There is an awesome exhibit at the Johnson Art Museum at Cornell called “Beyond Earth Art”. It came highly recommended and was curated by the mother of one of our students. As a team we knew it would be a good experience but it just felt like something extra to plan and make happen that would add to our overly full plates. We waited until the last minute to try to make it a go….and it went…beautifully! Thanks to the flexible and quick work of the curator, her husband and the museum’s education director and staff, the 44 fifth graders had a phenomenal experience. They put their critical thinking to the test, analyzing art and thus spurring discussions about their significance in a changing planet. It was only by witnessing these conversations that I was reminded this something extra wasn’t extra. It was what thinking and learning is all about.