SHARP in the Field

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Opportunities for Discovery and Adventure

SHARP Literacy is thrilled to partner with museums and organizations around Milwaukee and Waukesha County to provide a more diverse educational experience for students.

Educational Tours

Milwaukee

K4 – Science – Living Things

Milwaukee Art Museum

  • Eager four year old students participate in a special version of an animals and art tour.
  • Students learn through movement and storytelling, and other play-based, age-appropriate learning techniques.
  • Docents are trained by SHARP educators to focus on three to five major concepts to build on students’ understanding of living things by interacting with fine art.

Urban Ecology Center

  • Curious four year old students interact with real animals in the animal room and engage in an outdoor scavenger hunt with play-based kinesthetic learning.
  • By learning about animals’ habitats, inquisitive students develop an understanding of how things move, eat, communicate, and depend upon shelter.

K5– Science – Plants

Lynden Sculpture Garden

  • Hands-on workshops engage small groups of students in independent learning activities.
  • Field research on different types of flowers, leaves, seeds, and trees captivates their imaginations.
  • Enthusiastic students create clay impressions and drawings to reinforce concepts they have learned.

Grade 1 – Science – Pollinators

Museum of Wisconsin Art

  • Students imagine they are honeybees buzzing along and pollinating from one flower sculpture to another.
  • Students use clay to create a hands-on, art-integrated project which they can share with their family.

Grade 1 – Science – Growing Things

Mitchell Park Domes

  • Creative students develop a pollinator model sculpture.
  • Students enjoy a scavenger hunt as they search for various pollinators like bees, bats, birds, and lizards.

Grade 2 – Science – Fresh Water and the Great Lakes

Discovery World

  • Engrossed students rotate through three different freshwater stations to see the world’s largest model of the Great Lakes, explore Reiman Aquarium, and even touch a live lake sturgeon.
  • Students also recreate the life cycle of a salmon.

Grade 3 – Science – Urban Agriculture

Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful

  • Ever wonder what is really recyclable or where it all goes? Students are introduced to the basic concepts of recycling, compost, and the concept of urban food deserts.  Students learn about sustainability and the 4 R’s (reduce, recycle, reuse, rot) by doing a fun sorting game.
  • Enthralled students observe how people and machines sort through the recyclables, and also play a guessing game to learn how neighborhood products are turned into global products through recycling.
  • Students encounter living bugs and learn how everything works together to create an ecosystem in a compost bin.
  • An exciting relay game where the students race to harvest fruits and vegetables concludes the exciting experience.

Grade 3 – Science – Urban Agriculture

Will’s Roadside Farm and Market

  • Recycling is an easy way to have a huge impact on the environment.  Will’s Roadside Farm allows students to see urban agriculture in action through an informative tour of the greenhouse and aquaponics system.
  • Students learn more about the story of Will Allen to help them understand Milwaukee’s role in the global movement of sustainable agriculture and the value of healthy nutrition.

Grade 4– Social Studies – Wisconsin

Museum of Wisconsin Art

  • Students participate in a 90-minute experiential learning opportunity.
  • The tour focuses on 12-15 works in the collection by Wisconsin artists. Students gain an understanding of perspective by seeing the art from more than one viewpoint.
  • Energized students also view several pieces depicting Native American culture, the Wisconsin landscape and the works of Frank Lloyd Wright. All fourth-grade students culminate their experience in the art studio, where a teaching artist leads them in creating three-dimensional architectural sculptures.

Grade 4 – Design through Code

Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

  • Fourth grade SHARPcoders who participate in the 16-week coding program tour MIAD’s openlab, a place where students learn how to use technology to support their creative practice.
  • Students learn about rapid prototyping, immersive technology and physical computing to prepare them for the end of year Design Challenge, where they build a prototype with practical applications.
  • Students can explore college and career options.

Grade 5 – Social Studies – American Stories

Milwaukee Art Museum

  • Focusing on storytelling in art, fifth grade students participate in a writing & art tour using American stories to build upon their understanding of American history and to acquire confidence as writers.
  • Students gain critical thinking skills through the arts as they engage in interactive writing to learn activities.
  • Students receive SHARP’s art journals to take home.

Waukesha County

K4 – Science – Living Things

EB Shurts Environmental Education Center

  • Four-year-old students build upon their understanding of living things by interacting with real animals in the live animal room, engaging with a diorama room focused on animal habitats, and working on an arts integrated project related to the science concepts.
  • Students also experience play-based learning outside when weather permits.

