Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Veteran's Day Response: Song & Patriotic Process Art for Young Children

Veteran's Day is just around the corner!

Veteran's Day is an abstract concept for young children. How can you make it more concrete? To begin with: focus on our flag and patriotism. Have them create their own open-ended, process-driven 'fireworks' as a foundation experience. 

Painted Fireworks in Kindergarten

What does America mean to our little ones? 

Where do we live? What is the name of our country? What do we celebrate as a country? How do we celebrate? How do we protect our freedoms? How do we thank those who have served to protect our freedoms?

Red, White and Blue by Debbie Clement

One of my absolute pleasures is to make school visits as an author-illustrator, music-lady. Sometimes my visit is a one-time special event. I'm even more fortunate when my visit to a school includes a return visit. Sometimes I get asked back repeatedly over time. My longest running annual visit belongs to St. Paul School in Westerville, Ohio. 

We have all lost track as to how many years I have visited the kindergarten classes. We think it could be the last 12 or thirteen years now. That's a lot of LUV and support from some of my favorite Kindergarten teachers! Take a peek and get a glimmer of my welcome last spring. 

These fireworks were created by the Kinder-kiddos of Mrs. Holly Rose. They were proudly hanging outside her door, in the school hallway last May in time for my arrival. Imagine my excitement over such an enthusiastic welcome! 

Kindergarten Welcomes Author Illustrator

Her students have created this art in response to my newest picture book. 

My own patriotic response to September 11th, was to create a simple song for children to honor our country. It started as a little patriotic 'zipper' song -- with the very simple lyrics "Red, white and blue.... I love you." 

Over time my simple song grew just enough to be recorded at the studio and was included on my fourth CD. Ultimately we produced my song as a traditional picture book -- where the song's lyrics become the text of my newest picture book. 

Red, White and Blue Picture Book by Debbie Clement
Click on the book cover to go to my website

***Each of my three picture books are notorious for the "end matter" that I have included to support teachers use of my song in their classroom and especially for use as part of a performance. Each of my books includes a CD of the sung version of the song and an instrumental as well. There is a chart for sign language and also a chart for music notation. They can be ordered directly from me at my website:

Patriotic Picture Book

Take a listen on YouTube if you're not familiar with my song. Watch as teachers and librarians learn the sign language in real time -- at one of my conference workshop presentations. 

If you don't have time to order the book, or maybe you just want to get started RIGHT AWAY, then you can purchase the digital download version of the song in a zipped file through Teachers Pay Teachers. In the file you will receive two Mp3s of the song (sung & instrumental versions) as well as both the chart for sign language and that of music notation. I have lowered the price of the file right now! 

Click graphic for link to TpT digital download

Kindergarten Process Art as Fireworks

But let's get back to the creation of the fireworks artwork. 

In a true synchronicity of great minds thinking alike, my daughter, Sarah, had the children-in-her-care create very similar fireworks this past summer. She took photos in real-time and I think they will be a terrific step-by-step tutorial for you to replicate the experience for the children/students in your own life.

1. Gather up cardboard tubes ahead of time. (Internal rolls from paper towels, toilet paper, or those purchased specifically for crafting.)

2. Cut into the edge of the cardboard tubes in a variety of styles. {See the examples below for possibilities.}

Think of this as a very simple print-making experience.  

Art Process Painting with Young Children

  • Let the children experiment! 
  • Let them explore! 
  • Let them design! 
  • Let them plan!
  • Let them giggle! 
  • Let them construct!
  • Let them arrange!
  • Let them focus!  
  • Let them imagine!
  • Let them direct! 
  • Let them choose!
  • Let them concentrate!  
  • Let them initiate! 
  • Let them remember! 
  • Let them experience! 
  • Let them get messy!
  • Let them enjoy!   
  • Let them delight!!!

Painting with Young Children in Process, Open-Ended Style

Open-ended art is wonderful because EVERYONE is RIGHT!

Every creation is unique. Every piece is different. Every effort is valued. Every project is an original! Children can recognize their own art on display, because it is different than everyone else's!!! 

Painting Process with Young Children

The child at work below is only two years old and is experiencing excitement as he creates his own fireworks. This type of project can be as simple or sophisticated as each child's age and experience dictates. 

Process Art with Young Children, Creating Fireworks, Patriotic

***Sometimes with young children, you need to monitor their work so that it doesn't get 'flooded' with paint (in this example.) There are children that can just keep going and going and going and going only to realize that suddenly their beautiful effort is one big brown mound of matted material. Keep a watchful eye and bring closure to the project before the flood. 

Preschool Art Process Painting for Patriotic Fireworks

Here's  a glimpse of an earlier one of my author visits to St. Paul School and the patriotic 'marble painted' fireworks that were created for my visit on that occasion. This is another possibility for an open-ended, kinetic experiment in Art to respond to the concluding fireworks of my picture book!  

The all time LARGEST marble-painted, patriotic quilt award goes to Carie's Kindergarten class in Illinois! This is a mammoth cooperative effort -- all to celebrate America, and all things "Red, White and Blue!" 

Carie is now a Kindergarten teacher, but immediately after 9/11 she served for nine years of active duty in the US Army, including a year stationed in Iraq. She is a Veteran. She is to be celebrated on Veteran's Day. She gets what patriotism means. She wanted to be certain that her kinder kids understand about what America has always stood for around the world. {Click back here to see other specifics about this incredible project.} 

These types of colossal, open-ended art projects are all in response to a very simple lyric. Being the inspiration for such efforts is my most (humble) pride-filled contribution to the lives of children. 

I hope that you can use my song over the weeks ahead, to create a novel experience for the children you love.

Digital Version at TeachersPayTeachers

Meanwhile. We continue to accept Purchase Orders over at where we distribute the ORIGINAL alternative seating that moves! The stools are now available in anti-microbial plastic! (That means no germs linger on their surface.) PLUS they are manufactured here in the USA! Talk about patriotic! 

That's what they look like in use right there in Westerville! These are pictured across the hall from the fireworks display, in Kelly Grote's Kinder-room. After consideration, she has both 14" wobbles and others that are only 12" tall. Having both sizes available accommodates all heights of her students, especially helpful at the beginning of the year -- when there are indeed some 'shorties' in the room. 

Kinder depiction of Miss Debbie during author visit!

If you are interested in your own author visit, I would be thrilled to talk! 

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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