Sunrise Elementary students combine learning and creativity to create a mosaic of Utah
After working for nearly a year, students at Sunrise Elementary have completed a colorful glass mosaic featuring habitats and animals found in Utah. Pairing curriculum with creativity, students incorporated content from science lessons into a beautiful art project.
Sunrise Elementary participates in the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program, which integrates art with core classroom subjects—such as language arts, math, social studies, and science. This integration helps to reinforce learning through engagement and creativity. For example, as third-grade students at Sunrise learned about a frog’s lifecycle, a representation of that was added to the mosaic. Images of mountains, the desert, the wetlands, the prairie, and even a farm were included in the mosaic as students were taught about various Utah habitats and the animals therein.
The large mosaic, which was created under the direction of Sunrise art teacher Lori Pomeroy, is now a permanent art piece flanking the doors leading to the gym on the ramp. Before undertaking such an ambitious project, Pomeroy prepared her students for several years by having them make smaller mosaics. “We did small mosaics that were about four to five inches square for each student and we have done that for at least six years. And it has been a fun and successful project,” she explained. “And so I thought, ‘well, now I have sixth-, fifth-, and fourth graders that know how to do a mosaic, maybe we can pull off a big one.”
Pomeroy also took the opportunity to teach students about safety and technique as they created the mosaic. “The students loved the translucent colors of the glass because they are just beautiful. They loved breaking the glass wrapped in towels with hammers,” Pomeroy said. “They learned a lot of technical skills and safety.” She continued, “It was hard for them to visualize what we were doing initially. It was a very confusing process sometimes, and even chaotic, but they persisted. It came together beautifully.”
We are fortunate to have all elementary schools in our district participating in the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program. To learn more about this program, please visit http://btsarts.org/about/.