It’s Mommy Donna in Raya’s Room now. Many weeks back, I had asked Raya if I could post something in her corner of this blog. I think blogging isn’t her thing yet so she gave me go signal to post first for now. Raya has been into portraits for the past many weeks. I am so amazed at her creativity, her attention to detail, her painting and drawing skills, and yes her patience in making these beautiful creations. Most of these portraits are drawn from imagination. There are no specific persons (save for one) in mind and she doesn’t copy from any photo. Many who have seen these ahead say that her works are beginning to show her personal and unique style! So here are the latest portraits from Raya’s room, enjoy:)
Which one is your favorite? Please comment below. Am sure Raya would love to hear from you!
I love mixing primary colors. Whether you use colored water (water with a few drops of food coloring), acrylic/poster or water color paint, you are bound to create those secondary colors.
You can also use chalk, chalk pastel, crayons or colored pencils.
Primary Colors : Red, Blue, Yellow
Red + Blue = Purple ( More commonly used that Violet nowadays)
Red + Yellow = Orange
Green + Blue =Green
I find using good quality tempera, poster or acrylic paint with bolder colors more fun and exciton, especially for younger children. It can be frustrating to use low quality paints or very washed out water color in teaching how to make these secondary colors.
However, in the absence of these, mixing colored water or rubbing chalk/oil pastels can achieve the color transformation in a fairly, observable way.
The simplest way to show this transformation is through the following steps:
Using this template and poster paint , fill the three circles with the 3 primary colors. Older kids can use chalk /oil pastel, water colored pencils or crayons as they can rub more evenly and patiently to achieve the secondary colors.
Or you may use this too :
Then, using a mixing palette, mix red with blue, red with yellow and blue with yellow to achieve the secondary colors purple/violet, orange and green. Guide the children in adding more of the primary colors to achieve the desired secondary color. Fill in the right areas in the color wheel.
Here are other COLOR Experiments done by kids (ages 5-6 years old) using the reproducibles from Evan Moor’s How to Teach Art to Children :
I always like connecting various lessons from different subjects, So for this lesson, depending on the ages of your student, you may opt to stretch this lesson to include:
Bible lessons on the Creation Story, Noah and the rainbow after the Great Flood, Joseph the Dreamer and his colorful coat. Try to google templates for Joseph’s Dreamcoat or Noah’s rainbow.
For Language, you can do a lesson on Similes and teach your children how to create similes using the different colors: “yellow as lemon. black as charcoal, green as grass, red like fire. blue like the sky“. Make poems about the colors.
Social Studies: You may decide to study about flags. Begin with your country’s flag. Discuss the symbolism with the figures and colors used. Choose other countries for discussion. You can even challenge the kids to design and create a flag of a make-believe country,
History: History of Dye Making
Filipino: Color terms of Filipino (Tagalog) and how they are properly used
Red- Pula (as a adjective) or mapula, or pupula/ pumula ( as verbs)
Reading; Younger Children will enjoy the following;
Green Eggs and Ham
Little Blue and Little Yellow
Harold and the Purple Crayon,
Seven Blind Mice
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
A Color of His Own
Isn’t the lesson on COLORS simply endless and exciting?? Go ahead and have a colorful homeschooling lesson soon!
Begin with the primary colors: RED, YELLOW and BLUE. They are primary because you cannot create them by mixing other colors. However, they can be mixed to produce other colors that completes the colors of the rainbow. The primary colors form the foundation of the color wheel.
With your student/s, gather many items in the house with these solid primary colors . Try to include items that are solely RED, YELLOW or BLUE.
Brainstorm on ideas and feeling associated with each color.
You may get answers such as:
RED – hot, war, angry, love, passion
BLUE – water, cool, sad, calm,
YELLOW – cheerful, sunny, freedom, warmth
You may even just check out famous posters or slogans and see what primary colors they use.
