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Archive for the ‘Fall 2009’ Category

I can’t believe we had our last session for the Fall! This workshop session was full of giving, reflecting, storytelling, and celebrating! Last week the girls completed a group project. I originally thought the piece of art was going to be donated to a local business, but after some reflection, I decided to let the girls decide to give it away to someone at St. James. They immediately thought of their principal, Mrs. Hovell. It recently had been her birthday. So, when the girls gathered, I had a card waiting that we all signed. And then the girls presented the art to Mrs. Hovell. The girls were so excited and Mrs. Hovell was surprised and loved her one-of-a-kind art work. She had the girls sign the back, so she will always remember who the art was from. The girls thought giving away art that they were apart of was fun, exciting, happy, and even a little scary.

I read the book I’m In Charge of Celebrations by Byrd Baylor to the girls. I love this book! A girl who lives in the desert believes she is in charge of her own celebrations…After seeing a triple rainbow, August 9th is Rainbow Celebration Day, September 28th is Coyote Day, and in the middle of every August is The Time of Falling Stars. I asked the girls what November 19th could be…the girls chose November 19th as Art Giving Day! I love it!

The girls finished up some storytelling. They had created a storyboard of a made-up story or an existing one. They drew pictures of the story in sequential order. A princess sees the sun and flowers and picked a flower, a girl named Ashley went to the pet store, the story of Rapunzel and a story of a boat, a flower growing bigger and bigger. Wonderful storytelling girls!

Our final celebration was that the girls received their creative arts gift bags! I sewed a bag for each girl using the easy drawstring bag pattern on the website http://www.purlbee.com. I included a small moleskin journal for poetry writing, a mini canvas for painting, watercolor postcards, rock crayons, and a scarf for storytelling fun! I had so much fun making the bags for the girls. They were so excited and I’ll always remember the looks on their faces when they received the bags. Girls, I believe you are all so creative and I can’t wait to see you in January! Love, Ms. Shelli

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Wow! I can’t believe our Fall workshops are almost over! Next Thursday (Nov. 19) will be our last session for the Fall until January, where our Winter session will pick up again. A sign-up sheet will be coming home the first Monday of December.

Our final project was a group effort. It was challenging, but we persevered and a creative mural transformed before our eyes…Next week we will be giving this mural away to someone special at St. James. To be continued…

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The  book oooh! Matisse by Mil Niepold and Jeanyves Verdu opened our session together. A colorful book that shows snippets of shapes and asks the question What is This? The girls enjoyed guessing what the bigger picture might be. A fun way to introduce Henri Matisse and his love of color and his work with paper cut-outs. Matisse spent the majority of his artist life drawing and painting, but for our session together we focused on the latter part of his artist life where he spent a lot of time on his paper cut-outs.

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The girls had an opportunity to go on a “gallery walk” and view a small portion of Matisse’s work from various art books. We came together again to learn more about Matisse and his work. I read from a book called Drawing with Scissors by Keesia Johnson and Jane O’Connor. Keesia is a young girl who wrote a report on Matisse and the book is part of the Smart about Art series. I explained the art project they would be working on as well. I found an art activity packet at the Denver Art Museum that supplied some pieces of very colorful paper as long as some shapes to be traced and cut out. I went to the art store to add some additional brightly colored paper and the girls began the hard work of tracing and cutting many colored shapes. They glued their cut-out shapes on white illustration board. The result was beautiful, colorful, and each girl had a unique Matisse-inspired art. I think Matisse would have been proud!

