Monthly Archives: February 2012

Sunday Post: Landscapes and a February Poetry Contest

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is LANDSCAPES. 

In addition, Marylin Warner over at Things I Want to Tell My Mother is having a February Poetry Contest 

The Rules:

“Be a rebel with a writing cause; break away from the expected February verses and write a poem about a date or an activity or adventure that WASN’T what you (or your mother) wanted to do…and how it ended.

You choose: rhymed, free verse, a sonnet or a series of Haikus or even non-bawdy limericks, etc.   Just keep your poem to a maximum of 50 words (not counting the words of the title–and please have a title).  JOIN THE FUN!”

I began to wonder how I could combine these two seemingly unrelated ideas into one post.

And then I had an idea!

According to the dictionary, a landscape is a picture representing a view or expanse of scenery that can be seen in a single view.

My poem, Fears of the Inner Child, is really a landscape of my life.  I hope you enjoy reading it.

FEARS OF THE INNER CHILD

Childhood often invades adult life.

Fears laid down early create later strife.

Afraid of adventure and trying new things,

Mom constantly cautioned: Be careful! Life stings!

To conquer that panic is my fervent wish.

I’ve parasailed, skydived and swum with the fish.

 

If you have the time and want to see the sky-dive I did with my son in the summer of 2010, you can go here.

It was an amazing adventure…and a wonderful bonding experience to have with an adult son.   With my book, Show Me How! and my school programs and workshops, I encourage parents to spend time with their young children…reading, crafting and cooking or doing anything positive.   “Raising the Next Steve Jobs”, the cover story in the February issue of Parenting Magazine, offered parents some simple advice: read with your children, talk with your children, participate with your children.  I was quoted in that article…and my book was mentioned.   You know that if want to be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you need to be in their lives today.  The fantastic skydive I did with my son only strengthened the connection we forged over thirty years ago when he was a little boy…believe me, those early years are so very important!

If you’d like more information about Jake’s Sunday Post:

 http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/ 

And here are a few of the posts from other participants in Jake’s Sunday Post:

http://imagesoftheheart.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/sunday-post-landscape/

http://reflectionsinapuddle.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/sunday-post-landscape/

http://truthaboveallreligions.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/sunday-post-landscape/

http://orples.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/sunday-photo-challenge-landscapes/

http://thismansjourney.net/2012/03/04/sunday-post-landscape/#comments

 

PPBF: Crow Boy and World Read Aloud Day

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susannah Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of writers who contribute a picture book review and related resources.  Parents and teachers can find the best of the best in picture books…a little synopsis, a thoughtful review, and an activity and/or resources to extend the learning experience.  This is a great way for parents and teachers to preview a book before they take it out of the library or spend money buying it.

My selection today is another classic picture book recommended in Show Me How!…this one from 1955…the author/illustrator, Taro Yashima, won the Caldecott Honor Book Award.  

World Read Aloud Day is coming up on March 7th and I thought that Crow Boy would be a perfect choice to get us all in a global awareness mood.

 

  

Crow Boy

Written and illustrated by Taro Yashima

Publishers: Viking Juvenile (original edition 1955), Picture Puffins (1976)

Ages: 4 – 8

Themes: Celebrating the uniqueness of each individual, bullying/teasing, mastering tasks and skills, positive attitude, goal-setting, fitting in.

Opening: “On the first day of our village school in Japan, there was a boy missing.  He was found hidden away in the dark space underneath the schoolhouse.”

Synopsis:  Many years ago, in a small village school in the countryside of Japan, a young boy attends school.  Chibi is always perceived as stupid and is treated as an outcast by the other students.  When Mr. Isobe, the new teacher, observes Chibi’s strengths and talents (the boy is a wonderful artist and is also the only person with perfect school attendance even though he has to walk seven miles to school each day), he encourages the boy to participate in the school pageant with an imitation of the voices of crows.  Does Chibi’s performance have any effect on how the children perceive him?  Remember the talent show in Oliver Button is a Sissy.

Why do I like this book

Wonderful illustrations give the reader the sense of the small rural area in Japan…I love books that give young children a window on the world.  The story addresses many important issues as well…bullying/teasing, teacher recognition and encouragement of a student’s gifts and talents, overcoming obstacles in order to achieve one’s goals…as relevant today as it was almost sixty years ago when it was first published.

