Shadow Box Stories

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At the beginning of the year, we began an exploration of light in all its forms. As we moved through the discovery of transparent, translucent, and opaque materials, experimenting with flashlights and overhead projectors, it wasn’t long before students were working with shadows.

To deepen their understanding of shadows and provide more rich material for their research, we began an author study of Ezra Jack Keats, whose illustrations often have many compelling uses of light. In several books, such as “Dreams” and “The Trip,” light and shadows are an explicit part of the story line.

We spent many weeks in our classroom creating shadow puppets. We played with several silhouettes of characters from the Ezra Jack Keats books and became more and more familiar with the vibrant, interconnected community at the center of many of his books. Students came to love characters like Peter, Susie, Louie, Archie, Amy, and Roberto.

Children collaborated to make five different shadow boxes after Louie built one in “The Trip.” At the same time, we started telling stories together, with each student adding a sentence. We have written many stories together about characters from Ezra Jack Keats books.

We are now preparing to present the culmination of all this learning with an original movie set in our shadow boxes.

Gabrielle Bills, Blue Preschool Teacher: curriculum, text

Rebecca Mack, Atelierista: photos

There Is a Bird on Your Head!

mo

Inspired by the Mo Willems story, There Is a Bird on Your Head!, the Green Preschoolers made a video with a song they wrote for Mo Willems’ birthday!

We sent our song to Mo Willems’ publisher with the message:

“Hello Marcia,
I am sending this video to you in hopes that you will pass it on to Mo. As you will see and hear, our classroom of 3, 4 & 5 year-olds have worked very hard to prepare this birthday greeting, including making paper birds for their heads!
We know Mo is a busy guy, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that he will see this. Thank you for anything you can do!

Sincerely,
Erica Giannone and Natalie Stroud
Burlington Children’s Space
Burlington, VT”

And lo and behold, they responded!

“Hello Erica Giannone and Natalie Stroud,

Thank you very much for sending your students birthday greeting for Mo Willems.  I have shared it with him, and he wrote:

“WOW!

Were those the birds singing or the kids?

Either way, that song made me feel good.

Thanks!

Mo

PS:   There is a BIRD ON YOUR HEADS!”

All best!  Marcia Wernick”
Needless to say, the children (and teachers were thrilled)!

We also sent along some pictures.

Screen Shot 2020-05-23 at 12.23.27 PM

Holding our favorite Mo Willems books and some homemade books we wrote in Mo Willems’ writing style!

Screen Shot 2020-05-23 at 12.23.45 PM

“MO YOU MAKE GOOD BOOKS”

The birds on our heads to match Mo!