Central High School Ceramics Students Bring Bowie Elementary 1st Graders Sketches to Life Through Collaborative Literacy Project

Central High School Ceramics Students Bring Bowie Elementary 1st Graders Sketches to Life Through Collaborative Literacy Project

Through a literacy-based project, Bowie Elementary 1st graders and Central High School ceramics students collaborated to create unique 3D clay sculpture monsters from a 2D illustration centered around the book “Unlike Other Monsters” by Audrey Vernick. The project culminated in an unveiling event where the students from the 1st grade at Bowie and ceramics students at CHS met in the Bowie cafeteria and gifted the 3D clay sculptures of the 2D drawings to the Bowie students. 

“As a teacher, I truly enjoyed seeing the students' faces light up when receiving their ceramic monster and comparing it to their illustrations! Their joy was the best part for me,” said Bowie first grade teacher Mrs. Lorien Fleming. 

After reading the book “Unlike Other Monsters”, Bowie's first graders were challenged to use their creativity skills to illustrate their very own monster friend using pencils, crayons, markers, or colored pencils and paper. The 2D illustrations were then sent to the ceramics I, II, and III classes at Central, where students recalled basic ceramics elements and principles to create the 3D clay monsters from the illustrations by the Bowie students. Both Mrs. Fleming, Bowie 1st grade teacher, and Mrs. Brown, Central ceramics teacher, continue to keep both groups' students informed about the progress of the project. Mrs. Fleming read the book to the high school students and gave them the reasoning and background of the project while Mrs. Brown provided weekly updates to the Bowie students on the progress of their sculptures, how the students were creating the monsters, and basic ceramics knowledge and principles 

“The best part for me was that I got to work with each of my students to help them with their concerns and excitements during the assignment because believe it or not they were nervous that the 1st graders may not like what they did and I was able to turn the mood around and help them realize that is was going to be amazing,” said CHS ceramics teacher Mrs. Megan Brown. “I also loved how excited and happy the students were when we delivered their monsters to them, it warmed my heart. It also helped the high school students solidify the amazing job they did and I was so proud of all of them.”

“Unlike Other Monsters” tells the story of a monster who learns to accept himself when he finds he is unlike the other monsters after forming an unexpected friendship, even though “monsters don’t have friends.” The book focuses on the courage to be yourself and be good to those around you. This manifested for the students as they dared to meet a new friend, create something special for someone they did not know, and be thankful for one another. 

“Our first graders enjoyed meeting with the students that created their monsters from their drawings,” said Mrs. Fleming. “They loved seeing updates throughout the process and comparing the final product with the initial illustrations!” 

San Angelo ISD is proud to build collaboration with our students at all levels, support the hopes and dreams of our students, and celebrate all the ways they are smart. The SAISD Learner Profile skills of communicating, collaborating, creating, and thinking critically flourish in the fine arts and these skills help our SAISD students excel in becoming future-ready. We extend special thanks to Mrs. Lorien Fleming and Mrs. Megan Brown for making this project possible!  

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