Friday, August 12, 2011

Tour of the Atrium: Art

Today on the tour, I want to share photos of the art supplies in the Good Shepherd Atrium. Making art is a great way for children to continue meditating on the piece of scripture or moment of the liturgy which they are exploring. Occasionally we offer the children a specific group project that they can help to create, such as making the "Alleluia" banner before Lent. But in general, rather than completing specific crafts as a group, a supply of good quality art materials is always available in the room and children choose what they would like to do on their own.

Many materials in the room have an artistic extension connected to them - for example after becoming familiar with the altar, children can make a booklet of rubbings of the articles of the altar. In the photo on the left, you can see a sandpaper representation of the paten (the plate that holds the bread). The children place a piece of paper over the clipboard and rub it with a crayon to make an impression.

After working with the colors of the Church year, children can make a collage of the chasubles labeling when they are worn. (You can see an example on the right). Extensions like these are available throughout the room and the children enjoy doing them over and over.

Here is a quick look at some of the art materials available in the Good Shepherd Atrium.

This is our light table, used for tracing. The basket on the left holds many simple religious images, and words of scripture that children like to trace and illustrate. On the bookshelf to the right are some clip boards, stacks of tracing paper and plain white paper, and trays of colored pencils that children can pick up to use at other tables in the room.

This shelf holds gluing trays and mats on the top shelf. On the second shelf you see crayons and pencils on the left, a cutting exercise (which is good practical life work) in the center, and a whole punch and rings or pipe cleaners for making booklets on the right. On the bottom shelf on the left, is a punching exercise (using a stylus with a pin on the end to punch out the image of a chalice or paten). On the right are the materials needed to learn to glue in the atrium. From time to time, we also set out stamps, modeling clay, and watercolor paints for the children to use for their reflection.


  1. The art extensions are very popular with the children, especially the light table for tracing. It gives them another way to meditate and experience the work. I love watching them with the art materials. It's amazing to see what shows up on paper. Sometimes they can express their thoughts better through art.

  2. Very wonderful suggestions! It is so impressive that the children are learning so much. Keep up the good work. Teachers in the other atrium are also doing a nice work.


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