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My own little Matisse, Asher. I brought home this project for Asher to do. I provided Asher the cut-out shapes, a combination of color and shapes from the activity pack and ones that the girls did on their own. Asher chose the color of cut-outs, where to put the shapes and even named his piece “Wetland.” I think I might have a go at this project next. 🙂

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This week we had more storytelling fun. After I shared a few more of my personal stories, I showed the girls some old calendar pictures that I had and we chose one and I guided them through a storytelling session. We had a beginning, middle, and end and changed and added details along the way.
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Each girl was able to add something to the story, which made the story more creative and imaginative. Next, the girls worked with a partner and chose a different calendar picture and they worked together to come up with a story and then shared with the whole group. I brought scarves as a prop for the girls to use, if they chose, for their stories. Each group chose to use the scarves and they really enjoyed using them. Simple dress-up props such as scarves or capes or hats, etc. are open-ended enough to allow imagination to soar!

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Storyboards were introduced to the girls as a way that storytellers can remember their stories… various squares or a grid with a simple picture, a few words. Some girls worked alone and some worked together. We ran out of time, so we didn’t get to hear the stories. But, we will during one of our last sessions together. Girls, keep telling stories!

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REMINDER: WE HAVE A MAKE-UP CLASS ON WEDNESDAY, NOV. 11, 3:15-4:45. WE WILL MEET THURSDAY, NOV. 12 AND NOV. 19. THEY WILL BE OUR LAST 2 SESSIONS TOGETHER!

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Stories…I love to hear a good story! Whether it is a story from a book, a story that happened to make one feel an emotion, or a story of kindness…Stories can be a powerful tool that connect people, bring about change, and evoke empathy and awareness. I have memories of listening to stories from my Grandpa, of how he left home as a young boy to find work because his family was so poor; almost everytime I see my brother, a story comes out that is sure to bring on lots of laughter. I started out our storytelling session telling 2 true stories…the first one was the first time I went sailboating and the boat capsized and in the process of turning the boat, I was injured. I felt a bit afraid, yet it was very exciting. The second story was when my brother and sister-in-law flew in from out of town and surprised me for my birthday! The girls were so attentive as I shared my stories. Now, for the girls turn! I read to them a fun and silly book, “Glad Monster, Sad Monster, a book about feelings by Ed Emberley & Anne Miranda. Then the girls were asked to pick an emotion from a bag, think of a story when they felt that emotion, and make a mask to match their emotion.

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After the masks were completed, we went out to the stage and the girls shared their stories. Some chose to use the masks for their storytelling and some did not. Stories were told…a lonely princess, a happy princess, a cat who bites, a visit to a Haunted House…we clapped and had fun listening to true stories and made-up ones.

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Our next storytelling activity involved storytelling cards. The girls chose cards that they thought could go together and each individual or group shared their stories. Fun!

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REMINDER: We will have more Storytelling fun this Wednesday, Oct. 28 and then we will also meet on Thursday, Oct. 29, our regular day to learn about Henri Matisse.

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Beans, rice, popcorn, lentils, noodles, and leaves were the materials that the girls used to create their collages this week. A Fall scene was suggested as an idea for their collages or they could create something of their own idea. Some girls chose Fall scenes and some chose their own ideas. As always, I thoroughly enjoyed watching how unique and varied their art turned out. How inspiring!

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After everyone was finished with their collages, we gathered around and the girls shared something about their work…”I was thinking about the wind and leaves falling…,” “I made a sky and rainbow…,” “I named my boat Yellow Eye Cow…,” “I like watching the leaves change…”

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Thanks girls for sharing your creativity and for another great week together!

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I leave every Thursday afternoon honored to be with the girls and inspired by their innate creativity. This week we focused on collage. We were inspired by two books this week… A Child’s Day, an alphabet of play by Ida Pearle and Let It Shine by Ashley Bryan. Both books display brilliant cut-out collages using vibrant papers and colors. Bryan’s book celebrates three songs, “This Little Light of Mine,” “Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In,” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” The girls and I had fun singing through the book! The girls pored over various collage books before getting started on their own.

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The girls chose various materials…magazines, ribbon, cards, tissue paper, construction paper, etc. to glue on white illustration board. They had no trouble getting started. Every week they focus on their project and the creativity flows.

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Every girl created a different, unique collage! How wonderful!

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