I’m highlighting a few of the 40 projects that 4-H offers and this week the focus is on Entomology, Visual Arts, and Reading.
I was fortunate growing up as my dad was the high school biology teacher so everything we did was a science lesson! Among other things, we gathered and looked at all sorts of insects. How did they move? How were their wings made? Did they sting? What did they eat? If these are interesting topics, the Entomology project might be fascinating for you. Youth learn about different types of insects, how they move, and what they eat while learning how to identify and build an insect collection. In more advanced phases, youth learn about pollinators and how to develop a pollinator garden. The annual 4-H Insect Spectacular is a great event for youth to explore and learn.
The Visual Arts project teaches artistic skills and elements, and principles of design. Youth have the opportunity to explore different mediums such as pencil or ink sketches, oil painting, leatherwork, jewelry making, sculpture and ceramics. The variety of kinds of visual arts is always fascinating to me as it teaches skills while encouraging an imagination to soar! During the Kansas State Fair, visual arts exhibits may be awarded a special designation and selected for display at Rock Springs 4-H Center or the Kansas 4-H Foundation.
One of the projects that I love to share about is the Reading project! Youth have an opportunity to explore different genres of literature, how the library works, and how to research and share about a topic that interests them. Reading is a lifetime skill so reading for enjoyment as well as discussion is a good skill to develop no matter your reading level or interest! For fair displays, youth put together a poster or display about a book series or reading in general to showcase with the judge. Additionally, we offer “Reading – creative or dramatic” at our local club days for youth to practice a selection and present it before a judge for feedback. For the top placings in each county, youth have the opportunity to present during the Kansas State Fair as part of the 4-H Communications Showcase.
If you are interested in learning more about 4-H projects, check out kansas4-h.org in the Projects section! All projects include communications skills, record keeping, career connections, and opportunities for leadership and community service!
Michelle Beran is the 4-H Youth Development Agent in the Cottonwood Extension District. For more information on this article or other 4-H Youth Development resources, email Michelle at [email protected] or call Cottonwood Extension District – Barton Office at 620-793-1910. Kansas State University is committed to making its services, activities and programs accessible to all participants. If you have special requirements due to a physical, vision, or hearing disability.