Yasmeen Kamrani Sallam
Dreamers Monarch Butterfly Art
The book Dreamers is a celebration of making your home with the things you always carry: your resilience, your dreams, your hopes and history. Written by Yuyi Morales who brought her hopes, her passion, her strength, and her stories with her, when she migrated to the United States from Mexico with her son is another great way to learn about National Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month.
In the beautifully illustrated book there are monarch butterflies everywhere. The monarch butterfly represents the beauty of migration. The butterfly is a symbol for the right of all living beings to move freely, just like the monarch butterfly, human beings cross borders in search of safer habitats.
After explaining to the children the meaning behind the beautiful symbol of the butterfly you can invite them to create their very own Monarch butterflies with paper and Colorations Tempera Paint. With folded paper ask the child to squeeze paint drops or designs on one side, fold the paper again, rub the paint around with their hands, and slowly open the paper. As they open the paper they are able to see the paint transform into a beautiful butterfly which enhances their understanding of cause and effect.
Exposure to other cultures stories brings personal meaning and awareness to the classroom or home. While children’s books open children’s eyes to differences, actual experiences such as creating art have the most profound influence on helping children understand, respect similarities and differences, and comprehend the story. They begin to understand who they are in context of race, ethnic group, culture, religion, language and familial history. It provides a child with personally meaningful information and also introduces concepts from anthropology, culture, history, religion, geography, etc.
Here are some other ways to invite a children to learn about the Hispanic and Latinx culture through open ended play based invitations.