Today we brought the topic of endangered species close to home and my younger campers listened to the story Hatch by local author and illustrator Jeuanne Atkin.
My older campers got to dig deep into where these turtles come from, why they are so special and what we can do to help them thrive with the help of a little documentary!
Everyone then created a mixed media piece of our special turtles finding their way to the big wide ocean, I think one kiddo chose to make her turtle heading towards the beach instead... so about to lay her eggs! Totally adorable and oh so impactful!
All my campers listened to the story of The Lorax today and of course some of them had seen the movie. What can I say? Dr. Suess strikes again! The Lorax who “speaks for the trees” had them all in a trance with his rhymes and made up words. 😁
My little campers made a Truffela forest collage out of felt and my older kids did a slightly more complex version... drawing in a few of the characters from the story!
Listen to the Wind is a children’s adaptation of the novel Three Cups of Tea which I’ve read so coming across this was like magic! It’s the real life tale of Greg Mortenson who ventured to climb the Himalayan mountains and got lost and hurt. The was helped by the villagers of Korphe whom he vowed to repay by building them a school.
The children’s version is told in the voice of the village kids and it is just beautiful! BUT this book is also equally incredibly gorgeous to look at! The pages are all 3D so it is very tactile and it was the perfect inspiration for our mixed media piece! 💖
From the authors of The Gruffalo come this adorable story of kindness and generosity that is bound to melt your heart while also giving you the giggles!
The giant ant basically goes from being scruffy to spiffy (my kinda word 😁) and then because he is so big-hearted he gives all his new clothes away to others that he meets along the way because they need them slightly more than him. In the end he wins the hearts of the town and they give him a huge makeshift crown!
My little campers are all sweet and kind just like the spiffy giant so they made portraits of themselves wearing kindness crowns today!
Today my older campers spent the morning painting their Sneetches... and then working on their fiber arts! I have to say I was a teeny bit nervous of whipping out my burlap and yarn with the boys but I am super pleased to report that this was such a HUGE HIT! Not just with the girls but with everyone! Maybe because it's sooooo different from what they usually do, I may as well have landed a spaceship in front of some of them LOL but they were really intrigued by sewing.
The idea was to think up of a little quote, or 'hashtag' to bring it into this generation, that spoke to our theme of kindness. I talked to them about creating something with balance, filling the space with not just words but maybe a picture or symbol. Then they embroidered this onto pieces of burlap to create their very own 'compli-mats'. Heh heh... I hope you get my pun there. Take a look at your sweet kids sewing like there's no tomorrow.... most of them aren't finished so they'll take them out again tomorrow.
This adorable story tells of Herbie a little boy with some big goals! LOL! He wanted to be noticed and he figured that the best way to do that was to become a monster, so he set about trying to do just that. It really takes a sweet turn when the last monster makes him see that it is so much nicer to be nice than it is to be mean! Another great story to add to our theme of kindness!
To expose them to yet another medium my campers manipulated some yarn and turned these balls of wool into seriously adorable yarn monsters... of the sweet variety, not the mean! They are tiny because they had to wind them around a piece of cardboard so they couldn't be made too large because they would have been difficult for their little hands and arms to handle. They are just the perfect size to use as zipper pulls though! As a matter of fact, my kids have already tied theirs onto their lunchbags! Take a look!
Today my little campers listened to the story It's OK To Be Different by Todd Parr and again this is full of sweet little examples of how we can be different but still essentially the same! We're really building on our theme of Kindness, Empathy and Tolerance day after day!
For our art connection they created some VERY DIFFERENT faces and while they were at it they learned or reviewed their secondary colours, shapes and of course worked out those motor skills by cutting out their shapes! This is so darn cute and there is so much creativity because they are just told to make a face and they were given examples of what they could add, by chatting about what we could wear in our hair, what hair could look like or maybe how we can change the look of a face.
So proud of them!
Now it may very well be an impossible task to choose a Dr. Seuss favourite but The Sneetches is right up there on the list of my favourite children’s books of all time... not just Seuss!
Just read this excerpt and you’ll see why
“Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches- Had bellies with stars.
The Plain-Belly Sneetches-Had none upon thars.
Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small.
You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.
But, because they had stars, all the Star-Belly Sneetches
Would brag, “We’re the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches.
With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they’d snort
“We’ll have nothing to do with the Plain-Belly sort!”
And whenever they met some, when they were out walking,
They’d hike right on past them without even talking.”
For those of you who are curious to see more I've included a vid of the story... it's such a treat!
The message here is crystal clear, and in a way that only Suess can, he underscores just how silly it is to discriminate and be mean to others because they look different than you do.
After they listened to the story we had a very interesting discussion about what it meant. Why the sneetches were different, what made them so, were those differences real? How did they learn to act this way and why? What words would you use to describe the Star-Bellied Sneetch? What words would you use to describe the Plain-Bellied Sneetch? What do you think of the Star-Machine Man? Boy I just LOVED this story!! At the end of course I asked them what was the moral and we deduced that Sneetches are Sneetches, just like people are people. When I say we put the ART in SMartTY PANTS... this is just what I mean!
For our art the campers made a Plaster Paris Sneetch so they got to create an armature and work on creating a 3D work or art! We're not done yet though so we'll be working on these again tomorrow and then they'll be ready to be adored for all their glorious Sneetchiness!! Let's see which of my campers will put "a star upon thars!" LOL
This sweet book really describes what EMPATHY means in a way that little children can understand. The style is rythmic and such a joy to read!
“When my mother was sick with a tummy bug, I knew she needed a big snuggly hug. I rubbed her back and patted her hand and said “I’m so sorry, I do understand.”
For our art the campers created some plaster Paris Jim Dine styled hearts! These were so much fun to make and the kids had a great time mimicking Dine’s easy and colourful style!
We're All Wonders is picture book adaptation of the terrific children's novel turned major motion picture Wonder. It's simple and beautiful message that we are all special no matter what we look like is delivered in a way that's relatable for young children, but still engaging enough for the older kids as well.
We talked about how Auggie (the boy in the book) must have felt when people stared at him, or when people didn't want to be his friend just because he looked different. They were all truly moved and they were eager to get to paint our wonder portraits!
My younger campers traced an outline of a face and drew in the one eye that is visible Auggie-style and then they used the wet-on-wet technique to create an abstract face that is nothing short of 'wonder-ful'... wink wink
My older campers also did a wonder-portrait but they tried adapting it to look more like them. So in essence they put themselves in Auggie's shoes (showing a bit of empathy) and they also had to come up with several different ways they could be kind to others! This is a perfect example of using art to send a message and really make a statement!
Be a fly on the wall in our art room! Take a look at what we do, how we do it and the smiles that I get to see week after week :)