Friday, March 8, 2013

Burkland's Cartographers

Capturing the student's favorite activities at Camp Orkila and their grade-level school community service project.

Helping with Addie's classroom auction project this year has been a true labor of love. It's also given me a chance to get to know the students better -- thank you for the opportunity!

I thought I'd share a few snapshots of the project and description so that you can see all of the hard work the kids put into this large-scale, mixed-media diptych painting. I only wish I had a better camera! Cheers, Mandy

Completed panels with metal fasteners + washers to mark each student's "neighborhood". Photo was taken at night so coloring is off a bit. Measures 4 ft across x 3 ft tall.

Project Description:Last December students in Mr. Burkland’s class embarked on map-making journey of grand proportions. Inspiration for the project came from the book The Map as Art by Katharine Harmon and from the class’s studies of landscapes in Washington State, South America, and those found in mentor texts such as Marshfield Dreams. 
Students collaborated on several occasions to identify map markers, establish art direction, and voted on their favorite projects and class excursions. They enthusiastically rolled up their sleeves for a painting party and eagerly shared interests, hobbies, and aspirations in order to create their own “neighborhoods”.  
The finished artwork measures 3ft. x 4ft. and is comprised of two wooden canvases adorned with acrylic paints, artist renditions on drafting film overlays, metal fasteners as map markers, and student signatures. 
There’s no doubt Mr. Burkland’s cartographers have left an indelible mark on the fourth-grade landscape at Meridian with this large-scale, mixed-media painting. If you look closely you will also see loving sentiments about the meaning of family, the Meridian community, and Mr. Waldman. 

One of the survey questions I had for the students was "What do you want to be when you grow up?". I wrote their answers on top of the "River of Dreams" that spans both canvases. 

Here are two examples of the "neighborhoods". Can you tell my daughter is horse obsessed?!

Here is the map legend with key 4th grade assignments and special interests.

The kids and I wanted to include well wishes and a way to honor the head of school who is retiring at the end of this year. To do this, we created "Waldman National Forest" within the "Meridian Mountains". I hope he likes it! 


  1. Love love love love love

  2. Wow.
    I just popped in hoping you to find images of this project. Fantastic! Clearly a ton of work went into such a personalized creation. Wondering if you could make posters of it for each of the kids to keep. Beautiful.