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All the Work That God Had Done

October 14, 2020 | Clara Buckley

Stamina for a multi-step process is something that challenges most young children. Often they know and understand more than they can actually do. They get tired before they can finish. Muscles get tired from using them in new ways and the mind gets tired from remembering the steps and processes.

When it came to making an animal in paint and collage, we knew we were asking a lot of each child. So we spread out the work over a week. On the first day each child chose an animal, looked at a photograph or model to find the appropriate color, then made the body and head. On the second day we counted legs and noticed whether they were long or short, wide or thin. On the final day the children added the face, and details specific to their animal – stripes for a tiger, a trunk for the elephant, etc.

John’s cheetah collage and Maddox’s elephant painting

The Creation art display has been building on our classroom walls. The children love to read the numbers and count each day. On our final day of Creation worship, Mr. Johnson led us on a gallery walk to reflect on our own creations, just as God did on the sixth day, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31 NRSV. By the number 6 hangs photographs of the class and the children were excited to point to their face.

But by the number 7 there was nothing….

Mr. Johnson explained that on the seventh day of creation, “God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy…” Genesis 2:2-3 NRSV

We learned the American Sign Language word for rest.

Although we are not able to sing at this time, the teachers deeply value the words we usually learn as worship songs. We have transferred many of the songs to be rhymes or non-musical chants with accompanying ASL signs or motions. 

In this worship theme the children learned the words to the songs Hallelu, Be Still and Know, And God Said, This is the Day, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. We will continue adding to this repertoire through the year.

Our prayer for the Creation worship theme:

God is Light

In Him there is no darkness at all

God is not far from any one of us

In Him we live and move and have our being


Clara Buckley

Teacher, Rivers Class; Middle School Art

Clara Buckley’s teaching spans the ages of Mustard Seed School, from the youngest students in the preschool to students in the graduating class. She’s found many similarities between teaching three-year-olds and thirteen-year-olds!

As an art teacher who never enjoyed drawing, Ms Buckley’s hope is that each child she teaches discovers a way to create art that they enjoy, whether it be sculpture, printing, textiles, architectural drawing, or collage.

Ms. Buckley loves living in Jersey City, a place whose diversity and welcome for immigrants reflects her own family experience. When planning future travel destinations, art, food, and time with family are featured items on her list.

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