Friday, June 4, 2010


We read an Enki 1st Grade Nature Story on Wednesday called "Thunder" and used it as inspiration for some thunderstorm-inspired paintings yesterday. I led the kids in a variety of methods , which I'll describe in detail in a minute. J's painting is above, Zoo Boy's below.

While I led the painting I told a little tale which was similar to the story. First I talked about what a hot, humid, sticky day it was, and how the heat was everywhere, as we filled the lower half of our paper with yellow. Then I talked about the bright, bright blue sky, without a single cloud, nothing to protect the earth from the hot summer sun, as we filled the upper half of the page with a diluted blue.

Then I introduced the boy, who was looking for relief from the hot sun, and discovered that the cornfield provided a little shade and relief from the heat. While I talked about that, we used the blue that was already on our brushes from painting the sky to draw vertical lines through the yellow part, then cross-lines to make them look something like cornstalks. I talked about how the broad leaves on the corn stalks shaded the ground below (as we brushed back and forth along the bottom of the page to create green there as well) and how the boy laid down to rest on the cool earth beneath the corn stalks.

Then I added more concentrated blue paint to their blue paint jars and had them mix it in. We then loaded our brushed with that more intense blue paint, and as I talked about dark clouds building in the sky, we used our brushes in a swirling motion to darken our sky. Then we opened up the red and loaded our brushes with that. Crack! Lightening sizzled through the air (and we zig-zagged our brushed down the page). The sky got angrier and darker (we blended red into our clouds to create purple). And finally the sky opened up and rain began to pour down (we flicked our brushes at the painting, creating dark purple spots).

After we cleaned our brushes, we also flicked water at the page, creating diluted spots. As we did the flicking, I talked about how the boy ran for home and climbed into his mother's lap to watch the storm with her.

The boys are really enjoying the progression of our nature stories this week. We started with the very basic Kindergarten story about rain and the water cycle (which provided us with a great verse that we've used as our poem and handwriting practice work for the week!). Then we moved on to this 1st grade thunderstorm story, so a bit further along both with the maturity level of the story and the intensity of the storm. Yesterday I told them a story about Hurricanes that another Enki-using Mom wrote during a course we took this past year (with the goal of creating some 2nd Grade Nature Stories that may be used in a future Enki publication). The energy of that story definitely spoke to them differently than the energy of the other two stories, as it's closer to the energy we see around here on a daily basis. I'm looking forward to painting from that story today!

1 comment:

Stacey said...

Thanks for sharing this in such detail. We're having lots of storms down here in Florida too, and I'm definitely using these painting ideas this week! Thank you, thank you.