Group all the same colored items together and try to get some observations about each color. For younger preschoolers, remind them that when it comes to physical manifestation of color, we use our sense of sight. However, challenge them to imagine what would RED if it can be heard, sound like? Or feel, if it can be touched. You’ll be amazed at the answers and this will also help children express themselves better as you encourage them to speak clearly in complete sentences. You can turn this into a writing activity for those who can be challenged their thoughts.
Students may say that there are different shades of RED. Some are darker or lighter. Move to a well lit place with your items, and then squeeze into a dark closet (yes, have fun doing that) or under the table. Maybe close all the curtains and try to ask your student to describe how the color changes depending on the amount of light that surrounds it. You can also place the items of different colors close to each other and see the effects on each others’ colors.
For older children, try to cover the following concepts as you deal with primary colors:
Find activities that focus on one color. One example is to have a child pick red, blue or yellow. Then cut out magazine pictures or images of the color chosen and create a collage. Or you may have Art activities that involve all three primary colors. Don’t rush or get too excited with secondary colors . Stick with these Big 3. If you feel up to it, this can be done together a Unit Study on the Philippine Flag!
This Art activity was inspired by Piet Mondrian’s Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue
For a richer experience with primary colors, choose some story books that use these colors.
The Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young is a very brilliant storybook with lots of bold colors. The blind mice encounter something huge and they’re all trying to guess what its it.
Though, you can start with this excerpt from Genesis as you move into COLOR, you may also end with the story of Noah and the appearance of the rainbow after the great flood. Discuss further what the rainbow meant. This can be your way to segue to the secondary colors too.
Hope you have fun with color this week.
Genesis 9:16 When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.
So we’ve done LINES and SHAPES , and a little bit of FORMS. Check the other posts under the Art Attack category on this site if you are new to this blog. It’s getting more exciting and what could be more exciting than COLOR? Can you imagine Art apart from COLOR? I am sure at this point, you can’t help but jump into it. Who wants a a boring study session on COLOR and art concepts/terms pertaining to COLOR? I guess the best way to start the series on COLOR is to just get messy and splash around, especially with young, energetic kids.
As you take your students into the wonderful world of Color in your Art Lessons, try to just expose them to seeing lots of COLOR through beautifully colored story or picture books, photography books with lots of colorful images . I chanced upon this blog post on color. I also looked for nice images or quotes about COLOR and it would be good to show these images to your students. This may be a good time to introduce the two accepted ways to spell, “COLOR/COLOUR”.
Ask your children about what he/she thinks about these “quotes”. You may then ask, ” What is color? What would life be like without colors? Why is COLOR important? If you were a color, what color would you be and why? Oh, you can ask a lot of questions and just enjoy listening to your students answers as you open up as well. It can become a writing activity so you can take down notes on what your children say. At another time, they can write about “Color” and their experience in these activities I am about to share with you. (Remember, when you ask your children to write (output) , you have to create opportunities for relevant and substantial exposure to stimuli or experience (input) about what they may write about . When they lack words, for instance, in trying to write about what color would they be if the could choose, you can refer back to your notes when you were in a discussion and give your students some guidance on how to create a few sentences with his/ her oral answers which you took down)You will definitely get to know each other as you open up yourself as you answer as well, Let your children direct you in your follow up questions.
You can even be a bit more “philosophical or emotional” by asking, What do you think it means when someone says “You add color into my life“, or “You color my world with bright colors.” You can even use this time to just allow your students to express even more through some “exercises on expression, descriptions and communication in general. You can ask, ” If you were to describe the color blue to a person born blind, how would you do it? How about for red? ” ” Do feelings have colors? What feeling does “black” communicate?
You can delay the “theoretical aspects” as you just try to engage your children’s imagination and interest. For now, here are two activities that can just make your homescool day COLORful and FUN.
Marble Art Activity
Task: To use marbles dipped in poster paint to create wonderful lines criss-crossing and to see effects of different colors mixing together ( creating secondary colors)
A Basin/Tray or Bin large enough so a white board paper can be secured via tape on it
A few small marbles
A palette with 6 wells or ice trays or muffin trays
Paint : Poster/ Tempera/Arcylic mixed with water
1. Secure a white/ cream board paper or watercolor paper in a large basin or rectangular bin using scotch tape
2. Coat each marble using your hands or paint brush with one color at a time.
3. Drop the coated marble on the basin/bin. One marble at a time. Then start moving the bin/ tray to make the marble roll and leave “streaks” of color as it rolls.
