Monday, December 17, 2018

The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon

There are certain books that we come across that teach science much like the Seabury teachers teach our gifted young students. This is one such book. 

Here are a few ways our students act and think like the artist and scientist, John Audubon:

  • As a young boy, Audubon had a focused passion for learning about nature, specifically birds. He loved to draw and made his bedroom into a museum of things from nature and pictures he had drawn of birds. Seabury students are focused and passionate oftentimes in a unique area of study.
  • At the end of each year, he would burn all of his art work, dissatisfied in the quality and wanting to become better. Seabury students are perfectionists. 
  • He didn't do well in school because he failed tests. It was because his teachers were wrong! Seabury students often know more than their teachers. 
  • Scientists of his day believed that small birds hibernated all bundled together in frozen streams. That didn't make sense to him. Seabury students are critical thinkers. 
  • He asked a lot of questions. Seabury students are encouraged to ask tons of questions. 
  • He came up with experiments to answer his questions including tying a string around birds' legs to see if they were the same birds that return in the spring. Inquiry based learning is paramount at Seabury School. 
  • When the birds pecked off the string, he tried again using silver string. Seabury students learn from failures and mistakes. Growth mindset is a character trait that is taught and encouraged.   
  • Audubon's persistence paid off. After working on his drawing and painting skills year after year, his art work became known and admired throughout the world. Grit is the true measure for success at Seabury School. 

After reading the book, we learned about drawing birds and then gave watercolor painting a try. We felt good about our results. We look forward to learning more about birds. 

Sketching first

Color mixing and experimenting with water

John Audubon would have been a great Seabury student. 
He would have thrived here!

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