Project Based Learning Electives provided by the Berrien Springs Virtual Academy

GVNCP: Art Classes Fall 2023

***Please email instructor that you signed up for this class.***


  • Wednesday, 3 to 5 PM- in person
  • Wed, Sept 20 to Nov 8

Class is all outdoors. Dress for weather. Class will not be indoors. This class is both informative and fun! Come enjoy Fernwood, explore its natural habitats, as well as make art: nature-art. Learn about nature, cultures, communities, and art through a variety of hands-on nature-exploration skills and art skills. Bring the family and a blanket, it’s a family picnic style class. One or two parents (or adult relatives) must attend class with student(s) ages 10 and younger, per family, to help students with nature activities and crafts. One or two parents (or adult relatives) may attend class with
student(s) ages 11 and older, per family. Nature and Community Arts Topics include: making many aspects of a community from scratch from nature; Debris Hut Shelter; Water Filter and Purification; Fire-Making; Food and Foraging; Plant Identification; Cleaning; Community Culture; Landscape Stewardship; Community and Art in Harmony with Nature; up to 17 Nature and Community Art Skills; and many other arts and relating them to nature. Plus, each class day, students get to enjoy the features and nature of Fernwood. During each class, students will be outdoors, studying nature.

(Required) Required to bring to class (provided by student/family):

  • Dress for weather, class is all outdoors.
  • Family to bring a blanket to sit on.
  • Bring a drinking water bottle, 3-ring binder, paper, pencils, clipboard.

Optional Materials (provided by student/family) Suggested optional stuff to bring:

  • color pencils, pens, markers, hat, snacks, camera.

Nature and Community Arts Syllabus

  • Thursdays, 3 to 5 PM-online
  • Thurs, Sept 21 to Nov 9

Class is mostly indoors, but students will visit their outdoor backyard too.  This class is both informative and fun! Explore your own backyard. Draw nature and  things in your backyard. Start or expand your Art Journal. Drawing the things of nature  helps people to learn about nature. This is a drawing class, a nature class, and a show-n-tell  class. On Zoom, talk with classmates about your art, nature journal, and nature in your  backyard. In September to November, students will make art related to the fall season. In  class, we’ll draw things such as sticks, leaves, autumn scenes, tracks, animals, the backyard  landscape, backyard map, etc. Each day of class, there will be a few different drawing  activities, indoors, as well as one or two nature-exploration activities, outdoors, in your backyard. There will be a lot of free-hand sketching, as well as some tracing too.  Recommended: during class, at least for the first few days of class, parents should assist students with Zoom and the class, for students who are under age 12.  

Course Materials:
Teacher provides web page with sheets for student to print out at home. 
(Required) Required to bring to class (provided by student/family):

  1. Smart phone, iPad, and or computer (laptop or desktop) with Zoom software. Computer is ideal.  
  2. Dress for indoors, and have outdoor apparel handy, class is mostly indoors, with visits to the  outdoors in the backyard. 
  3. Digital camera or smart phone to take outdoor photos. Be able to email about 4 photos to  instructor, each week. Photos are not necessarily taken every day of class, but it's good to be  prepared.  
  4. Printer to print out sheets of art projects.  Every week, print about 4 new sheets, before the class period starts on Thursday.  
  5. clipboard 
  6. 3-ring binder for art journal / nature journal and a hole puncher 
  7. lined paper 8.5 x 11”  
  8. unlined paper 8.5 x 11” (printer paper)  
  9. tracing paper 8.5 x 11” (25 sheets)  
  10. pencils, 
  11. colored pencils  
  12. colored pens  
  13. markers 
  14. optional: an assortment of soft and hard artist pencils (e.g. 2H, 2B, 4B) - just a 4 pencil set or a set  with more pencils. Or just the 2B pencil. Optional: especially the 2B pencil can be used in class.

Backyard Art Zoom Syllabus

*Please note: it is important to make as informed a decision as possible when choosing your student's Community Resource classes. Most locations will allow a student to drop a class after one meeting, at no charge if it wasn't a good fit for the student, but not all. Some classes plan ahead based on the number that have signed up and have purchased materials, hired teachers, etc. and there might be a fee for class time or materials given to the student if the student drops after one or two meetings. The school cannot pay for classes that students do not complete, so choose wisely; if you do not take the class off of your student's schedule by the deadline, you may be asked to pay for the class time incurred prior to dropping the class.

Teacher of Record: Lisa Van Plew-Cid