Developing An Understanding 1
July 19, 2021
Our first session was a roaring success at the Boulder City Library. We thank you all for joining us to learn more about Nevada’s threatened Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)!
During this lecture talk, America encouraged a group dynamic with plenty of conversation on the topic. She truly wanted to hear the group's thoughts and ideas, and they certainly pulled through!
The after-lesson crafts reflected what they had learned about the Desert Tortoise. For example, Josh created a poster showing some of the obstacles the tortoise faces in its life or on its journey through the Mojave Desert. Others created its habitat, some common threats—which are largely due to human activity—and the tortoise itself.
Christine de Lota helped create the framework for a combined poster of the Desert Tortoise. The group members will continue to work on these pieces to bring them to life. America is so proud of what a great job they did so far!
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DEVELOPING AN UNDERSTANDING:
America Grafton presents an interactive lecture, paired with a few artistic activities and discussions, to children and young adults ages 9-13 (parents welcome) about their environment and their place in it.
She concentrates on Nevada’s endangered and threatened species with a craft and take home activity for further learning and reflection.
Conservation talks are meant to be understandable and engaging for every age group. In a wider sense, this is part of the Mojave Art Collective: combining art and environmental knowledge with community involvement and education.
Through meaningful murals and intentional talks like these, America hopes to spread conservation education and support endangered species awareness and protection.
Developing An Understanding 2
July 21, 2021
At our second Developing An Understanding session we learned about the Yuma Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris yumanensis), an endangered bird that lives in Nevada's marshes. 🪶
America reviewed vocabulary words from Monday, like “species,” “habitat,” and “environment.” Adding discussion questions to get the group thinking, such as, “What is your ideal habitat?”
When the first part of the lesson was complete, the group crafted Yumas from clay pieces or colored the provided paper.
Once their Yumas were solid, America explained the reason for the Yuma’s low numbers using an interactive activity designed for memory and creativity. The flooding of its wetland habitat—demonstrated by the water jug overflowing the contained habitat area one of the kids designed—from human water management causes it to retreat to higher ground, and inevitably die off due to its vulnerability to predators in its new location.
In our final Developing An Understanding session, we learned and discussed information on environmental systems, future sights, and of course, Nevada’s endangered Steamboat Buckwheat (Eriogonum ovalifolium var. williamsiae)—a perennial herb.
America led the discussion and lesson, prompting the group with guiding points, and answering questions on different topics. She really appreciated everyone sharing their thoughts and ideas.
America strives to create a learning environment full of creativity and imagination. After the lesson touching on hot spring deposits (siliceous sinters), invasive plants, and limited habitat, the group crafted their own form of Steamboat Buckwheat, whether with paint, pipe cleaners, or multi-media work. Their art turned out perfect and everyone had a great time!
America is proud to teach young adults about the world around them, and she encourages learning even after her lessons are complete through art reflection activities.