Tar Beach

I love the book Tar Beach, by Faith Ringgold. Her illustrations are phenomenal, and the story is very poetic. The book is the basis for a really fun art project we did in my son's first grade class a couple of weeks ago, and again last week in a little community art class I teach.

If you are looking for such an idea, here is my basic plan:

Supplies - lots of little fabric squares, a large piece of paper for everyone, glue, and crayons or markers

Read the story, and then have the kids think about a really great memory, dream or fantasy (or, just any idea/image that's meaningful for them). Then have them make a fabric border by gluing fabric squares around the edge of their paper. It's a great chance to talk about pattern, color, contrast, the color wheel, texture... then they illustrate the center for their own "story quilts."

(My cute son, by the way, finished his project in about 5 minutes. And the picture he drew in the middle of his paper was a hurried one-color rectangle around which he wrote: "long ago people made quilts." I guess the project didn't quite capture his imagination. I don't know why I'm surprised, since the thing he said after we DRAGGED him through the Gee's Bend quilt exhibit last year was "zero is a number. It means nothing. I liked zero of those blankets.")


melissa said...

Well I guess E. is not a quilt fan. That cracks me up. Great project idea. I'll have to try it!

Laura said...

LOL. There's nothing like the honesty of children eh, it cracks me up!