Ag Lit BitExpression Through Art
Student evaluation forms from our 3rd Grade Ag Day Program started arriving in the mail. As I opened the first packet of student evaluations, I realized I did not need to read the words they wrote but flip to the back side of each evaluation to see how the students completed the last request, “Please draw a colorful picture on the back showing us what you learned today.” Their artwork told the real story of what they learned at this Ag Day experience including drawings of
- A hand holding several worms and a people looking at a worm through a microscope (composting)
- A pig with a thought bubble saying, “I am so smart and so clean.” (pig station)
- A drawing of a man holding up giant leaves and plants for them to touch and smell (horticulture)
- A queen bee laying eggs in a hive and “the workers” working hard (pollination)
- A student self-portrait with thought bubbles thinking about all the facts she learned
Our evaluations serve as a type of formative assessment to get a snapshot of what the students understood, retained, and observed during the learning stations. Their pictures showed us takeaways we may not have realized unless they were drawn for us. Did they hear the speaker explain the main function of a leaf is to produce food for the plant by photosynthesis? They sure did as we looked at a drawing of a plant growing, with the sun shining overhead and the words, “The leaves are gathering food.” Did they learn the queen bee’s main function is to lay eggs? They sure did as we saw a drawing of a bee with a crown and the words, “gave birth.”
While our program opened the world of agriculture to these 300 children, we are confident the learning that took place traveled beyond the farm that day. Beyond their amazing drawings, they wrote great answers to our question, “What are you going to tell your family about agriculture?”
- That agriculture is way more interesting than you think.
- I am going to tell my parents that agriculture is all around us.
- That there is lots of work to do.
- That we use stuff from the farm every day.
- I am going to tell my family that I learned a lot of stuff about the animals and farm and plants and it was fun.
- That sheep have to shave every few months.