4. Add another marble dipped in another color and repeat step#3.
Use a different combinations of colors.
For this exercise, when “red” and “green” streaks overlapped, ask your students, “What color do you see? ”
SPLASHY, De-STRESSING Art Activity
Task: To create splashes of color
Old rags/Cloths cut into small strips and rolled into small clumps secured by safety pin ( size of golf balls or ponkan fruits)
Pails of assorted colors of watered down poster or acrylic paint
1. Soak the clumps of cloth in different colors (Assign one “cloth ball” per color).
2. Outdoors, find a wall with a ground (garden) that can get soaked with washable paint/ water.
3. Cover the part of the wall which you plan to use with 2 -3 newspapers.
4. Use paper suitable for painting ( watercolor paper, tough cartolina or board paper). Stick the paper on the newspaper covered part of the wall using gentle tape.
5. Get the soaked cloth balls and try to wring it. Throw them into the direction of your paper as if you were pitching a ball in baseball. As the “ball” hits the wall, it will create a splattered effect such as these below:
Aren’t they pretty? This was really fun. At one point, my daughter decided to “make some adjustments” and modify the activity. She decided to just press the soaked cloth balls on the top of a cartolina and let the paint ooze out in a line going downwards. It has such a beautiful effect.
Don’t forget to include your children in every “clean up” after Art. As you can imagine, this was quite messy with lots of stuff to wash, wipe and mop. Make sure your students do their clean up duties well.
Now, we hope we got you and your homeschool excited for these 2 activities. Have a COLORful Homeschooling Art Activity soon:)
Genesis 9:13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
We have been studying these elements: Lines and shapes in our past entries in the Art Attack category. For a relaxing Art session with your kids, just review and talk about what they’ve been learning about Lines and Shapes. Then just allow them to create something to feature or show what they have learned. Let me show you what our kids created:
For contour, you may introduce positive and negative images. Check this video. My son chose 23 since they were into basketball and he was a fan of Michael Jordan.
In the next two works, we applied lines, shapes and primary colors. Here, we dipped some strings (at least maybe 3mm )in black paint and “stamp” them on the paper as lines. My two sons were free to choose how they wanted to “stamp” the inked strings. After the black markings dried, they used primary colors to color the spaces to create a designs as inspired by Piet Mondrian.
For older children, you can introduce creating 3-D shapes. These videos are good tutorials:
Look at the kids’ works after learning how to draw rectangular prisms and cubes.
As you assist them to create, try to give them as much freedom. Refrain from commenting too much or directing the Art experience. Rid yourself of what is and what isn’t beautiful or what is right or wrong in Art expression. Try to just encourage children to express without trying to conform or without pressure to please you. Don’t be too quick to ask, “What is that ( that communicates that you don’t get what they’re trying to draw) ? Just wait. More often that not, they will talk about what they had just drawn.
1 Timothy 4:15 Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.
We use lines to create outlines and so, lines create shapes. Familiarize your students with the different kinds of shapes. For older children, you can tie this with Math since shapes have formal definitions too. For younger children, you may try to check this link to get ideas on how to make learning about shapes more fun.
Shapes may either be two dimensional with only height and width, or three dimensional with height, width, and depth. You can go around the house and search for different shapes among your every day objects.
For preschoolers, you may check this video or another one to learn more about shapes through a video and song. Then you can have a shape search around the house. Basically they go around the house and draw shapes or outlines that they see and if they can, to try to spell the name of the shape.
They may draw the TV and say it’s “rectangle” or a “clock” and identify it as a circle. Make sure you write the shapes in written word so they can copy and learn how to spell.
If they are familiar with shapes and how to draw them, you can just ask them to choose one shape and make a drawing full of that shape only. Our boy did this when they were 8 years old.
