Last month was National Reading Month and we had such a great time doing our celebratory theme: 30 Days of Books, (flip through for tons of book recommendations for all ages... even grown-ups!) and participating in the Read-Along at Helping Little Hands. We read so many great books, and did a bunch of fun activities, and, though we'll be continuing to do that, of course, I was a little bummed that it wouldn't be quite as focused or intentional. ... but... I stumbled upon the beautiful and fun Brimful Curiosities Blog via the Ultimate Blog Party (yay!) and she is doing a Kid's Poetry Challenge during the month of April. (double Yay!)
We'll do one of these each week this month, and link up with Brimful Curiosities to see what everybody else is doing! Join in!
For our first poem, we used a Chippewa Indian Song called 'A Song of Greatness.'
here's an excerpt:
"When I hear the old men
Telling of Heroes,
Telling of great deeds
Of ancient days,
...Then I think within me,
... I too, when my time comes,
Shall do mightily."
The boys love hero stories and have been in a bit of an Indian craze lately, so I thought this would be a great inspiration for art. We spent some time looking up information about the Chippewa, and found out that :
## They called themselves the Anishinabe, which means 'original person.'
## They live in North America, especially in the northern US and southern Canada.
## They lived in wigwams or tipis depending on location.
## They wore clothes like These.
And then we went to work on our illustrations. We used the fun watercolor colored pencil technique to make the drawings bright and colorful.
If you've never done this before, it's super easy and ends up looking a lot like a watercolor painting, but without the mess. (less mess = happy mom).
Quick little explanation, if you'd like to try: you just take a regular set of colored pencils, and dip them in water as you would a paintbrush, before coloring. We've found that soaking the pencils for a few minutes before using helps the led become nice and soft and watery. Also, that normal printer-weight paper isn't really good enough for this type of technique, as it tends to rip and tear.
Here are the finished works:
Young Brave Dreams of Killing a Bear Like a Great Warrior.
An Indian Girl and her Mama in their Wigwam Doing Grown-Up Things Like Cooking and Setting the Table
And Owen's, which he calls:
Chippewa Brave Listens to the Old Men Speak, and Dreams of Brave Things
Thanks for playing, everyone, and pick up a poem today!
If you're at a loss for where to start, here are some great ones for us big kids:
to rhyme and meter and the love of cadenced words,