First grade enrichment students become "published" authors and illustrators as they learn both artistic and creative writing techniques in order to create a beautiful book of poetry.
Watercolor and Poetry Book Unit: Using an art/literacy fusion program called Picturing Writing developed by Beth Olshansky at the University of New Hampshire, first graders create a series of writing pieces inspired by their own original paintings. Based on the theme of the passage of time, the students’ work tells the story of the sun’s journey through the day, as well as chronicles each student’s journey as a writer. Students also learn science concepts related to the earth's rotation and how day and night occur.
Each lesson begins with a piece of published literature that highlights the particular time of day being considered. This work of literature is used as our 'inspiration piece' for both our paintings and works of poetry. First, a Cray Pas watercolor resist depicting that time of day is created, after which students work collaboratively to build a bank of descriptive words. Students engage in Writer's Workshop to add text to each painting in order to create beautiful poetry. Upon completion, each student’s collection of original art and writing is bound as a book to be shared by our proud authors and illustrators!