You can open a magazine together and he/she can cut objects that represent a specific shape. You can make a “Shape” album with magazine cut outs. For older kids, you may introduce 3-dimensional shapes such as cones, pyramids, rectangular prisms, sphere, cylinder and then also find objects at home that represent these 3-D shapes ( Canned goods, cheese or butter, ice cream cone, balls, etc)
The book, “There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly” by Simms Taback is a really amusing story with lots of illustrations of shapes and outlines.
Try to get this book or use this video. Pause on every page to identify shapes.
For fine art examples, you may check out:
Paul Klees’s Red Balloon
Or Henry Matisse’s The Parakeet and the Mermaid.
Locally, our national artist, Cesar Legaspi is also known to make use of a style that creates shapes.
Arturo Luz creates shapes with more distinct outlines :
For older children, you can assign them to research more on Filipino artists who uses a lot of “shapes” or the illusion of shapes. You may even visit a few galleries on the Mega Mall 4th floor to just see more “Art” forms (include Sculpture, Sketches, Mosaic, etc) and recognize the elements of Art that we’ve been studying in this series. If you feel “academic”, you can give the kids clipboards, a worksheet to answer and a camera to take photos of the art works that caught their attention. Have fun!
For today’s post, we will be using another great resource in teaching Art in a more meaningful and experiential way, Teaching Art with Books Kid Love by Darcie Clark Forhardt.
This book, like the How to Teach Art Book to Children, explores the various elements of Art and introduces them through children’s story books. You will learn the principles along the way so if you don’t happen to have the suggested books to use, you can use whatever story books you may have, can borrow or browse through bookstores. So you can turn the lesson in to Teaching Art with the Books My Kids Love.
If you have story books which you’d like to feature (as you will understand as you read on) , you can have Storytelling first with smaller students using these chosen books. The older children can read these books on their own and observe for the elements of Art.
Based on the past 2 posts on Lines , I am hoping we’ve gotten ourselves and our children excited in drawing all kinds of lines. But let me introduce other ways to categorize lines.
Character lines : these are the kinds of lines that show gesture and create moods. You may use very thick to very fine lines and may be jagged, curved , scribbled, pointed, and so on and so forth.
Such lines may appear “angry, confused, calm, serene, messy, confused, frustrated“. You may ask your children to close their eyes and ask them to think of lines. As you call out a mood, make them open their eyes and draw the line that they saw in their mind. If you are working with more than one child, position them in such a way that they will not be able to see what the other comes up with so there is no risk of conforming or copying. This is also a good time to encourage expression (without judgment and correction!) and just being comfortable to speak.
Look at these illustrations from Smoky Night by EvenBunting. (Or find similar story books in your own library) . These consist of character lines that create some form of mood. Without the benefit of words, try to let you children try to explain what they think is happening in these 2 pages.
In these pages of “The Girl who Loved Wild Horses” by Paul Goble, you will see a lot of curved and angled lines:
Try to get story books with clear and vibrant illustration, and check out how they used different lines. Ask your children to show what they find:
serene or calm lines
any lines that show mood or character?
lines that show movement
This can be a fun time of discovery and discussion. Take your time and do not rush the activity. You also get a chance to peek into your students’ hearts and minds when you do this exercise.
As we get more and more familiar with lines, we can now move to creating outlines, or “Contour”.
Let the children choose 3- 5 small objects that have clear borders. Have them lay down on their table/ desk (Do this activity where there is ample space for students to rest their elbows and arms, and look at their “objects”).
Define first what an outline is. Some may opt to call this silhouette. If you have a giant manila paper or even newspapers, you can even ask a child to lie down as you draw his contour – lines that follow the outline of any object, using a thick marker pen. While you’re at it, go ahead and tickle him/her. If you have more kids, let them draw each other’s outline. You can also outline your own feet or hands. No details are drawn within, just outlines.