K5 – Science – Plants

Prairie Springs Environmental Education Center

  • Students learn about plants, participating in experiential learning opportunities, designed and facilitated by Carroll University Early Childhood Education students.
  • Age-appropriate play-based activities, as part of a five senses nature walk, “mystery bag” inquiry into parts of a plant, and hands- on arts-integration activities, build on enthusiastic students’ understanding of their study of plants.

Grade 1 – Science – Pollinators

EB Shurts Environmental Education Center

  • Students build upon their understanding of living things by engaging in play-based learning about Wisconsin pollinators.
  • Kinesthetic (movement-based) experiential learning and a hands-on arts-integrated project help students understand the similarities and differences among Wisconsin pollinators.

Grade 2 – Science – Fresh Water and the Great Lakes

Retzer Nature Center

  • Students participate in three rotating activities correlating with the Great Lakes Curriculum.
  • One group begins with a portable watershed model. They can spray water, see run-off, and learn about how we impact our water supply.
  • The other group observes and learns about aquatic insects.
  • After switching activities they enjoy the third activity, a water cycle game.
  • Students also learn about the amphibian and reptile program.

Grade 2 – Science – Pollinators

Prairie Springs Environmental Education Center

  • Students view a bee hive, take a nature walk, and gain understanding related to pollination and thriving plant ecosystems.
  • Students from Banting, Summit View and Whittier Elementary Schools in the School District of Waukesha study pollinators.
  • Carroll University Early Childhood Education students work alongside Prairie Springs staff to engage students in the tour.

Grade 3 – Science – Urban Agriculture

Retzer Nature Center

  • Students participate in the Waukesha County’s Recycling Program’s experiential learning opportunity related to vermicomposting.
  • Students learn about nature’s ultimate composters: worms!
  • Students observe and assess worm structure, behavior, and castings with the aid of magnifiers while also locating worm eggs and other decomposers that share their home and job duties.

Grade 3 – Science – Urban Agriculture

Intergenerational Heritage Fair

  • Intergenerational Heritage Fair gives students the opportunity to learn about the history and culture of Waukesha County.
  • Students explore approximately 20 exhibits and participate in hands-on craft and cultural activities.

Grade 4 – Social Studies – Wisconsin

Museum of Wisconsin Art

  • Students participate in a 90-minute experiential learning opportunity.
  • The tour focuses on 12-15 works in the collection by Wisconsin artists. Students gain an understanding of perspective by seeing the art from more than one viewpoint.
  • Energized students also view several pieces depicting Native American culture, the Wisconsin landscape and the works of Frank Lloyd Wright. All fourth-grade students culminate their experience in the art studio, where a teaching artist leads them in creating three-dimensional architectural sculptures.

Grade 4– Design through Code

QUAD/Graphics

  • SHARPcoders see firsthand how a printing company uses technology and graphic design to serve the needs of their clients.
  • Students tour the facility, engage in a logic puzzle that Quad/Graphics normally gives potential employees and hear from a panel of diverse employees who use technology in their everyday work.

Grade 5 – Social Studies – American History

Waukesha County Historical Society & Museum

  • Students experience local stories within the greater context of American history, guided by a SHARP-trained museum educator.
  • Highlights include the Civil War exhibit, with stories featuring conflict and resolution themes, and the Les Paul exhibit, highlighting the American identity.
  • Students experience local stories within the greater context of American history.

Summer Learning Gain Initiative (SLGI) and After School Learning Initiative (ASLI)

These programs help educate and nurture students outside our core program and encourage them to become responsible and competent citizens of the community. The programs take place at these sites: Aug Prep, NeuLife at Gwen T. Jackson, NeuLife at Brown Street Academy, Milwaukee Christian Center, Neighborhood House, COA Riverwest, COA Goldin, Silver Spring Neighborhood Center Browning Elementary, Silver Spring Neighborhood Center Thurston Woods, Banting Summer School, Summit View Summer School, and MPS.

SLGI addresses the prevention of the summer slide – a reality for too many urban students.

ASLI provides structured programs for students to achieve academic success, build character and develop teamwork, all in a safe, fun environment.

Our partners include Browning Elementary School, Thurston Woods Elementary School and City on a Hill.

Additional Partnerships

  • Reading With the Golden Eagles is a program in which Marquette University’s men’s basketball team reads to students once a month.
  • Reading with the Carroll Pioneers began with the Carroll University’s men’s basketball team reading to Waukesha students. It now includes five athletic teams.
  • The Read To Me Intergenerational Program includes partnerships between SHARP Literacy and Ovation Communities and also a partnership with Shorehaven in Oconomowoc. In both programs, elementary school students read with seniors at the senior living communities. They also cooperate in creating mural-based art projects.

Support SHARP’s Educational Tours