Summer Series: Student Art Sample [6th Grade]

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Over the course of our summer we will feature various artists and art pieces from each Jenison elementary school as well as the Junior High and High School. Each piece was carefully chosen by our art teachers and we hope you will enjoy the talents and hard work of our students while you also enjoy a beautiful and relaxing summer!

“Complementary Color Wheel Graffiti Name”
By Mady Popma
Bursley Elementary

We began this unit with the background and history of the art form of graffiti. During the first step in this process Mady had to choose a graffiti font, and sketch her name in the middle of the paper. Next, we studied color mixing. Using tempera paint in primary colors [red, yellow and blue], students were able to create secondary colors [green, orange and violet], and tertiary colors [red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet and red-violet]. The next challenge for Mady was to divide her Graffiti Name into 12 sections. She mixed paint and filled in each of the background sections of the color wheel with paint she mixed. After completing the background, Mady created a second color wheel within her name, this time using complementary colors, or those across from one another on the color wheel. Finally, Mady had to outline everything very carefully with black paint.

Mady did an outstanding job on this project. It was very challenging, and Mady showed not only excellent craftsmanship, but perseverance as well.

Mady and her artwork were selected by her Bursley Elementary art teacher, Ginger Brown.

Summer Series: Student Art Sample [5th Grade]

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Over the course of our summer we will feature various artists and art pieces from each Jenison elementary school as well as the Junior High and High School. Each piece was carefully chosen by our art teachers and we hope you will enjoy the talents and hard work of our students while you also enjoy a beautiful and relaxing summer!

“Optical Illusion”
By Aurora Sorrelle
Pinewood Elementary

During this unit on “Op Art” students studied various artworks which displayed an optical illusion. We discovered that creating the look of a 3 dimensional object on 2 dimensional paper is in fact an optical illusion. Aurora divided her square paper into 8 sections. The first part of the illusion occurred when Aurora created curved lines within each section, giving them shape. These stripes were then colored with colored pencil in an alternating pattern. Aurora then used a shading technique which gives the artwork the appearance of being 3 dimensional.

Aurora was patient and careful with her pencil strokes as well as the varying pressure necessary to create the illusion. This project was tedious at times, and Aurora’s persistence paid off with a beautiful result in this artwork.

Aurora and her artwork were selected by her Pinewood Elementary art teacher, Ginger Brown.

Summer Series: Student Art Sample [4th Grade]

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Over the course of our summer we will feature various artists and art pieces from each Jenison elementary school as well as the Junior High and High School. Each piece was carefully chosen by our art teachers and we hope you will enjoy the talents and hard work of our students while you also enjoy a beautiful and relaxing summer!

“Tropical Toucan”
By Jordan Guyot
Bauerwood Elementary

For this project the students learned about the tropical rain forest, why rain forests are being destroyed, and discussed ways they could be restored and preserved.  It was a lot of fun listening to the 4th graders’ conversations on these topics.

Once the students learned about tropical rain forests they went on to demonstrate their observational drawing skills.  They looked at images and videos of tropical toucans.  Then they were instructed to observes the shapes, colors, and details of toucans.  Next they used their observational drawing skills to draw a realistic toucan.

First, the students drew the toucans in pencil then they outlined them with oil pastels.  Next, they went on to paint them with watercolor to demonstrate the wax resist painting technique.  The students were instructed to experiment with color mixing and to create realistic colors that would be seen on toucans and in the rain forest.  It was really fun to see how every student put their own twist on this project and every painting was unique.

Jordan Guyot is a very talented young artist whose artwork always stands out.  She displays superb craftsmanship and creativity.  She is always willing to take the extra time to make her art one of a kind, which sets her apart from her class. While creating this mixed media toucan Jordan had a specific vision in mind, and she executed her vision beautifully.  I cannot wait to see the future creations of this budding artist!

Jordan and her artwork were chosen by her Bauerwood Elementary art teacher, Ashley Hankamp.

Summer Series: Student Art Sample [3rd Grade]

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This summer we will feature a writing sample from a student in each grade as we all enjoy a beautiful summer in West Michigan! Please join us each week to read these fantastic teacher-submitted examples of excellent writing!

“Friends and Rainbows”
by Evelyn Fortney 
Bursley Elementary

Art with a Big Idea! Community Collage

In art class students are not only learning how to use materials and techniques, but also how to communicate “Big Ideas”— those that are personal, important, and a part of every person’s life. For this project students discussed and brainstormed all the various communities they belong to, and focused on one that is particularly important in their life. This community became the catalyst for a collage.

