HOT Schools arts integration in action: Ashford School nature walk


In this video, we take a late October evening walk along the wooded nature trail at Ashford School to view artfully illuminated pumpkins, drawings, and nature poetry created by second grade HOT Schools student-artists. In this HOT Schools Fall 2022 AIR (Arts Integrated Residency) “Autumn Inspirations: Exploring Nature Through the Arts,” students studied the environmental science of seasonal changes and life cycles, with a special focus on the fall season in Connecticut.

With Teaching Artist Leslie Johnson (creative writing), students immersed themselves in autumn nature to write expressive poetry with their five senses and figurative language. With Teaching Artist Sanna Stanley (visual arts), they created collages, cyanotype drawings and watercolors as they learned about nocturnal animals and constellations that foretell autumnal changes in our night sky. Then students designed their own animal-inspired constellations which they carved into pumpkins.

Their extraordinary teachers, Mr. Jason Horn and Mr. Michael Young, created an art installation of the students’ illuminated pumpkins, visual designs, and original poems along the school’s nature trail for families and friends to visit and enjoy.

Most of all, this AIR concluded with deeper student knowledge and appreciation of the natural beauty of our Connecticut environment.