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Lower School Art

CDS’ Early Childhood and Elementary art classes are all about experimentation. We strive to develop an open-ended approach that fosters our students’ ability to solve problems and think creatively.

One of the most prominent features of the CDS art room is a kiln, which allows students to practice hand-building techniques with low-fire clay and glazes and learn about the uses of pottery throughout the world.

Our students’ art projects often relate to the subjects they learn in the classroom. Some of this year’s assignments include:

  • Fourth-graders receive a lesson on poster design to accompany their book reports.
  • Third-grade students create maps to further their knowledge of California watersheds.
  • Second-graders, learning about rock formations, grow borax crystals around pipe cleaner sculptures.
  • First graders learn about the origins of tea and mix their own blends to serve in the classroom restaurant.
  • Kindergarteners make fish prints to go with their unit on trout.
  • The Early Childhood Program’s studies on bees include the production of hand-dipped beeswax candles and lip balm, which are eventually sold in the Country Fair Farmers’ Market.

The Farm & Garden also provides many exciting opportunities for our students to create art. Our sheep provide wool, which can be used for spinning, rug making, dyeing, and felting. Mulberry trees in the yard allow us to make habitats for silkworms and hand-feed caterpillars, eventually turning the silk into thread and sewing it into cloth.

In the studio, each student is respected as an artist and asked to bring their best effort to their work. Students are given space and time to learn about materials and apply them to projects with increasing confidence. The art room is a place where failure is transformed routinely into success, and the ability to apply this skill to other parts of life is incredibly valuable.