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“We Build On Our Knowledge and Have More Independence”

October 24, 2022 | Clara Buckley

The lower school art teacher asked the fourth grade students how STEAM is going. “We built on our knowledge of Hoboken rowhouses from the project we made before with you. But we have more independence now.” The children captured a perfect description of the development we plan for in their two years in STEAM!

At the beginning of the school year, there are many skills and procedures to learn. To introduce the media available in the art room, and give opportunity for students to practice their skills, students created three-dimensional rowhouses.

DRAWING: We took our first field trip of the year, only one block away! Students created observational drawings, noticing the details on real rowhouses. Once back in the classroom, students drew a scale plan, overhead and side view, for their own rowhouse.

CLAY: Students used clay tools to make slabs for the walls and roof of their rowhouse. They carved window and door details. Students learned to ‘score and slip’ to strongly join their clay pieces together. Clay clean up is an important procedure to master for safety and health.

PAINT: Students practiced choosing, mixing, and applying the appropriate paints for their rowhouse. We discussed the environmental implications of pouring too much paint and washing it down the drain.

3D PAPER CONSTRUCTION: Students enjoyed designing their fantasy backyard. Some added swimming pools and roller coasters! They practiced cutting and joining paper in multiple ways to create a 3D diorama.

At the end of the project students will have a beautiful rowhouse to bring home. As important, they’ll have a deeper knowledge of the media available to them for future STEAM projects and the skills to independently create with those materials.

Clara Buckley

Preschool Art Specialist; 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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