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Environmental and Sustainability Education

Growing Knowledge Tree Murals


These tree murals were created by grade 1 students at OISE's Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study.  Created as part of the 'Take the Stairs' Campaign, they now hang proudly in OISE's main stairwell, forming the initial part of the walking art gallery that encourages the OISE community to take the stairs rather than elevators (saving energy and improving health). 

These paintings are a record of the inquiry-based, knowledge building process that the grade 1 students went through in their study of trees. As part of their learning they observed trees first hand, examining their leaves, bark, and root systems.  They tracked the living forms they saw in the trees, including animals, birds, and insects, and noted the trees' seasonal changes.  They shared their learning through dialogue, writing, drawings and photographs, all used  to inform their collaborative design of these murals.  Measuring 3.5' x 8', these murals depict an apple tree (on the left) in spring and summer; the right side mural shows a maple tree in fall and winter.

Collaborating Teachers:  Tara Rousseau, Art Teacher; Zoe Donoahue, Grade 1 Teacher, The Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study; Hilary Inwood, Teacher Educator, OISE


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