The Arts, Environment & Learning 'Travel', Ask, Learn, Connect, Create, Exhibit, Care
For Teachers Resources and Inspiration
- Teaching Resources
- Art Inspiration
- Music Inspiration
- Creative Writing & Poetry
- Send us questions
The Born Free Foundation have worked closely with the Last Chance to Paint team and have developed some brilliant teaching resources.
- Downloadable lesson plans for learning about the Amazon rainforest – Primarily designed for Key Stage 2 but easily adaptable for all Key Stages. Links to Art and Design, Geography, Science, English, SMSC and Citizenship curricula.
The resources can be downloaded from the Born Free section of TES now.
N.B. Some of the lessons contain links to videos and you will need to make sure that Vimeo is accessible to your computer to see these.
An external audience can be a great motivator for children to reach their potential and ‘Last Chance to Paint’ provides that audience with the World Gallery.online and by aligning the young artists with professional artist John Dyer and his work. We have seen amazing results before when children are engaged in this process.
Last Chance to paint with Artist John Dyer presents a unique opportunity for both teachers and students to engage with interesting, exciting and motivating challenges. As John travels around our planet seeing some of the unusual and endangered peoples, animals and plants, we can travel with John and use the adventures as material to engage students in cross-curricular activities. Art can be used as a tool to enable school students to make deep connections with the subject matter.
These events will, no doubt, be challenging – not just for John as he travels to some remote places, but to all those who travel with him through the use of digital tools (using the internet).
We want your students to be challenged to think, to question, to paint (or to draw or to collage or to use their own choice of artistic medium) and to think through their own ideas, intuitions, feelings, knowledge about the planet. Through this there will be learning opportunities – in the area of Art and also in, for example, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Social Studies, Human Development…
We hope teachers will use the opportunity to allow their students to really develop their art, independent research, ability to ask and question all aspects of knowledge and to send questions directly to the artist and his team for a response.
With each brushstroke, I connect more deeply with my subject. I have felt this many times in my career and especially when painting environmental subjects such as global harvests in the Philippines or endangered animals and birds in Australia.
As I really look at the subject I become more interested in it. I look up information, talk to the scientists and local people I am working alongside and by the end of each painting my understanding of the subject, on a scientific and emotional level, is far higher than when I started.
My head will always be full of questions, not necessarily answers and I think this process of opening up one’s mind to the possibility of many and varied realities around any subject is vital for our future.
With some of the subjects I want to paint there is a difficult past and a difficult immediate future. We can’t undo the history of the subject, we are stuck with history and possibly don’t always know what that history actually is as it can be very hard to pin down. So with each subject, I will look at the subject from where we are today.
Art is a great joy and the process is immediate but also slow. Each mark is immediate and connects us, as a brush or pencil describes the outline of a plant or animal we become one with it, but the final complete piece of art takes time and that journey through time, with the subject, is precious as it allows a space for not only creativity but creative thinking in the broadest sense around the subject.
I have personally learnt so much in this way and I believe your children can too. I believe that art is built into every child at the genetic level. As a species we need to connect to the world through visual communication and it seems we have been doing this for a very long time. Using ochre colour to create hand stencils in caves has been recorded as starting possibly around 40,000 years ago and around 73,000 years ago scientists have discovered evidence of ‘artistic thinking’ in caves in South Africa.
Please join me on my journey and let’s inspire a new generation of creative thinkers and environmentalists through the joy of art and by harnessing their inbuilt creative talents and enquiring minds.”
Every school or class that engages with ‘Last Chance to Paint’ could host their own art exhibition of the resulting work and invite parents in for a special private view to celebrate the children, their art and the world. An external audience is a great motivator for children.We want to really inspire children with our projects. We hope they will make their very best pieces of art for the ‘World Gallery’ and that they will be proud to see their art exhibited alongside the work of other children from all over the world. We intend to keep the work online so that as the children grow up they can reflect on their experience and visit their art online. If they invest their time and make their very best work then it will be something to celebrate and be proud of for years to come. I want all of the children who take part to keep their original pieces of art to celebrate at home and to remind them of their new connections to the environment. As their artwork fades on the fridge door and they grow older it will help to keep their bonds and connections vividly alive in their minds and will hopefully remind them to tread gently on the earth with their actions and lifestyle.”John Dyer
John Dyer’s top tips for creating art:
John Dyer’s top tips for creating digital art:
You can purchase multiple copies of Procreate for your school’s iPads at a special educational discount from Apple’s volume purchase programme. Click for details of this in the UK store. This offer is available for countries around the world, select your country from the ‘Change Country’ menu at the base of the screen.
When your class of children learns a new tribal song to sing like, ‘Wacomãya’ from the Yawanawá tribe of the Amazon rainforest, don’t sit still and sing it but hold hands and walk or dance around in a circle as the tribe would. Feel connected and imagine the rainforest around you.
Do you want to hear rainforest rain in your school? Your children can make that happen!
Martha-Lilly Dyer demonstrates how to get your entire school creating the sound of a tropical rainstorm.
Poetry is one form of literature and art that is well suited to ‘Last Chance to Paint’. Encourage your children to really engage in the subjects we are focusing on and in addition to their amazing piece of art for the World Gallery why not work with them to write a poem about their piece of art and how they have connected to the subject?
We have run projects previously that have focused on creative writing and had astonishing results from the children. If you are a teacher working on ‘Last Chance to Paint’ then creative writing is a natural partner to the project for you and your children to explore.
The Born Free Foundation has a new section that highlights poetry connected to wildlife on their web site.
Parents and schools can send us questions via our special satellite link whilst we are travelling around the world! We might be painting and exploring the Amazon rainforest, the jungles of Borneo, the desert in Kenya or the mountains in Bolivia and we plan to be able to take your questions in every location.
Frequently asked questions
Is there a cost for schools or home educators to take part?
No! ‘Last Chance to Paint’ aims to be a hub for inspiration and creativity and we will do our part if you do yours and there is no charge to take part, interact or submit children’s art to be exhibited in the World Gallery. We are planning to ignite children’s passion for the environment and inspire them for free!
Will the live projects be in term time?
Yes! We will always plan the projects to run during the term time so that schools can benefit from them.
Do you have dates for each of the upcoming projects?
Yes! For the first chapter, ‘Procreate – Spirit of the Rainforest’ we can confirm we will be live from the Amazon from June 5th to 13th 2019. We will be updating the Projects & Diary page with dates for the other chapters once they are confirmed.
Is the project open to schools and children from all over the world?
Yes! Although we are based in the UK we want this to be an international project and connect many nationalities together through art. Schools from all over the world are welcome to take part and when we work in remote tribal communities we will encourage the children from the tribes to also take part to bond children together through creativity – our universal shared language.
I'm a teacher and need teaching resources to run this, can you help?
Yes! We have amazing teaching resources available for Key Stage 2 but they can be used to inspire other age groups.