDC) Regional Headquarters in West Plains, MO. During the MDC field trip they drew from the mounts in the lobby, listened to a talk about the early days of Thomasville, studied benthic macroinvertebrate specimens, and walked the nature trail identifying plants and sketching and drawing. At the end of the day the class divided into two halves and each half wrote and performed a skit set about resource use during the early days of Thomasville.

Master Naturalist Tom Arth leads students along the nature trail Drawing along the nature trail Drawing from mounts in the MDC Office
Nature Journals were used to record information and experiences on trips to the outdoor classroom, such as results of a scavenger hunt, lists of things seen, drawings of things seen, and personal responses. They practiced drawing lessons in their journals and used them frequently outdoors. They used their drawings of dolomitic limestone to plan their karst sculptures.
Click the thumbnails to see full size versions
Preparation for and construction of "Karst "Sculptures
I challenged the class to consider the qualities and appearance of Dolomitic Limestone (karst) and to create sculpture inspired by their observations. The class had numerous pieces of stone to examine and observe. First, students were introduced to ways to join and shape clay, then asked to make drawings of pieces of dolomitic limestone, and to take those drawings home over the weekend and design a sculpture at least 14" tall with plenty of openings to describe the action of our slightly acidic water on this type of stone.
Learning how to work with clay Teams compete to make the tallest structure using small bits of clay.
All three of these teams were winners!
Finished "Karst" sculptures

Read the full report from the Willow Springs Fall 2006 ArtStream (PDF)

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.