Handwork & Woodwork
Practical arts support the development of hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity, and the ability to realize a two-dimensional design in three dimensions, which is a useful lifelong skill.
In the early elementary grades, all students learn to knit, crochet, sew by hand, and embroider. In sixth grade students make a doll, and in seventh grade learn to quilt. Handwork culminates with the use of an electric sewing machine in eighth grade. Throughout the grades, projects are of a practical nature: pot holders, toys, scarves, socks, and other articles of clothing. All work is done with an appreciation for and development of aesthetic qualities.
Woodworking begins in fifth grade, when students develop a feel for their material by rasping and sanding a darning egg out of a square block of wood. Students then move on to concave shapes like bowls, which involve digging into the wood. Sixth grade projects, typically forks and spoons, begin to reflect the style of individual children. Seventh graders build wooden boats, using scaled drawings as a guide. Eighth graders build furniture, usually chairs or stools, and are introduced to power tools. Woodworking helps develop focus, creativity, perseverance, and skillfulness of eye and hand. Throughout, the teacher attempts to awaken an appreciation for the combination of usefulness and beauty.