It was a little tricky walking into art teacher Gail Sullivan's room without risking dirty footprints on the white paper covering the floor and taped into place. The Chocachatti Elementary School third-, fourth- and fifth-graders managed to squeeze around the rim to prepare themselves for their Copy Cats MicroSociety.
In an earlier session, the children had attached sponge flower, butterfly and hummingbird shapes to poster boards. This was the day their teacher would attach those to a large roller the students would then move across the paper, creating a giant print in green, blue, pink and orange.
Of course, footprints were not meant to be part of the art, so children put plastic bags over their socks to keep things clean. They also had the option of wearing old shoes that would be no worse with a little added color. This apparently only added to the fun.
"We got to take our shoes off, and it was really messy and colorful," said fifth-grader Gianna Casagrande, 10.
The school's MicroSocieties are twice-weekly classes that students choose to give them experiences beyond regular school subjects. Gianna explained why she chose Copy Cats.
"I like to do art, and I was in this micro for almost three years," she said. "I really like it because we get to do a lot of fun activities."
Fourth-grader Jose Malave, 9, said that Copy Cats gives him a way to use his knowledge creatively.
He added: "I also like Copy Cats because of all the events and cool stuff you can do."
Said third-grader Trinity Walz, 9: "I like all the artistic things that we do. I liked how we walked on the paint. That was fun."
Sullivan co-directs Copy Cats with science resource teacher Ruth Markham.
"We learn about artists, and we learn about artists' styles and do some copying," Sullivan said.
She has all kinds of options with this particular micro, but had promised the students they would do printmaking this year, and they seemed to love it.
They all got a souvenir, too.
"Everybody's going to get a piece of the artwork," she said.