Our kindergarteners have been hard at work building reading and comprehension skills. They have learned the differences between fiction story books and nonfiction informational books. They know where to find each type of book in the HCS library. We have read some wonderful books by some amazing authors and illustrators. Mo Willem's Elephant and Piggy books are among the favorite choices for our emerging readers.
It is fun to see the kindergarteners' creativity emerging. In the fall, we read Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. This author illustrates her books with wonderful collages made of colored paper and fabric scraps, found items of all kinds, and in the case of Leaf Man, real autumn leaves. Of course, we had to try our hand at creating a Leaf Man or Leaf Animal and writing where he might be flying on the wind. Here are some of our students' leaf collages below. Didn't they do a great job?
.Denise Fleming Author Study
Just before the December holiday break, the kindergarten teachers read a number of Denise Fleming's books to their classes including such well known titles as In the Tall, Tall Grass and Where Once There Was a Wood. Denise Fleming's books have simple text and bold and colorful pictures. She makes the pictures for her books with brightly colored paper pulp poured through hand cut stencils. The process is similar to making hand made paper. The kids were fascinated by a video of Denise Fleming creating her illustrations, so we decided to give her paper making process a try ourselves.
Each class had a turn in the room we set up for this project. We set up three stations for students to rotate through. While a small group of students worked at the paper making table, others read Denise Fleming books or colored with stencils. At the paper making station, we started by mixing torn colored paper scraps in a blender with water to make the pulp. We had buckets of green, yellow, blue, white and red pulp. The consistency was similar to oatmeal without being sticky. Every student was given a small piece of window screen framed in cardboard and perched over a tub. After a brief demonstration, the kids got started. They chose their background colors and scooped out small cupfuls of pulp. They poured it onto the window screen and pressed it down to help knit the fibers together. The excess water from the pulp poured into the tub below. Once the background had been laid, students added embellishments on top by pouring new colors of pulp into cookie cutters which acted as molds. Some made free hand pictures with the pulp. The kids were totally absorbed in this fun activity. The illustrations dried over vacation and we returned to find beautiful sheets of hand made paper.