The halls of Saluda Trail Middle School were filled with monsters Tuesday morning – but they weren’t scary. They were imagined by fifth-graders at Oakdale Elementary School, created by seventh- and eighth-grade students at Saluda Trail and inspired by a popular children’s book.
The collaboration between the two groups of students was facilitated by art teachers Angela Copley and Jamie Smith.
After reading Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are,” the Oakdale students in Smith’s classes designed their own monsters and described them in writing – down to the last feather and scale.
Copley’s middle-schoolers then took the drawings and transformed the monsters into clay figures.
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“It was a great experience for our students, because they had to transform a 2-D drawing into a 3-D sculpture,” Copley said.
Standing proudly with his newly created monster, fifth-grade student Jaquail Cherry said he had a lot of fun drawing “Creepy Willy,” and seeing him in real life.
“We could create the ideas we have in our head,” Jaquail said, “and that’s really fun to finally express yourself.”
Other than helping the younger students with their drawing and the older students with their clay work, Copley said, the students learned about collaboration, community and responsibility through the project. It’s “absolutely” something they’d like to do again, Smith said.
Students Alex Kirk, a seventh-grader, and Tamarivia Stratford, a fifth-grader, said their experience working on their monster was “pretty fun.”
Tamarivia wanted his monster to be a mash-up of a lot of different elements.
“It looks evil, but it’s funny,” he said of Kirk’s clay creation of the monster he created. “He did a good job.”