SSES Students Honor Veterans With Clay and Paper Poppies

Students at Samuel Staples Elementary School are honoring veterans this Veterans Day with two special art installations.

Art teachers Samantha Sabia and Allan Bates organized the project for every student to create a poppy, a symbol of remembrance for veterans.

Approximately 200 clay poppies are on display in the grass in front of the school and paper poppies also wrap a staircase inside the school.

The school has always honored veterans in different ways in the past, but this year’s project was inspired by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, two artists who created ceramic poppies in London back in 2014.

“We wanted every student to create a poppy, however we weren’t sure if it would be feasible to have everyone make a ceramic poppy,” Sabia said. “We played around with the idea of creating paper poppies, bringing in elements of art and principles of design when creating their piece. After experimenting with several different types of paper and other materials, we came up with several versions of poppies that the younger students would create.”

 Kindergarten and first graders explored the different values of reds on tissue paper to create their poppies. Second and third graders learned how to take a two-dimensional piece of construction paper and turn it into a three-dimensional poppy.

Paper display made by students in grades K-3 at Samuel Staples Elementary School to honor veterans.

The paper poppies are wrapped along the staircase in the main lobby of the school to create a wave of red to show their love, appreciation, and remembrance for veterans.

Fourth and fifth graders have been working on ceramic poppies currently displayed outside of the school. The
poppies will remain on display on the grass outside the school for a large portion of the month.

“These lessons were planned to inform the students about the importance of Veteran’s Day and how they would be able to give back to the brave men and women who served our country,” Sabia said.

Photographs by Rick Falco


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