Looking at the World Up Close

I’ve put my paintbrush and drawing supplies away for a few days and exchanged all my usual supplies for my camera. I’ve spent hours out on the trail enjoying the gorgeous and unusually warm weather. The views have been exceptional and I always love the plethora of greens found in the woods at the beginning of spring. What I love more than a vista is getting down into the earth and observing whats happening right under my nose.

My camera is great for this with a built in macro option but even better is hitting the tail with a couple of loupes in my pocket. I’ve used loupes in my classroom for years and found nothing helped set the stage for an exciting year of discovery than introducing them on the very first day. We’d go on a discover hike around the classroom and around the school grounds and the enthusiasm was contagious. Even the bricks of the school building are exciting to look at through a loupe! From that point on, rather than squash that bug, someone would yell, “Grab a loupe, let’s loupe it!” Even the custodian would bring us his findings including giant luna moths and preying mantis. Have you ever really looked at a stink bug?

Following the simple theory of thinking by analogy as outlined by The Private Eye hands-on learning process, we “louped” our way through our curriculum. Thinking, drawing, and writing and questioning and discussing everything. Spring is a great time to get started and I suggest you get some loupes, check out The Private Eye and make your classroom an exciting happening place.

If you are without a classroom like I am, and you can’t wait to get yourself a loupe, grab a camera and get up close and personal with spring through your lens. You’ll never see the world the same again.


About Deb Barends

I am a recently retired, reinvented, primary teacher doing things I have always loved- hiking, photographing, drawing and painting, collaging and consulting among other creative outlets.
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