Creativity Corner: Celebrate Differences with Beautiful Art

by Terry Shay
Jessica Moyes is the art teacher at Sharon Elementary in Newburgh, IN. Her students colored individual rocks and then placed them in the school yard for a stunning display of creativity. Jessica was kind enough to give me all of the information a school would need to do this artwork.

“I applied for a local grant and received it. I used that money to pay for most of the project. I spent about $575 total for the rocks, paint,clear spray, wood for the sign, mulch, and edging. The grant covered all but about $75 for the edging and mulch, which the school paid for (and I installed all of it). I got the rocks from a local natural stone company called Evansville Natural Stone, however they just deliver locally. Each rock weighed roughly 1 lb and we were charged .25 cents a pound. I had a parent who graciously offered to go hand pick all 740 rocks so we could get quality rocks. We spent about $200 or so on the rocks for approximately 740 students. The paint was another $150-200. We used indoor/outdoor glossy acrylic craft paint (Apple Barrel). The rest was spent on the remaining items I mentioned above.

The hardest part of the project was the logistics of getting all the rocks to the school, getting them inside of the school to paint and then transporting them back outside. It helped that the parent volunteer put 45-50 rocks in 5 gallon buckets. So when she got to the school, we had to unload 15 buckets instead of 750 individual rocks. That helped transporting them inside the school and back outside the school. Once I placed them on top of the mulch, I sprayed a couple coats of clear spray on them to help protect the paint.

“I loved this project for many reasons but it really shows the unique individuality of  each student. This project was inspired by the story, Only One You by Linda Kranz and I love the message that the story sends to children.

I hope they realize how special, different, and important they all are. This project also shows how beautiful each rock (student) can be but also shows how wonderful it can be when people come together and work as a team. Although I may have had some interesting and neat rocks, this project would not have made the impact it did if I would’ve done it with just a small number of students. Because every child in our school had a hand in this project, it became very special and unique.” Jessica Moyes, Art Teacher, Sharon Elementary.

Check out the school’s art Facebook page.

A Great Blog Post for Teachers on Creativity from John Spencer: Five Ways Humor Boosts Creative Thinking and Problem-Solving in the Classroom

Book Recommendations from the Morning Book Club:

Morning Book Club Picks v.6

Coming up next month: More ways to spread creativity. The Morning Book Club chooses their favorite books among the first 200 books, and much more. Have a recommendation for something creative to share? Leave a comment!

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