Cascades Academy Independent School PK-12
Rhythm and Rhyme
Rhythm and Rhyme

By Douglas Florian

Dig the soil.
Pick the weeds.
Poke some holes.
Plant some seeds.

Water seeds to help them grow.
Day by day, so very slow.
Plants need lots of light and room.
Watch them bloom

and bloom

and bloom.

In kindergarten we have a new poem to play with and learn each week. We start the week with the students echoing me as I read each line to them. As the week progresses the students are able to recognize the rhythm or the tune we sing it to, and read the words on their own. Poetry provides many opportunities for children to use language playfully and to appreciate its rhythms and patterns. Poems for children often include humor or appealing words that are fun to say. Some have rhythmic lines that children can't resist repeating. Some engage students with their predictability of rhyme. A lot of times, poems for kids are short and they can read them, remember lines, and recite them again and again. Poetry is fun!!

April is National Poetry Month. This month long celebration was introduced and organized by the Academy of American Poets to encourage awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States.

-Mrs. Hatfield, Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Meadow's Favorite Kinder Project!
Ms. Meadow's Favorite Kinder Project!

I am not one to repeat projects very often. If so, maybe every couple of years, but for the most part, keeping things fresh and different is my way of making sure I never run out of lots of work to do, but more importantly, giving kids new and exciting opportunities to express themselves even while revisiting familiar concepts and materials. The one exception to this rule is the Kindergarten Picasso Portrait lesson. I love this lesson so much because aside from the always AMAZING finished products, learning about Picasso and his abstract style is always an inspiring and fun topic. So every spring, I am giddy with excitement to see how my new batch of blossoming artists will approach this intriguing lesson.

After spending time discussing and noticing all of the funky details of an array of Picasso's female portraits, students designed their own Picasso-esque portraits using oil pastel and watercolor. The diversity of the faces with the added details such as hair, hats, flowers, jewelry, bows, etc. is pretty amazing, considering we all follow a similar process of drawing the head with the line down the middle that shows a nose and lips in profile. We do this because so many of his faces show a convoluted perspective of features--eyes that face forward and sideways, noses in profile when the face is looking towards us, and features that are literally coming off of the face or completely asymmetrical. This is always a fun process because there really is no wrong way to do it, and the more abstract the better! After faces are designed and outlined with black oil pastel, students used the primary colors in watercolor to mix and create new colors, and as you can see from the examples, there are many different styles and ways that the petite Picassos applied their paint and color. We are still working on finishing up, and as we do, we will be looking at some other Picasso work as well. At the moment, I am looking to tie Picasso's art style into a Storyline always, trying to keep it fresh, and keepin' it real.

-Amy Meadow, PK-12 Art Teacher

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