Drawing Relationships with the Natural World

Friday, August 28, 2009.

This fall semester, I am teaching two sections of a research and writing course  titled Writing Across the Curriculum.  In this course, I have selected the general theme “human relationships with the natural world,” and I will be assigning readings from American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau, a new edition from the Library of America.

During the first class on Tuesday and in order to prompt my students to begin thinking about the course theme, I asked them to draw a picture of their relationships with the natural world. I then asked them to write a sentence on the back of the page that explained the picture.

Here below are three examples with their descriptions.

Relationship with Natural World - Out of the Billions I am Me

“This picture describes me in the natural world because out of billions of people, I am my own person with own goals and  my own experiences.”

Relationship with Natural World - Big Mtns Little Me

“This picture describes my love for the mountains and camping.”

Relationship with Natural World - Car on Earth

“The drawing represents the damage I am causing to the planet.”

At midterm and at the end of the term, I will ask students to review their drawings and compose new drawings that take into account what they have learned so far in the course.