Saturday, June 23, 2012

Around the World in a Week

Yesterday marked the end of an amazing week of my Passport Kids: Around the World Art Camp. The campers were the amazing part. These rising 1st through 4th graders were energetic, eager learners as we explored a different country each day through art, literature, food, music and culture.

Pull out your passport!

Day One: Ghana
Today we jumped head-first into pottery as we created our own miniature pots and then painted with watercolors when they were dry. The women in Ghana usually make the pots and put them all in a bonfire to dry. Instead of lighting matches, we used air dry clay and painted on day three.

Next we created Adinkra cloths, or ceremonial fabrics traditionally made by the Asante people.  Our versions used carved styrofoam blocks and fabric paint printed on white bandanas.

Perhaps the big hit of the day was the chocolate! The kids were excited to find out that chococate is made from cocoa beans that grow on a plant. Then they were excited to eat it!

Day Two: France
Learning about France was great fun with the kids, and spending a day there in spirit made me want to go there even more in person.

We began our day by looking at architecture and drawing the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame cathedral, and the Arc de Triomphe. These observational drawings were challenging, but these kids were up to the challenge!

Next we shared croissants and grapes (it is wine-country), and then learned about artist Henri Matisse through a wonderful children's book called Matisse: The King of Color. In his latter days, Matisse was bed-ridden and took to cutting out collages of his marvelous, colorful shapes. So we did the same. We also learned about theatrical mise en scene, and created our own backdrops for our own stories.

Day 3: Russia
I visited Russia in 1989 (actually, it was the USSR back then) and shared some of my souvenirs with the kids. It was hard to keep our hands off of the nesting dolls or matryoshka, but we did it long enough to paint our own! For those who wanted a little more architectural challenge, they painted watercolor images of St. Basil's Cathedral in Red Square.
Next, we studied artist Marc Chagall and his dream-like images, and then made some ourselves using oil pastels to memorialize a special dream.

I remember fondly the black bread and white cheese I ate for breakfast every day when I was there long ago, and so our snack for today was as close as I could get...pumpernickel and provolone. The kids couldn't get enough! But the absolute favorite of our day in Russia were the fabulous Faberge eggs made from foam eggs and Crayola Model Magic. These are bookshelf-worthy!

Day 4: India
In India, we got our groove on, listening to some Indian music, and enjoyed our nan and Major Greys chutney. The kids then traced their hands and created their very own henna tattoos or Mehndi designs.

Day 5: Madagascar
The animals and flora of the island nation Madagascar captivated us today! First we created prints of lemurs and chameleons.

Next, we painted Baobab trees, which look like they are upside down! Last, we painted wooden beads and made necklaces. Now, I'm dying to see Madagascar 3!

The kids and their work are so inspiring. Below are some more photos to enjoy.
God bless,
Nicole (Mrs. Seitz)

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