Evelyn was inspired by a memory of playing with her friends. Describing this memory, she said, “I still remember it! In first grade we went outside and there was a rainbow. No one else was by the tire swing. We each got a lot of pushes because no one else was waiting.” Evelyn began by making the various pieces needed for her collage “Friends and Rainbows”. Evelyn put a lot of thought into the details of the various parts. From ruffles on dresses, to a tire swing and textured grass, I was impressed with her attention to detail and seeing the way she made her ideas come to life through paper.

It was the next step of the project that highlighted Evelyn’s creative thinking and excellent problem solving skills. When it was time to assemble the the pieces into a collage, Evelyn had a vision of developing her collage into a 3-Dimensional version. I believe that for Evelyn, these kinds of challenges and problems to solve launch her into her best-artist self; the problems to solve invigorate and excite her creative brain! It is a delight to watch her work. Soon, Evelyn had constructed a wonderful scene of her and her friends playing on the playground. You can feel the movement of the girl in the tire swing as her arms sway to the side. There is a sense of whimsy with the clothing, rainbow, and metallic grass— simultaneously sophisticated and yet perfect for an elementary artist. And if you take the time to really look, you’ll notice so many unexpected and delightful details. Flowers and “Mint Gum” in the purse, a wallet in one of the girl’s hands. The more you look at this artwork, the more you will appreciate the scene that Evelyn has created. Evelyn has infused this artwork with the joy of childhood!

Evelyn and her artwork was selected by her elementary art teacher, Emily Derusha.

Summer Series: Student Art Sample [2nd Grade]

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Over the course of our summer we will feature various artists and art pieces from each Jenison elementary school as well as the Junior High and High School. Each piece was carefully chosen by our art teachers and we hope you will enjoy the talents and hard work of our students while you also enjoy a beautiful and relaxing summer!

“My Community”
By Dylan Nichols
Pinewood Elementary

For this project the students learned about the the three different types of communities.  The students examined the similarities and differences between the different types of communities.  Then they went on to design their own mixed media community!

First Dylan drew his imaginative community in pencil then he outlined his drawing with sharpie.  Then went on to complete his community by painting it with watercolor.

The students also learned about Vincent Van Gogh and color theory while creating this project.  The students demonstrated their understanding of color theory by creating a background with a color scheme of their choice.  Dylan used warm colors and white to create in Starry Night inspired background.  His community painting was then collaged on top of his Starry Night background to create a beautiful masterpiece!

Dylan is a very creative and talented young artist whose artwork always stands out.  I love his imagination and his ability to think outside the box.  Dylan said his favorite part of this project was designing his city and using the metallic paint on the stars.  Dylan is a very hard worker and I cannot wait to see his future creations!

Dylan and his artwork were chosen by his Pinewood Elementary art teacher, Ashley Hankamp.

Summer Series: Student Art Sample [Kindergarten]

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Over the course of our summer we will feature various artists and art pieces from each Jenison elementary school as well as the Junior High and High School. Each piece was carefully chosen by our art teachers and we hope you will enjoy the talents and hard work of our students while you also enjoy a beautiful and relaxing summer!

Untitled
By Molly Dobbs
Sandy Hill Elementary

Molly Dobbs is an amazing kindergarten artist! She is constantly creating art that goes above and beyond in class. Her imagination is one that is a “gem” in the world of artists. The two works of art that I have chosen both have examples of Molly’s great craftsmanship and wonderful imagination. She has added her own snowman to the Landscape painting we created [below]. In the bug jar, she has added a flashlight that is shining on her Moth.

It is a joy to have Molly in my Art class. She is always amazing me with her own style!

Molly’s and her artwork were selected by her elementary art teacher, Mrs. Streelman- Dismukes.

Summer Series: Student Writing Sample [High School]

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This summer we will feature a writing sample from a student in each grade as we all enjoy a beautiful summer in West Michigan! Please join us each week to read these fantastic teacher-submitted examples of excellent writing!

Guard Dog
By Skyler Maitner

I dialed the number for a third time hoping that he would answer. My nervous fingers scrambled on the old, peeling paint of the windowsill. The sun high in the sky shone in my eyes as I listened to the annoyingly loud phone dial.

