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Students shape clay into caring
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Kinley Van Ness and Heaven Wiley, third graders at Roosevelt School in Hoisington, shape clay for their class project while working with Hoisington High School students. - photo by KAREN LA PIERRE

HOISINGTON — Shaping clay into birds, Lincoln School students and Hoisington High School students melded art with character education recently in a cross-curricular activity called “Caring.”
The high school art students of teacher Christina Lamoureaux taught the elementary school kids the process of transforming clay into birds in a nest with a blanket.
The purpose of the activity was to teach leadership to the high school students, teach the elementary school students about caring, and teach art. Plus, the students, both younger and older, admitted to having fun during the process.
“Don’t you wish the world cared 100 percent of the time?” asked Lamoureaux during a video presentation explaining the art process. The high school students also helped with the presentation.
“We have a chance to care,” said Lamoureaux. “Caring can be exercised.”
After the video, the students began transforming the clay. Teams of two or three high school students worked at tables of three or four elementary school students at each step of the process. They had already made a bird of their own.
One student leader, Trevar Youngster, explained the free form process at his table. First, the children cut the clay in half.
“Make a bowl with the clay,” said Youngster. “Push your thumb in the middle, pinching the edges. Leave it upside down.”
The kids then took the other half of the clay and rolled it into a ball.
“If you clay starts to dry out, put a little water on it,” said Younger. The students then pinched out the neck, followed by the tail.
Using a stick, they made feathers with a paint brush to refine details. The students also made a blanket for the birds in the nest.
After completing all of the finishing details, the birds were fired in the kiln at 2000 degrees. They were then painted with earth tones in a second session at the high school.
The high school art students will assemble the birds into a clay habitat architectural setting using dowel rods to assemble, group and balance the birds.
Plans are for the sculptures to be displayed at a community event.