A few years back I heard about Inktober from my colleague Matthew Winner, and decided to participating in the event this year with my students as part of my STEAM Makerspace.
From the Inktober website, “What is Inktober? It’s an art challenge started by Jake Parker, one of the founders of SVSLearn. Every year, artists all over the world take on the challenge of making an ink drawing every day for the entire month of October. That’s 31 drawings in 31 days! The goal is to improve your drawing skills and develop positive drawing habits.”
I started by creating a large calendar using one of my hallway bulletin boards, and using Post-it® Notes, invited Flower Hill staff and students to participate. Since we are an elementary school, I didn’t want them to post on social media, but rather to enjoy each other’s creativity as they walked down the media center hallway! Post-it® Notes served this purpose perfectly!
“Jumpstart’s Read for the Recordbrings together millions of people each year in classrooms, libraries, community centers, and homes across the US. This annual campaign was launched over a decade ago to highlight the importance of building early literacy and language skills for EVERY child, so that all children have the opportunity to enter kindergarten prepared to succeed.”
This year, Jumpstart chose one of my favorite picture books, Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell and illustrated by the amazing Rafael López. The story is fictionalized version of the transformation of the East Village in San Diego into the stunning Urban Art Trail by two exceptional people – Rafael and Candice López – committed to art and social justice.
Maybe Something Beautifulis about a young girl named Mira who lives in a gray and hopeless urban community until a muralist arrives and, along with his paints and brushes, brings color, joy, and togetherness to Mira and her neighbors. This book was a Maryland Black-Eyed Susan picture book nominee last school year, so I had read this book with most of my PreK-Grade 5 classes last year. When I read it to my primary grades this year, many remembered it. I had found a book trailer about the book which shows video from the actual Urban Art Trail which my students enjoyed viewing (link to my lesson plan here). I used the corresponding bird handout (teacher’s guide here), which PreK-grade 1 students colored with crayons and colored pencils. Many were absolutely beautiful and so creative! On the back side was the certificate of participation. With grade 2 students, we taped together 4 poster-sized papers, and each class created a mural, more-or-less in the style of the illustrator. We even learned how to dance the cha-cha-cha! Everyone loved this book!