“Hello, this is Rob, how can I help you?”

“Dad it’s me. I know I’m not supposed to call your work number but this is important,” I replied frantically.

“What’s wrong?”

“King got off of his leash and Kyle Isn’t home to put him back, will you please call him and tell him to come home?”

My fingers gripped the landline tightly as I watched my neighbors pitbull run circles in his yard, barking vigorously.

“Sky,” countered my father, “Kyle is busy at work, just go over there, grab his leash, and put him in the garage.”

I glanced out the window and took in the size of the dog. King’s strong shoulders came up to my abdomen. His back legs were built with muscle, allowing to jump up and over me if he pleased. Although I had been around the dog numerous times before, the idea of getting pinned to the ground by an overly hyper, 90 pound dog was very unappealing, Especially when seven year old me was just about equal weight to the dog soaking wet. However, even that was the least of my problems.

“Dad you don’t understand. There’s this guy parked in Kyle’s driveway, and king doesn’t seem to like him.”

“What do you mean?”

The glossy back sedan was parked askew in the driveway. I watched as the man I never met before strode with purpose up to King. King was trained to protect his home and the people inside, therefore strangers in his yard didn’t suit him too well. The man’s shoulders were hunched forward as he stormed up to the dog. The stranger had a determined look in his eye, but hiding behind that were wisps of arrogance and fear. King continued to bark as the man got closer to him, rearing up. The man thrust his hand down towards Kingts head, most likely to grip his black fabric harness. King growled and froze, watching his movements. The man snapped his arm back up to his side, startled by the dog’s actions. He turned on his heel and started at a full sprint back to his vehicle. A mistake on his part. With a few long bounds, King lunged forward and caught the fabric of his blue jeans in his mouth, tearing a strip off. The man stumbled but continued to run before making it inside his closed vehicle.

“Nevermind I think he’s leaving now. Please still call Kyle though, King’s too big for me to grab.”

“Okay I will, just let me know what happens, alright?”

“Yes Dad.”

I hung up the phone and looked out of the window again. I was shocked to find that the man hadn’t driven away, he was just sitting in his car, almost like he was waiting for something.

King sat like a statue ten feet from the sedan, watching him. I began to get a sinking feeling in my stomach, but I wasn’t sure why.

King’s interest in the man lessened as the pitbull went to walk around the side of the house. However the car still stayed stagnant in the driveway.

I left my bedroom to return the landline to its charger in the kitchen. As I walked through the living room, I checked on my own two dogs, just to be sure that they weren’t freaking out after seeing King outside. When I returned to my bedroom window, my stomach dropped. In the short amount of time that I had left, two police cars now were parked in the street. I watched as two officers from each vehicle approached the house. My hands began to shake as they strategically walked up to King in a pattern that was meant to trap King against the side of the house. I frantically ran back to retrieve the phone and dial my dad’s number. My hands shook the the extent that even holding the phone was difficult for me.

“Hello, this is Rob-” He answered one more.

“Dad, Dad you’ve got to get Kyle to come home there’s police here and- ‘

‘Slow down! What are you even talking about?”

“There’s police here and Kings guarding the house and he’s scared and I don’t know what

“There are cops there? Okay I’m going to call Kyle again. Just stay where you’re at, all right? I’ll call you right back.”

The line went dead as I pulled the phone away from my ear. I continued to watch the scene across the street unfold in front of my eyes. King was backed up against the house, the hair of his back raised in a line, barking to the point where his voice was becoming hoarse. One of the officers took another step forward. I could see panic and fear mixing in the dog’s eyes. King lunged forward to find an escape from the trap the police officers before him had set.

The officer in front took the advance from the dog entirely differently, and he quickly drew the pistol from the holster at his hip. The officer held the gun just below his chest, aiming the barrel directly at King. His second hand was braced against the butt of the handle, his legs were separated and slightly bent to find firm grounding. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I sat helplessly, too shocked and scared to do anything other than watch.

King took another step.

I saw it before I heard it.

King’s face recoiled back first, then his body fell to the ground in a heap. Blood specks flew out from his mouth. Less than a second later, the loud crack of the gunshot reached my ears. Despite the distance, it felt like the gun had been fired off directly next to my ear. The world around me felt as though I was underwater, the noises around me were long and distorted. Slowly it came back to normal, like somebody was holding a fast forward button on a remote to my life. The ringing of my ears dominated all other sounds around me.

