Wednesday, December 1, 2010


The WES Kindergarten artists have been learning about
American artist and author,
Faith Ringgold was born in 1930 and grew up in New York City's Harlem.  She is most known for her "story quilts".  She adapted one of these quilts, titled
"Tar Beach",
 into a children's book in 1991. This book was recognized as one of the most distinguished American picture books for children in 1992 when it was named a Caldecott Honor Book.
We spent a lot of time looking over the illustrations in Tar Beach, and decided to try creating versions of our own.

Here is our process...

The students began by painting a night sky background using different shades of tempera paint.
They thought about the direction of their brushstrokes as they blended the colors over the entire paper.

Then, using colored construction paper, they began cutting shapes as they pieced together a version of themselves flying through the sky.

They dipped their finger (aka their "Handy Dandy Tool") into the glue...

and then spread the glue onto their cut pieces of paper...  

before putting their paper shapes in place.
This technique allows for better glue control. 
The students were encouraged to think about size as well as how they would position the arms and legs of their person to give the illusion of flying.

Once their person was glued into place
it was time to add the stars. Small dots of glue were squeezed onto the paper...

and then sprinkled with glitter for that all important shimmer and shine!

Then, each student created a "quilted" border around the edges of a separate, larger piece of paper. Small, pre-cut squares of wallpaper were used for this. Loads of thanks to Mrs. Littlefield and Mrs. Gilblair for their help in pre-cutting these squares!

The Kindergartners had fun choosing from all of the different colors and patterns.  One little artist commented that they reminded her of her Grammie!

With the border complete, it was time to join their two pieces together...

and then join everyone's together... 

 to create one large story quilt. 
What an exciting event!

With this nice, long, curved wall in the Kindergarten wing, every single piece of art was able to be squeezed into this display
(98 paper quilt pieces in all, I believe).
That's one loooong quilt!

These pieces will remain on display through December.
We sure hope you'll fly by for a peek!


  1. What a great looking quilt to decorate the wall. Congrats on completing all of those. Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing.

  2. I love this post, especially how you show your step by step instructions. I have not read the book, but now I will be on the look-out for it. The students pictures (that I can see ;) look very good. The way you displayed them on the wall looks great.

    How long did you allow for this activity?

  3. Oh I just love this! I like seeing everyone flying through the air. These are VERY artistic kindergarteners.

  4. Dear WES Kindergarten Students,

    Wow! What a wonderful collaboration with all of your creative works together! Each block of the quilt has similar qualities, but your individual design choices make them as varied as the constellations in the night sky. Thank you for your contribution to the online community of teachers and students.

    You have inspired my high school students to share this quote, “To be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your own path, and don't worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest.”

    Shine On!


    Ms. Perino
    Director of Instructional Technology
    Peoria Notre Dame High School
    Peoria, IL

  5. What a beautiful display! Magnificent work, kindergarten students!

  6. Please tell the students how much I enjoyed looking at their art work. Those pictures make a stunning quilted border along the walls of the room. I look forward to seeing more of their work!

  7. WOW! What a wonderful connection between books and art! Love it!

  8. What a beautiful example of how combining everyone's individual talents create a work of beauty beyond compare. Good Job Kindergarten students.

  9. Absolutely Stunning! Well done Kindergarten! Sometimes we grown-ups need reminders to let our imaginations soar too. You've certainly done it for me!
    Thank you for sharing!

  10. Wow, very colourful and creative. I also would like to be able to fly through the air. Nice work! I enjoyed the pictures very much.

  11. Beautiful artwork! I love the way you explained each step of how to make it too! That way I can always do this activity with my year 2 students in New Zealand.
    Well done!

  12. I love this! I think I will do this activity with my children!!ciao from italy