In an effort of collaboration with a first grade teacher, I focused some time on the author/illustrator Todd Parr. If you don’t know him, he writes funny and heartwarming books filled with simple yet colorful illustrations.
My friend had read It’s Okay to be Different. She then had her students imagine what it would be like to go to another school. What would they be most afraid of when meeting a new group of people? She had them write their thought on a sentence strip. I did the same activity with all of the first grade and we also watched a YouTube video in which Todd Parr reads his book.
Once we wrote our sentences, I showed students how to draw a face showing emotion. I tried to stress keeping the drawings very simple as we were going to paint with tempera cakes.
One we drew everything out with a black crayon, students painted. Their results are bright and very sweet, giving insight into what small children worry or think about. Being a child can be pretty difficult to navigate. I forgot how scary the dark can truly be.
As part of the monthly assembly, these paintings were shared with the school in a slideshow format.