The story Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon written by Kat Zhang & illustrated by Charlene Chua which are part of an amazing series. In the story Amy Wu is asked to make a dragon during school and she gets stuck in a rut but her family comes to her rescue to create the perfect dragon. After reading this story to extend the literacy experience the children were invited to create a collaborative dragon.
To create the body of the dragon we provided poster paper, Bio Color Colorations Metallic and Fluorescent Paint, and slinkies as their painting tools. The children were invited to paint with the slinkies and they were so excited to use an out of the norm tool. When a child uses a new tool to paint, their creative juices flow as they test and experiment a variety of new ways to paint. Through the process they also observe all the ways the slinky moves and bounces as it creates prints on the paper. It also makes for an interesting way for the child to experience how high/low/fast/slow the slinky moves when using their body ( fine + gross motor skills) to maneuver the tool. The whole process challenges the child cognitively and creatively to think and create in new ways all while having fun!
The second part was to create the other body parts (head, wings, tail, etc.) We provided large Texas snowflakes aka large coffee filters. First we squeezed different designs/patterns on one side and asked the children to fold the snowflake in half, rub the paint around with their fingers/hands, and slowly open the paper. As they opened the paper they were completely enamored by being able to see the paint transform which enhances their understanding of cause and effect, recognize colors, and continue to ignite their curiosity and wonder through art.
Next week we will have this dragon dance around our Annual Lunar New Year Parade. Here are more ways to explore Lunar New Year Through Invitations.