Sunday, September 2, 2012

Observation of September Eleventh for Children

photo of: Collage of Patriotic Art Projects by Young Children in preschool and kindergarten

September. School has barely begun. 
Before you have a very good grasp of your students, 
its time to observe September Eleventh. 
What is an appropriate response to such an event,
 for children who weren't even born at the time? 
How do we show respect for the day in an appropriate way? 

If you are new to my blog, WELCOME. 
I have a simple answer to these involved questions. 

photo of: "Red, White and Blue" picture book by Debbie Clement

I am a 'music-lady' that has written and recorded over 100 original songs for children. Immediately after that fateful Tuesday morning I wrote a little musical response to help children sing about their love for this amazing country of ours and in the process of their singing give adults hope during those very dark days of the aftermath. The simple lyric started, "Red, white and blue, I love you." By the time we got to the recording studio the song had been given additional verses and a grand finale too. 

It took me five years to design and create the quilts that would become the illustrations in the traditional hardback book format. My books are all self-published and I rely on word-of-mouth marketing. It was a thrill to win the national Indy Award of Excellence in the picture book-with-audio division in 2011 for my heart-felt efforts. The gold seal was added to the cover of the second run of my books.

In the book-version, I begin with the beauty of our national geography and the traditional purple mountains majestic. From there I move to the small family farm and then on to the big city. The only subtle reference to 9-11 is the image of the fire truck surrounded by the traditional dalmatians. Your launching a basic conversation about 'community helpers responding whenever we need them' is appropriate to the unfolding patriotic images and can be adapted to suit the maturity of your audience. 

Quilted Fabric Illustrations in Picture Book "Red, White and Blue" (Response to September 11th) 

Here is the BIG news. This is a new era!
I have now joined the ranks of educators offering immediate lessons + materials at Teachers Pay Teachers. I have created a 'zip' file that includes 2 Mp3 versions of "Red, White and Blue" as well as a chart for sign language and the music notation including chords. The first Mp3 is the song version and the second is an instrumental suitable for your students to use in performance. You can now download all of these in a heart beat. Instant gratification. Immediate boost to your Patriot's Day, Constitution Day, Veteran's Day, Flag Day observations.

I would be so grateful if you would 'follow' my TpT store after you click through here. Even more important is for you to return after you download the file and leave a comment with your feedback. You will then become a genuine part of my word-of-mouth campaign. Please, please, please feel free to tell your friends. 

photo of: Monumental Construction Paper Quilt by Carie's Kindergarten Class in Response to "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

Over time my song, and now the book, have inspired teachers to direct their students to create Art projects in response to the call for a patriotic observation. I've gathered up a number of such responses for your motivation. The quilt above was created from construction paper by Carie's kindergarten students in Illinois. Carie's story of serving in the US Army for nine years, with a year of active duty in Iraq is captured in this series of earlier articles here. Think how many marbles rolled across how many pieces of paper. In the process Carie was able to speak often of what the flag means to her. 

Close up of kindergarten quilt

photo of: Bulletin Board of Patriotic Images for Author Illustrator School Visit with Debbie Clement
Westerville, OH Kindergarten Response to picture book for Memorial Day
Every year for nearly a decade I have concluded the school year at St. Paul in Westerville, OH sharing with the kindergarten students there. These photos are from their patriotic response to my quilted images closer to the Memorial Day observations.

photo of: Fireworks Art Project in Celebration of all things Americana by Kindergarten Students
Painted Rolling Marbles Create Kindergarten Fireworks in Patriotic Salute

Please take advantage of this offer of the digital download files. Click right here to gain access to the zip file. While you're at TpT, by all means download my 'always-a-freebie' copy of "Going to the Library." 

One step at a time. One step at a time. One step at a time. "I think I can. I think I can. I think I can."  

-- Debbie--

I linked this post over at Erica Bohrer's First Grade. 


  1. Thank you so much for sharing how you approach this topic!!! Also, a great big Thank You for the Freebie!!! I was just wondering how I was going to approach this topic with my kinders!!!

    1. I'm so grateful for your feedback. This is obviously a very difficult topic, whatever the age of students. With our 'littles' it is especially challenging.
      I'm very glad to provide a useful resource for your kinders. Let me know how it unfolds and their response.


  2. Replies
    1. You're very welcome. I'm glad to introduce my song to a wider audience.


  3. I gave you some shout outs today on my blog!


    1. Greg!!! I've been away from the screen for a while and am just finding your message. Thanks a gazillion!!!



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