Here are examples of outlines done by our sons under a dear friend and artist, Jerome Malic. Comment below if you’d like to get Mr. Malic as your Art teacher for homeschooled children or for summer/weekend classes for students in regular schools. Teacher Jing, Jerome’s nickname, suggests to use drawing pencil with grade of 2H for outlines. For shading, use 6B.
This is really fun. Sometimes, you can try for the students to simply look at the object and draw without looking at their paper. In www.drawinghowtodraw.com, it says:
“Contour and Blind Contour Drawing – Contour drawing is a process of line drawing where one must concentrate on a single point and follow the contours of the body. This process should be done in one long continuous line to mimic the way that the eye works. When doing a contour drawing, you are improving your eye-hand coordination, an important skill in both art and athletics.”
You can even have a “guessing game”. Teacher and student/s goes to another area and chooses a few objects. Contours of these objects are drawn and you try to guess each others’ chosen objects.
For examples in Fine Art, you may google the following to stretch this activity:
Please make sure that you check images first before showing Fine Art examples to your students. We all know there are lot of “adult” material in most of the famous artists. Other artists with distinct use of lines are Joan Miro in Morning Star:
Paul Klee in Pastorale,
and Piet Mondrian ‘s Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue.
For another day, you may try to borrow or find a much sought after preschool/ primary years book, Leo Lionni’s A Color of His Own. This can be tied with Science as the child learns about chameleons.
Do you notice that the animals are drawn in 2-D Contour like manner?
Do you think your child can have a go in trying to create an animal’s contour? Let him choose what animal and find a photo in books or online. As a teacher, choose also your own animal. Do this activity with your students.
My daughter Raya eventually became a much better drawer and painter than her first teacher. I think what gave the children in our home the confidence and freedom to try is “seeing and being” with a teacher who also learned with them. If only laughter can be kept in a bottle, we have loads of them from my children seeing what their teacher came up with.
As I close, let me share with you one drawing of my daughter when she was probably 5 yrs old. She entitled it, Queen of Lollipop!! Oh, so many curly, spiral lines!!!
Have fun with Art!
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
If you were not able to check out the introductory post for this series, please click here.
I am using our much used and abused Art Curriculum, How to Teach Art to Children by Evan Moor Publications in this post. I will also use some illustrations from old time favorite stories to demonstrate “the use of lines” in creating a specific effects.
You can use your own story books. Choose your students’ favorites. You can even go back to the ones your kids loved when they were younger. Here are some examples:
See the many different lines and how its use creates some form of texture or feel.
See how just by using lines, you can create a facial expression:
By the use of lines, you can create “movement” and “depth”:
You can create a BLAST!
For this post, we are doing another session on lines ( straight horizontal, diagonal or vertical, curvy, zigzag, spiral, etc).
This activity will stir your child’s imagination and see things in different ways . If you feel like your student is stuck, then you can show it first by giving your own idea and creating a small drawing.
1. Do some simple exercises such as these:
Draw any kind of line. Ask your student to add simple details to create something out of it. For instance , he can add a few details and make a rake/mop to a vertical line. A curly line can be made into curly hair of a girl. A spiral can be turned into a lollipop. Use colored markers to make it fun. Tell your students that “lines put together make a shape.”
Draw a circle, an oval or square and make him/her create a drawing out of of it. You can turn this into a 3-D activity using play dough.
Draw letters and make him/her again create something form them. An “H” can be made into two people holding hands, or a “B” can be made into a butterfly.
2. Divide a bond or A4 paper into 4 postcard sized boxes. You may opt to make 2 lines per box as shown.
Or you may opt to just do this:
Then ask the children to create a scene out of this pair of lines such as these below:
In detail, look at what my daughter, Raya did with these pairs of lines:
So there! Hope you have lots of fun with lines! Lines and more lines**
** you may stretch the lesson further to discuss the word, “line” ! What are the other definitions of a line : Lineage/genealogy, the connection (“The line is busy.”), a queue or to queue, a field of work, parts of a script or poem, a saying,…..oh my gosh, there are so many!
Did you know that Isaac, Judah, Rahab, Ruth, David and Solomon were all part of the line of Jesus? Check out Matthew chapter 1!
