Second graders at Whitemarsh Elementary School (WES) recently painted rocks for a garden in the school's outdoor classroom. The students were charged with painting the rocks to reflect their own individuality.
"I like rainbows, so I painted my rock like a rainbow," said WES Second Grader Maeve O'Connell.
"I chose purple, green, orange and teal, because I like those colors," said WES Second Grader Jacob Yuh. "It's fun, because we don't get to do this very often."
The project was inspired by the book "Only One You," written and illustrated by Linda Kranz. In the story, Papa and Mama fish shared some wisdom — like looking for beauty in your surroundings and appreciating differences — with a young fish named Adri. The brightly colored fish in the illustrations were actually painted rocks created by the author.
"It related to the book, because there were different kinds of fish, and every one was a different shape and size," said WES Second Grader Eimily Dinofa. "I like how we all get to make our own fish in different ways."
After painting the rocks, the students took them outside and put them in the garden, where the teachers had spread blue aquarium rocks.
"My favorite part was when they were placing the rocks in the garden," said WES Art Teacher Rochelle Rocchi. "You can really see everything coming together with all of the different colors."
The garden is planned to grow and evolve as new classes of second graders add their painted rocks in the future.