I screamed out, tears now a steady flow down my face, gasping for breath. My chest ached as I slowly fell on my knees, sobbing openly.

The officer returned to firearm to his holster and stared down at the dog momentarily. The police turned around to go back to their vehicles to file a report. My eyes were locked on Kings bloodied body in the grass. Flecks of blood painted the previously perfect white picket fence behind him. The man that was earlier locked in his sedan, now stood calmly in front the the officers, flailing his arms about as he pointed to various places around him.

As I looked back at king once more, I noticed the tiny rise and fall of his chest cavity. He was still breathing, very much alive and very much in pain. King was later subject to intensive surgery. The bullet shot through his front teeth and down his throat, causing to lose his ability to bark. King pulled through just fine, however I do not believe that afternoon will ever be erased from my memory.

Skyler Maitner is a graduated member of the Class of 2016 and this short story was submitted by twelfth grade English teacher, Aaron Brossiet.

Summer Series: Student Writing Sample [High School]

LogoThis summer we will feature a writing sample from a student in each grade as we all enjoy a beautiful summer in West Michigan! Please join us each week to read these fantastic teach-submitted examples of excellent writing!

Sown
By Elijah Drake

I grew out of a backyard
where broken bones were weeds and weeds
were really flowers
I was watered by picnics
and beach visits
Forests, God, Sharon Creech,
Coffee, Parents, Love
Eternal love
I was trimmed with insults screaming worthless
and an award proclaiming
Big Picture World-Thinker Man
I was fertilized by phone calls
home
Good night moon
A musical fountain, The musical fountain
Bike Rides that lengthened our leash
Sunlight that came through
Skylights over my Grandma’s table
a since moved kitchen
and a broken pray-house roof
Branches grew around iron fences
and do not enters
wood splinters
lost jobs, no money, hot dogs
The backyard slowly grew too- smaller
even now it fades
(as fall leaves often do)
from the animation it held
the power of experience a gardener

Elijah Drake is a graduated member of the Class of 2016. This poem was submitted by his twelfth grade English teacher, Mr Brossiet. 

Summer Series: Student Writing Sample [High School]

LogoThis summer we will feature a writing sample from a student in each grade as we all enjoy a beautiful summer in West Michigan! Please join us each week to read these fantastic teacher-submitted examples of excellent writing!

Note from the Author: This story is about a relationship struggle I went through that ended poorly, and the ways I was able to conquer/get over the tragic feeling of loss. Talking a little bit about myself, I have a very big passion for helping the poor and needy. I have been on a couple mission trips including to Florida, in our community, Grand Rapids, and Haiti. Those days have changed my life completely. I am also very athletic. I was in soccer for five years, plus volleyball, and am in marching band hopefully throughout my whole high school years. I love to play music. It gives me the chance to relax, letting stress leave the body. I’m in the top concert band currently, playing clarinet for my sixth year. On the side, I play an additional instrument, piano, which I enjoy practicing in my free time. Furthermore, I sing in my church band every Sunday.
— Rachel Warner

The Falling Grace
By Rachel Warner

            I can still remember when I was best friends with a girl who was passionate and full of life, loving and kind. That smile on her face and that laugh of hers brightened my day and that itself made everything worthwhile. We would hang out all the time,  telling each other our deepest of secrets and could fully trust one another. And then, as the days got longer, I started to realize that the connection we once had before was gone. She said nothing and headed for the door, leaving me dumbfounded; leaving me stranded. She left me with nothing but pictures, old memories to look at when I was feeling alone and empty. I can still recall that day when she began to be nothing more than another face it the crowd.

“What did I do?” I cried. “I don’t understand why this is happening.”

“Nothing. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. Stop asking me about it,” she said as she turned on her heels and walked away.

It killed me inside to know that I wasn’t good enough. That she was entirely and utterly fine without me. Those days became months and I was still hiding myself in my room, crying. Not wanting to talk to anyone. I just lay there, listening to the sad music I had planned to listen to. That light started to fade and I couldn’t stay away from the monsters that were catching up.

Staring at the ceiling, I listened to the music ringing in my ears. “Save me I’m drowning alive / And keep me from dying inside / I only want to find my way back home / But I can’t make it alone.”

