In every subject and at every grade level in the school, art is seen as an essential instructional tool. In the early years, artistic work precedes academic work. Instruction in drawing, painting, and modeling happens daily in the grades. The first medium the children use for modeling is beeswax, a natural material that warms to the touch. Clay is introduced in the upper elementary grades.
With drawing and painting, children in the early grades begin to bring forms out of the colors: mountains, trees, horses, people. In first grade children encounter the letters of the alphabet in the form of pictures. A picture of a fish may be transformed into the letter "F." In math lessons, children sometimes learn fractions and multiplication tables through the use of form drawings that illustrate the relationships between various numbers. Students often draw or paint themes from stories they hear in Main Lesson as a way of experiencing their lessons more deeply.