Elementary school teaches through nature, art, music

Elementary school teaches through nature, art, music
Jessica Forst (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Jessica Forst (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Jennifer Nelson (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Jennifer Nelson (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Elementary students at one Jefferson County Public School will learn less through pencil and paper methods and more through hands on experience.

Milburn T. Maupin Elementary School, located at 1312 Catalpa Street, will join the JCPS innovation style of teaching for the 2015-2016 school year.

The school follows the Waldorf education style along with Kentucky Core Academic Standards.


The Waldorf education uses art, music, drama, movement and nature experiences to encourage student creativity and critical thinking.

Jessica Forst's kindergarten classroom is filled with warm, welcoming colors, live plants and wooden blocks. For her, teaching consists of hands-on lessons.

"We do that through song art and experiences with nature," Forst said, "We have lots of live plants to bring the outside in."

Within Jennifer Nelson's second grade classroom, a nature table, all-natural art supplies and instruments decorate the room.

"We teach handwriting by describing that letters come down from the sky and down to the ground," Nelson said, "we also use natural beeswax crayons so that the children are in contact with beautiful natural materials."

Nelson's lessons consist of movement and using student's natural interests as children to help them learn.

"Children are not miniature adults," Nelson said, "they need to learn through experience. They need to learn through hands on activities. They need to be free to get up and move, they need time outside. These aren't incidentals, this is how children learn."

Teachers will stay with the same group of students as they continue through grade levels and the school ultimately hopes to add middle school grades to the school.

Most teachers at Maupin are new to the innovation style of teaching but were trained in the schools philosophy.

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