30. Love the Thames. Love the Oceans.

By Martin Crabbe | April 04 2019

30. Love the Thames. Love the Oceans.

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    #Love London. Love the World  

    Climate Action 30: Love the Thames. Love the Oceans. (Global Goal 14: Life below the water)

    Target audience: KS3 Art students

    1 – Riverscape

    There would be no London without the Thames and throughout time artists have been drawn to the river that runs through the city’s heart. Students will begin by exploring a contemporary artist’s celebration of the Thames that draws on historical events, text and images and create an art work of their own in response. They will learn about a range of artistic styles and movements through the work of artists inspired by the Thames and will apply their learning to extend their own technical approaches. They will use the dynamic movement of river water and the findings of mudlarks as stimuli.

    A visit to the river and a riverside gallery will provide the chance to extend understanding of river and landscape art, to enjoy the river’s leading role in the cultural life of the city and capture their the river in their sketches and observations. Back in the classroom, students will join the generations of artists who have featured the Thames in their work. They will draw on the approaches of great painters and develop their own personal response to the river.

    Click here to see the resource ‘Riverscape’.

    With special mention to the Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars and the Association
    of Art Historians for their support in the research and writing of this resource, and the Museum of London and A New Direction.

    2 – River plastic

    “Marine plastic pollution is one of the most pressing and preventable problems of our time. That is why I am so eager to be hosting this lesson on marine litter. Educating our kids about this issue and what they can practically do to reduce plastic consumption and pollution is crucial for breaking the plastic habit. ” Lewis Pugh

    The tidal Thames reminds us of our connection to the oceans but not just it’s ebb and flo. For example, here are some facts on plastic in our rivers (from Thames 21):

    • The Port of London Authority’s Driftwood Team, with Thames21, remove 200 tonnes of debris from the tidal Thames alone each year
    • Packaging represents 75% of the litter washed up on the Thames foreshore. Food related packaging is 65%, with food wrappers alone 20% – the top single type of item
    • It is estimated 6.4 million tonnes of litter enters the sea annually, according to the National Academy of Sciences in the USA
    • An estimated 80% of all marine debris found in the ocean is land based and 80-90% is made from plastic, according to the Last Plastic Straw campaign

    In this next unit you will consider the impact of plastic on the oceans. Afterwards, consider your response to this issue as an artist from London.

    Click here to see the resource ‘Marine Litter’

    With thanks to the team at World’s Largest Lesson.

    3 – Background to this resource

    This project aims to:

    1. Connect London’s schools to great resources based on their city and
    2. To suggest ways to introduce a global perspective to their work.

    Each blog will be based on two major curriculum resources available freely to teachers:

    1. The London Curriculum – developed by experts in their field working in partnership with the Mayor of London and his Education and Youth team.
    2. The World’s Largest Lesson – produced by Project Everyone in partnership with Unicef to help schools address three major challenges:
    • End extreme poverty
    • Fight inequality and injustice
    • Tackle climate change

    Each blog will aim to provide ways for teachers to reflect on these big issues through their own contexts, subject areas and from a London perspective.

    Thanks to the teams at City Hall and Project Everyone for providing these great resources. Some of my blog has been adapted from their websites.


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Martin Crabbe