While living in two widely separated and diverse areas in Utah, we integrated the study of entomology, drawing, and writing as we created a series of “biographies” of insects in the area. We produced the illustrations and text for these essays on insects during two weeks at Dugout Ranch on Indian and North Cottonwood Creeks, near the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, and two weeks at the Great Basin Station, which is at 8,900 feet in the Manti-La Sal National Forest. In addition to fulfilling an elective for Biology and university requirements in Arts and Advanced Composition, students practiced finding insects, taking photographs, recording field notes that include both sketching and writing, meditative journaling, preparing and curating specimens, doing microscope work, synthesizing field and library research, editing, using layout software, creating and designing web publications, and writing their essays, each of which focused on a particular insect. This mentored learning experience had a faculty to student ratio of 1:5. We considered the three disciplines in terms of life skills—observing the living entities around us, writing about self and the relationship to other life forms, and communicating visually about the living beings around us.
Here's a video that highlights some of the fun activities we did on IWA!