Related Activities:

 

Black and White Painting

Although Crow Boy had a difficult time expressing himself verbally, he was able to do so more easily with his artwork.  Painting is a wonderful way to allow a young child to express his feelings and to encourage his creativity.

You will need: Paper (construction paper or grocery bag cut open), black and white non-toxic tempera paint, brushes (or Q-tips) and coverups to protect work surfaces and clothing.

1.      Cover the work surface and your clothing to protect from splatters.

2.      Pour a small amount of black and white paint into two separate containers.

3.      Let your child paint several pictures using different size brushes and/or Q-tips.

4.      When dry, hang up this amazing art. 

5.      Tip to parents and teachers: Art is one thing…crafting is another.  Art is pure expression.  Crafting is following certain rules or steps to produce a particular product.  This activity is art…the child is creating whatever he or she desires…if you ask, “What is this?” or you inquire, “Didn’t you forget the dog’s tail?”…you are passing judgement on your child’s creative voice…I beg you, please don’t!  You can engage with your child by asking, “Please tell me about your art.”  In praising, it is more empowering to say, “I’m so proud of how hard you worked making thick strokes and thin strokes.  Was it difficult?” instead of just saying, “That’s nice!”

 

Crayola official website with lots of arts and crafts activities and print-outs for kids.

Website for the Japanese American National Museum where you can purchase the documentary narrated by Mr. Yashimo, Golden Village.

Taro Yashimo papers in the de Grummond Collection

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill.  Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.

SAVE THE DATE:

WORLD READ ALOUD DAY…MARCH 7TH

Do you have anything special planned?

You can go to LitWorld’s website to get more information and/or register…there will be events online and in different locales around the world.

They are a global literacy organization that aims to help entire communities through books.  We all that that, I know!  According to their website: 

“LitWorld’s mission is to use the power of story to cultivate literacy skills in the world’s most vulnerable children through Education, Advocacy and Innovation. Lit World creates resilience building reading and writing experiences which connect and fortify communities.”

Musings: How We Spend Our Time…

Musings: How We Spend Our Time….

Do you wish you had more than 24 hours in a day?

Do you wonder if you are using your time wisely?

Master blogger Elizabeth, of Mirth and Motivation, provides food for thought about time.

Thank you, Elizabeth!

 

Sunday Post: Colorful

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way…things I had no words for.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

 

Why am I so passionate about encouraging parents and teachers to provide young children with arts and crafts activities?

Even Georgia O’Keeffe stated that colors and shapes enabled her to express what she couldn’t express in words.  Art activities and art education are crucial for kids…and unfortunately, those are the first subjects to be eliminated when school budgets are cut.  Working in different mediums such as paint, clay, crayons and colored pencils allows young children to express their feelings and their thoughts in ways they may not be able to verbally.   Give a child a box of crayons or a palette of watercolor paints and a pad of paper and watch the magic happen!  Participate with that child and draw a picture alongside him and open the door to a wonderful opportunity for a discussion about…anything and everything!

Connections are formed in so many ways and I’ve made two wonderful new connections in the last week.

The first connection is with another Word Press blogger.  Whenever I receive a comment on one of my posts from someone new, I always go to their blog to find out who they are and what they are all about.

That’s how I met Jake from Time after Time.

I was enthralled by the dragon button graphic!

And I promised that I would try to link up with his Sunday posts.  This week the theme is Colorful!

Here’s how the weekly photo Competition works:

1. Each week, Jake provides a theme for creative inspiration.  Show the world…based on your interpretation…what you have in mind for the theme, and post them on your blog anytime before the following Sunday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. Subscribe to jakesprinter so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

GET THE BADGE FOR YOUR IMAGE WIDGET….

Make sure to have the image link to http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/ so that others can learn about the challenge, too.

 

The second connection I made was with Jim from ArtClick.tv.  This website offers art instruction videos for all age levels.  They even have special art instruction videos for children…what a wonderful tool for schools, homeschooling families or even individual parents.  I’m really excited about this and I’ve been asked to contribute to their newsletter with a “Kids and Art” column!  I’ll share more about this “art connection” in future posts.  If you are interested in checking out the fantastic selection of art instruction videos they have, you can click on the link above or on the button on my sidebar.

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