We read the story Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, about how you can always “make something out of nothing.” K kids used tapestry needles, burlap, and beads, learned the basic running stitch, and practiced tying knots while making their own “something out of nothing.”

We learn what makes a sculpture (it’s not flat), and how to make shapes 3D with cardboard. They learned how to cut cardboard, make slots on both sides, and burnish the tapes. They made a plane, little houses, a castle, a cat, and a one-eyed robot mask.

Grades 1 & 2

We talk about eggs and what could possibly hatch out of them. Birds, snakes, turtles, alligators, frogs….dragons, basilisks, aliens….. We worked in clay, remembering that clay comes from the earth and needs to be fired in a kiln. The students made two pinch pots and hid some tiny bits of clay before sealing up their egg. A few weeks later and we saw the return of the egg rattles from the kiln. The clay was ready to be painted

Grades 3 & 4

We read the book The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon, by Jacqueline Davies, and made papier mache birds in bits over several classes. Finally, we painted our painted our birds!

5th Grade

I demonstrate how to create a coral reef out of clay. We put together standard hand building forms (pinch, coil) and looked at pictures of different corals and forms that might be found on a coral reef (brain, tube, anemones, urchins, starfish, finger coral, etc).

6th Grade

In our drawing unit, I teach my my “quick and dirty” method of transferring images,the graphite transfer process, and we learn about the different tools that may be used in drawing. I also make sure students have choice time.  I value choice time, because it is important to practice skills independently and it is REALLY important to have the confidence to explore your own ideas.



7th & 8th Grade Electives


We watched Phil Hansen’s TED talk, Embrace the Shake about creativity and the power of limitations. We work on setting goals in the context of studio habits (Observe, develop craft, envision, engage and persist, etc) so that the students understand what their strengths are. 


We make our own pinhole cameras, and it is amazing! Photo elective students are being really patient with this less-than-instant process.  I introduce the idea of “critique” and we discuss what we notice in photographs. Later, we switch into digital mode and are work on a “photobet” composition challenge. The rules of “photobet” are that all letters must be found as is (not arranged) and photographing actual letters is out.