As part of my commitment to help others with practical ways to teach homeschool subjects, I am starting a series on Art Activities. This is mainly as result of teaching Art in our HomesCool for the past 12 years.
I have no Art degree. I wish I had! I attended a 6 month course of Early Years Education that had a few lessons on Art and Creativity. Somehow, I just learned along the way. I read several books on how to teach Art, observed the teachers of the special Art classes our kids were enrolled in from time to time, and read a whole lot on instilling creativity in children.
What I enjoy the most with teaching and doing Art is the amazing bonding with our children. For some reason, Art is viewed as a fun, relaxing and enjoyable time in our HomesCool so when I say we will be having Art, there are shrieks of excitement. It is also a good way to create some “downtime” for your day. I am so thrilled as well as I learn more and more and have a go as well! I think the children are also exhilarated as they see their own Mommy-teacher learning with them and in finding out that they draw better than me.
We also do Art in a more spontaneous way. I guess its like “Art as needed”. Depending on what we are learning in other subjects, we adjust our Art lessons. For instance, as completed the Flying Creatures series in Science (Apologia), we learned how to draw various insects, bats and birds. We even had a “Create a nest” activity from twigs! As we learned about the Solar System, we learned how to create a giant poster of the 8 planets. As we tackled Botany, we started experimenting on how to create various kinds of trees. For Social Studies, the kids drew the World and Philippine map, did sculpture with paper mache to create various land forms, and as they learned about community and household concerns, we drew houses with the principles of perspective. For History, they began designing their own coat of arms, creating 3-D ancient homes, doing comic strips, newsletter and even an amazing Viking Ship. For Bible, we’ve done Noah’s ark, a bookshelf of the books of the Bible, Tower of Babel and our own Nativity Scene (Belen). We also learned Powerpoint skills as part of Art/Design. The older students, using Art and computer skills, produced brochures about Philippine tourist destinations, about the Earth, United Nations, and so many other topics! Art truly transcends all subjects !
Armed with some basic knowledge on some guidelines, I had to find a basic curriculum. God truly answered my prayer when I saw this in National Book Store 10 years ago, How to Teach Art to Children by Evan Moor Publications .
What I loved about this material was the ease in implementation! We had 4 students and so something so doable and practical was really very helpful. At some point, you will get your own ideas on how to stretch and maximize the learning. You will also be able to connect it to the other subject matters. Another feature I so appreciated in this material is how it presented the basic elements of Art in part one :
And how it will show ways in which these elements can be applied in part two.
So today, let me share the first lesson/s.
1. Line – Google about this. What is the definition of a line? What are the various kinds of a line? Can you tie this up with Math ( line, ray, line segment, parallel, intersecting)? As Bob the Builder usually says, “Yes, we can!” Just spend time discussing this with your student/s. Depending on their age, you can do many things. If younger, find story books and see how they use different kinds of lines in the illustrations. For an older artist, he can research famous artists who are known for different lines. For Filipino artists, google Cesar Legaspi, Malang and even Arturo Luz to see how they prefer to use certain lines or illusions of lines in their work. You can even use body movements with a toddler or preschooler, lie down and show a horizontal! While lying down, lift legs to make it diagonal! Go outside the garden and find curly, spiral, zigzag lines! Oh so fun! You can even connect it to the letters of the alphabet as you ask what lines are in each letter!
So this, session on “Lines” can be stretched to maybe 2-3 sessions. The first session may not yet include any “output” but if the kids are excited to try the lesson below then let them. It can just be taking a survey of what lines can be seen at home.
The key is to first stir your children’s excitement with good exposure to the elements of Art in a fun and relaxed session.
As your children start “creating”, just give them freedom on how they’d like to apply what they have learned. Do not limit yourself on what you expect them to create. Don’t ask, “What is that? ” Wait for him to tell you what he is drawing if you can’t seem to figure it out at first.
