Birch Creek Elementary art project creates unity and friendships


Students with their art project


A recent art project at Birch Creek Elementary bridged the gap between first and sixth grade, creating unity and new friendships. Art specialist Natalie Nish’s sixth-grade students converted drawings of monsters created by first-graders into three-dimensional stuffed animals.


According to Nish, the project began with a book: The Little Shop of Monsters by R. L. Stine and Marc Brown. “During the reading,” Nish shared, “I was trying to show the first-graders that monsters are not so scary—that we have things in common with them. For example, one of the monsters [in the book] is ticklish.” Nish then had the young students use their imagination to draw a picture of a friendly monster that they might like to play with. 


For the next stage of the project, sixth-grade students at Birch Creek were each given the name and drawing of a first-grade student. The older students spent months crafting the whimsical monsters—learning how to create and cut out a pattern, sew four basic hand stitches, tie French knots,  and sew on buttons.


Students with their art project     Students with their art project        Students with their art project     Students with their art project


On March 12th, the months of designing and creating the stuffed animal monsters came to a close as Nish led the sixth-grade students to the first-grade classroom, where they met the original designers of the monsters and presented them with the finished products. 


The first-graders were all smiles as they welcomed and became friends with their sixth-grade counterparts. They beamed as they received their stuffed monsters, and the sixth-graders were grinning as they proudly showed off their hard work. 


Students with their art project