Friday, June 3, 2011

life cycles

I was honored when ELL teacher Marcia Salem asked me to visit her class at King Middle School. As my daughter winds down her eighth grade experience at "the best middle school in Maine" I love that place more and more. Ms. Salem's students, who hail from Somalia, Kenya, Burundi and beyond, have studied life cycles of plants and animals. I worked with them to create books about their learning.

I made a little comp to show what we might do, using a small drawing of a frog my daughter did awhile back. A circular format seemed to fit the bill.

During our first session, design choices were made. What color paper? How many sheets? How much
information and drawing to fit the layout? Students used plates or cardboard templates to trace circles.

This is trickier than it looks, including cutting the circles. But voila! Circles abound, and now students decide what goes where.

They began drawing and writing, based on a rough draft done earlier.

Having a plan is important! I also showed students sketches and preliminary studies that I typically do for any illustration project. There is a process for everything. Paper, glue sticks, and pens were flying.

At last, the circles were filled with learning, some rubber stamping, and plenty of personality. Some of these are not quite complete, but the brad fasteners have been installed, and the final touches will happen.

Life cycles of ladybugs, corn, butterflies, hummingbirds, frogs, and horses are contained in full circle, vehicles of knowledge and enthusiasm. It was a blast to work with such a spirited group of learners.

I was treated to hearty smiles and a lovely drawing from Farhi, who noticed I like polka dots.

Nothing beats being with kids who love school, animals, drawing, and creating. Thank you:
Abdirashid, Farhi O. G., Muse, Kaled, Nasteho, Omar, Hawa, Fariyod, Vanessa, Abdifatah, Ahmed, Anas, Billy, Nestorina, and Ms. Salem! You make me smile.

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