This is a sample of the first lesson in How to Teach Art to Children:
You can then give your students “free time” to draw making use of different lines like these two drawings below :
I am hoping that this helps you have a good start in teaching the basic Art elements. From lines, we will progress to shapes, colors and other elements. How exciting! Have fun in Art!
Exodus 35:30-35 Then Moses said to the sons of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. “And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship; to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze,
Oh my, we have probably made so many “old” scrolls and treasure maps as HomesCoolers! They’re just instant WINNERS for young children. Of course, you’ve got to create a setting to stir some excitement regarding the reasons behind such projects. You can easily find stories to set the stage for this or watch movies like maybe Indiana Jones ( the children friendly edition) or read material that include maps to treasure or scrolls with secret message. I particularly love stories from the Bible.
For our HomesCool, we had just finished a unit of how the Christian Bible was put together. Of course, we had to discuss a lot of things first like how people began to write, or draw, what they used to create the figures or “letters” and on what medium ( papyrus, clay, stone) to write on. For many years now, we’ve been using the Mystery of History for our World History and we are now in the 1600s! (Imagine we began around 7000-10,000 BC??) and it chronicles the evolution of writing and many written works, one of which is the BIble. For our 1500-1600s lessons, we learned of great men who fought to allow the “common man” to read and own a Bible: Martin Luther, John Wycliffe and William Tyndale.
To “vicariously” try to experience how it was to write messages prior to the the invention of mechanical movable printing in the 1430s, I asked the children to make “hidden messages”. Oh the passing of the Word of God during the 1500s was exciting and dangerous. It was possible that some had to write them and pass them around in secret. This made the kids excited and so working on this was really a breeze and fun!
But first, we had to create the “medium on which to write’! The Scroll! So what makes a scroll look real? It has to be have the signs of “age” like discoloration, torn areas, and a rough, crumpled texture. So here is how to do it.
1) Choose a card stock paper or board paper in white/ beige range of colors. 12 x12 size or bigger is ideal since you may need to cut off the edges later for some dramatic effect.
2) Oh let the kids have fun : crumple and trample the paper. Pound it but don’t destroy it.
3) Prepare some brown based hot tea. (Be careful with the kids around). I haven’t tried green tea on this so I am not sure if this will create a similar effect. Let it cool. Get an adequately sized tray or basin, where you can soak the crumpled paper for maybe 5 minutes.
4) Dry them under the sun. Make sure you put some paper weight on them on a windy day .
Do they look authentic enough?
And for the exciting part! ( Looking back, we should have burned it first before the written message.)
We got some “chalk” and started smudging to make it look more “dated” ! How fun is that!
We tied this activity with what we were studying in Christian Living/Bible subject, the importance of God’s Word in a Christian’s life so the children memorized the Psalm 119:105 “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” So for a while, at that moment, I felt a deep, overwhelming gratitude ( and I am hoping my children felt that too) for the heroes who have gone before us to make sure that the Word is passed on.
So now we came to that point of what to write in our “old scroll”?
Will they draw symbols, will they put a treasure map? As they were thinking, I tried to give them ideas ( hoping not to quash their ideas but trying to steer them to tie the whole UNIT of study together). I just said, “Imagine yourself as a child in your current age, a thousand years ago . What message would you like to give to another child your age? ”
That got them thinking. Then I said, since it was a period of dangerous times, you need to send your message in a secret code! Then you hear the most coveted HomesCool response of “Ooooohhh, Ahhhh”!
So off they went on making symbols for each letter of the English alphabet. Oh my, I was floored seeing how detailed and patient they were in creating their “code”. While doing this, I tried to save them by suggesting, you can also draw like the Egyptians (thinking how tiring this must have been for my younger 9 year old) ! But they were having fun! Who gets tired anyway when you are having fun, right?
Now, here is the secret code :
Now, can you decode their messages? Let us know if you got it! I have to really give it to Gino and Raya for their amazing determination and patience in completing this unforgettable scroll! Clap, Clap, Clap! Take a bow, kids!
Psalm 119:105 Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
2 Timothy 3 :16 All Scripture is God breathed. It is useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in righteousness.