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Outdoor Education

Art in Nature

1 Class Session, 1.5 Hours

Students delve into their creative side while exploring the art potential within our forest! After gathering their own natural materials, students finish by creating artwork based on the work of British nature artist, Andy Goldsworthy.

What’s Covered

Throughout this class, students revel in the beauty of the San Bernardino National Forest while discussing and experiencing what it means to be an artist and the value of creative expression. After examining images of art installations by nature artist Andy Goldsworthy, students search the natural environment for potential elements of visual art, such as colors, lines, shapes, textures, value, form and space.

Students then apply the artistic concepts learned as they gather materials to create their own designs out of nature, deciding whether to construct abstract, representational or non-representational art. After installing their artwork, the class finishes with a gallery walk and presentation of their peers’ designs.

Lessons & Activities

Color Wheel & Vocab Exploration

Using vocabulary flash cards as visual aids, students search the surrounding environment for natural examples of the elements of visual art: colors, lines, shapes, textures, value, form and space. From stones to branches and bark to wildflowers, students may be surprised at all they can see and feel within this scenic mountain range.

Intro to Andy Goldsworthy

Students learn about the artwork of British nature artist Andy Goldsworthy and view impressive images of his art installations to potentially inspire their own.

Earth Art Creation

During the second half of the class, students brainstorm and install their own Earth art installation. Individually or in small groups, students scavenge their site for loose natural elements and bring their supplies to their selected location. Focusing on some or all of the elements of visual art, they assemble their own creation. The class culminates with an art gallery walk and presentation of everyone’s designs, before carefully disassembling all artwork (as part of Leave no Trace).

Educational Standards

California State Content Standards:

  • 5-1.2: Identify and describe characteristics of representational, abstract and nonrepresentational works of art.
  • 5-2.5: Assemble a found object sculpture or mixed media two dimensional composition that reflects unity and harmony, and communicates a theme.
  • 6-1.1: Identify and describe all the elements of art found in selected works of art (e.g. color, shape/form, line, texture, space, value)
  • 6-2.5: Select specific media and processes to express moods, feelings, themes or ideas.
  • 7-4.1: Explain the intent of a personal work of art and draw possible parallels between it and the work of a recognized artist.
  • 8-2.5: Select a medium to use to communicate a theme in a series of works of art.

Ready to Get Started?

Accelerate your students’ learning with our exciting curriculum. Learn more about this hands-on, experiential education activity today.

Smiling girl leans into shelter in forest
Raving Reviews

What People Are Saying

I loved my experience at Pali. In my time as an instructor, I was able to develop many skills in the classroom as a teacher and as a leader. I would highly recommend this position for anyone who would like to start a career in the Outdoor Education Industry.

Alicia G., Instructor

Thank you so much for an incredible week. The kids are jazzed; parents are more jazzed. Your team is incredible, and the planning and execution for a top notch science/outdoor education/leadership camp is celebrated. We are so glad we found you.

Danielle V., Teacher

Impressive! This is our first time to Pali. I have taken students to four other SoCal science camps and I would highly recommend Pali and plan to return next year.

Janice K., Educator

Source: Yelp