Canyon-Lister students write stories inspired by clay masks

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Clay — a gray, heavy, shapeless, slimy, malleable mass. Clay — a clump to shape, knead, fold, pinch, carve. Clay — a story untold.

The Grade 4/5 students of Canyon-Lister Elementary School began with a vision: to use the medium of clay to create a mask that tells a story. Just as clay on a pottery wheel takes on its individual shape, so did the students’ artistic visions.

With each day, the masks took on their own shapes and with it, the stories behind the masks had to change as well. In spite of a few frustrations and creative challenges, with perseverance each student’s mask and story became one. The sculpting, the distinctive features and the choice of colours added the personal details. The clay masks became a creative expression of each individual student; a story unfolded.

The memories of this artistic endeavor will always include the visions of muddy fingers, lots of smiles and creative chaos! As their teacher, I am so very proud of each student’s willingness to take a risk, to be creative and to share their vision.

Thank you to Sandy Kunze, our “classroom artist”, for sharing your amazing artistic talents with all of us. You are an inspiration and a wonderful teacher. To Bruce Johnson: Your classroom assistance was invaluable. Thank you!

— Brian Ewashen,

Canyon-Lister Elementary School

Grade 4/5 teacher


Poor Bob

Once there was a little boy named Bob. Bob had a big nose and had big blue eyes. Bob grew very fast. He still had his bike from when he was five. He had a lot of money saved for something.

Bob lost his wallet when he was older. Bob was poor for a while. But Bob eventually found his wallet, and he was not poor anymore because he had a lot of money again. Bob thought of what he wanted to buy. Bob bought a house and a car. And, he bought a new pair of clothes.

Bob got a job at a motorcycle shop. Once at the end of a shift Bob bought a motorcycle. And once when Bob was riding his motorcycle a twig cut his cheek and he had to get four stiches.

— Colin Huss


The Sea Creature Capture

Once there was a bottlenose dolphin named Bignose. He was like most bottlenose dolphins except he was much more mischievous.

One day, he didn’t want to stay by his mom Bubbles, so he swam far away before his mom could see where he went. He swam with his friend, Lary the Lobster, all around where Bignose’s pod protects that part of the ocean. Bignose told Lary about his escape from his mom. They talked and talked for a long time until Bignose’s dolphin sensed vibrations in the water coming toward him. Bignose remembers what his mom told him about vibrations. He thought that the vibrations were about as fast as a shark’s. He warned Lary and told him to follow him or hide. Lary decided to try to blend in in the coral. Bignose tried swimming the opposite way, away from the vibrations, but it was too late! He was surrounded by sharks!

The leader of the “evil” sharks named Master Kong didn’t notice Lary hiding in the coral.

“Come with us!” Master Kong said, threatening Bignose. Master Kong, the sharks and Bignose, swam for a little while, with Lary following from a safe distance until Master Kong said, “We’re here!” Bignose saw a cage in the distance.

“In there, give him food and lock him inside!” ordered Master Kong.

Bignose was locked in the cage for about two days. In those two days, Lary tried to steal the cage key to unlock Bignose, but the shark was guarding the key.

On the third day, the sharks said they were going to another part of the ocean to hunt. They gave Bignose extra fish and swam off to hunt some fish. This was Lary’s chance! He crawled over to the cage with the key and then unlocked Bignose. Right away, Bignose swam flips and summersaults, “I’m free, I’m free!”

“Shhhh!” said Lary, “They’re going to hear us!”

“Where are we?” But, then he felt vibrations that felt familiar! It was his mother’s! He swam to her and they hugged as dolphins hug and thanked Lary for saving him.

Lary and the bottlenose dolphin family lived happily ever after and the sharks never captured dolphins again. That is why the dolphin on my mask is happy!

— Emma Penner



This story is about a monkey named Chewy. He’s five feet tall, his arm span is six feet long, and he is the smallest monkey in the community!

This takes place in a monkey kingdom of Al Kardi. One day, officials threw Chewy out by grabbing his tongue. After Chewy was banished, he climbed to the tallest tree in the world. There was Titan, a huge eagle, sitting on his nest. Chewy talked about how he stole the fruit from his colony and was banished. Titan told him to apologize and ask if he could come back in the colony. Chewy thanked the eagle and climbed down the tree.

When Chewy got down to the bottom, he apologized and tried to get back in the community. Each time he tried, the bodyguard threw him out.

He went to meet with Vector, the Monkey King. Vector told him he needed to return the fruit he stole. Chewy told him he had already eaten it and wondered if he could go find more to replace it. Vector agreed. Chewy did just that. He lived happily ever after in the community and never stole again.

— Colton Gibbons