Home > Showing understanding through art at the Sierra School of Sonoma

Elementary school students in Room F (aka The Wild Things) at the Sierra School of Sonoma recently exhibited their creative skills with a project on South African symbolism and abstract art.

As part of their academic work Sierra students, ages 6 to 10 years old, studied several cultures in their social studies class, including South Africa. They created a variety of art and replicated objects based on what they have learned about the country.

Third grader Mateo said it felt good to learn new things about another country. Another student, first grader Chevelle was happy to design and paint small tribal grass huts called Ndebeles, which originated in the early 18th century and were adorned with vibrant colors.

Isaiah, a second grader, liked the project because it was relaxing, fun and he learned about Table Mountain, one of South Africa’s most famous landmarks and one of the oldest mountains in the world.

“The more experiences we give our students with other cultures and backgrounds, the more they will realize that despite living in other countries, and looking different to each other, we are all human,” said teacher Mary Rico. “The differences between us are what makes every individual special and interesting. This will help them channel their empathy and appreciation of others and themselves. We can hope it will educate others on the subject as well.“

The students also recreated the oldest mathematical tool created by South African women, known as Lebombo, and the heaviest flying bird in South Africa, Kori Bustard, which weighs 19kg.

“Art has been my hobby since high school and it is therapeutical for me, so I enjoy sharing that with the students,” said Rico. “Art can be used as a healthy and productive coping mechanism and helps the students broaden their skills.”