Goodbyes are always the hardest when they are left unexplained.  Experiencing such loss is double the tragedy and most people don’t know what to do with themselves. No one should have to go through that pain of being forgotten, but having those kinds of things happen is a part of life. It helps you to be where you are today. Without those adversities, we wouldn’t be as strong and mature as before.

I have been thinking a lot about those relationships with others and how all the relationships we have in our lives affect us every day. If you look for the bad, you will always find it. If you look for the good, you will find that too, but our experience of humanity and life itself is truly up to us. Saying that you’re okay is so much easier than explaining all the reasons why you’re not.  Ironic isn’t it? How we tell others to stay strong, yet we can’t do it ourselves? That you cared so much that it destroyed you inside?  How the anger or sadness bubbles up to a rate that’s so high and you have no idea how to comprehend your feelings? I found that you have to forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.

I decided to give it one more attempt. Right when I got to school, I saw her and another friend making conversation. I made a brave move by walking up to them to say hello.

“What do you want?” she asked.

“I… well…. I just thought…”

“Okay,” she rudely interrupted.  Rolling her eyes, they walked away laughing. That was the day I finally gave up.

The purpose of life is to live in peace, to love all beings and to know who you are. Know yourself, and you know everything. Throughout my years in middle school and high school, are some of the few places where I’ve learned the most about myself. Like most people say, I don’t like school, but I don’t love it either. In my mind, high school is like the waiting room for real life. To get to the real world, you have to go through all the experiences of being a teenager.

The immaculate knowledge alone is: emptiness. How can you come out of this when there are no limits? The appearance of a manifestation is but the play of this emptiness. Know who you are here, and now, by simply being quiet. Taking some peace and quiet might be all that you need. It’s all I needed, it just took a lot longer to bandage my shattered heart. Think about where you are now and how you can get through the situation.

You deserve to live your life filled with joy and happiness. Do not let the actions of others push you away from your religion, your family, or your real friends that care and deserve to have someone like you.

You can’t force love, I realized. It’s either there or it isn’t. If it’s not there, you have to be able to admit it. If it is there, you’ve got to do whatever it takes to protect the ones you love. There comes a time in your life when you walk away from all the drama and the people who create it. Surround yourself with people who make your life, forget the bad and focus on the good and not the kinds of people who leave a trail of memories and decide not to be there to make new ones. Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of life, but getting back up is living.

Rachel is a rising junior at Jenison High School. Her persuasive narrative was submitted by her sophomore year English teacher, Mr David Hast.

Summer Series: Student Writing Sample [8th grade, JIA]

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This summer we will feature a writing sample from a student in each grade as we all enjoy a beautiful summer in West Michigan! Please join us each week to read these fantastic teacher-submitted examples of excellent writing!

Egg Can’s and the candy within
By Annabel Owen

The project or well service that I did was help with sorting cans at my church. This service is at the church to help the poor still have a good holiday. I worked with other kids my age that came to help out. My mother and sisters also helped out while they were there. Serving for the greater good can make others happy and be mentally good for your heart.

In truth the service project helped the more poor side of the community that we live in. The service project I did was described as sorting cans, although it was really for making Easter baskets for the children whose parents couldn’t afford an Easter basket. Now the children who will get them will have a wonderful Easter with candy and smiles. It not only affects the children though, the parents of these children get the best gifts which are the smiles on their Childs face. Happiness can be brought to those with little with just one gift.

This has affected me a lot, doing things for others just makes your heart glow. I’ve started to notice the small actions that people do and how it goes around affecting everyone. Just like hiccups, smiles are contagious. I’ve found what I really love and what’s most important to me through this experience. It may seem that serving and helping is hard work and not worth the effort, but in some respects there is something to gain.

Every little action we do effects something which also affects something and this process continues on forever. Everything effects everything is how I put it. The book The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens says that each person has a mental bank account and what you say either is deposit or a withdraw. In the end of it all if everyone helps here and there in this world, there would be a big difference. When people work together to change the world, they change the hearts of the people in the world.

When looking back I find it hard to believe that what I was doing was a service project. Sure at the end when we were putting socks in baggies was strange, but it was as though joyfulness had spread its wings. I wonder if the children who received the Easter baskets had as much fun as I imagined they did. Joy will known to the children and my heart is also filled with joy. It begs the question though; does everyone have such joy in helping others?

Annabel Owen is a rising 9th grader in the Jenison International Academy. Her piece was submitted by her 8th grade mentor teacher as part of an assignment studying “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and a corresponding service project.