Janesville53.2°

Milton students create art, exercise

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ANN MARIE AMES
February 15, 2009
— It’s a parent’s dream come true.

The joyful noise of 10 hammers pounding 10 pieces of leather—somewhere other than in the living room.


Leatherworking was one of 27 choices Saturday morning at the 16th annual Super Saturday at Milton West Elementary, 825 W. Madison Ave.


The event lets Milton elementary students in kindergarten through third grade explore hobbies, career choices or academics in a relaxed setting one Saturday morning a year. The classes—everything from computers to karate to cooking—were hosted by local businesses, volunteers and teachers.


Bill and Tammy Erickson of Erickson’s Crafts, Janesville, watched patiently as 10 kids pounded their physical and creative energy into stamped bookmarks and coasters. The two have taught at the event for five years, Bill said.


A classroom around the corner was filled with the sound of a skill parents might not mind hearing at home: origami.


Paper rustled and crinkled as boys and girls created cups, frogs and penguins with the help of sixth-grade science teacher Daniel Hulstrom.


In between folding, Madysen Moxley, 9, showed off the tricks she learned in magic class earlier in the morning. Then she turned to parent volunteer Sue Connaway for help with her origami.


“It’s OK,” Connaway said. “Not every penguin is perfect.”


With new confidence, Madysen sat down and helped kindergartener Samantha Jessie with her penguin.


Down the hall from the ancient art of Japanese paper folding was another art form that only can be associated with modern Hollywood: Claymation.


Students drew storyboards on white paper. Then they sculpted the characters for their short movies. Milton West art teacher Allison Kyle filmed the figures in action on a tabletop stage.


Here is a sample of the stories:


-- “Break Record” by Jacob Stalker, a Milton West third-grader.


Jacob designed a purple car that broke a jumping record over a ramp. Jacob noted that the car seated four and that the back tires were larger than those up front.


That made the car go faster and “looked cool,” he said.


The artists started with plain, white Crayola Model Magic. They colored it with markers and then ripped and shaped it into patterns and parts, Jacob said.


-- “Boring People” by Ben Borgerding, a Milton West third-grader, and Mike Kneiert, a Harmony Elementary third-grader.


Mike’s clay man, Bob, sipped on a can of cherry soda. An unnamed figure, voiced by Ben, tried to tell Bob about a problem.


Bob ignored his clay friend until the two characters parted ways.


Boring people indeed, but very well crafted.


-- “Bionicle and Astronaut” by Joe Forsting, a Milton West second-grader.


A bionicle is half monster and half robot, Joe said, noting he had lot of bionicles at home.


Astronaut Ted and the bionicle are both from the moon. Ted tries to escape from the monster in his space rover. But the bionicle is five times Ted’s size, and escape is futile.


The bionicle eats Ted.


On the Web


To see the claymation movies made by Milton School District students during Super Saturday activity day, click here.

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