Dear You Art Project

Mail Art + Pen Friends = Dear You Art Project


Mapping the sounds from Germany to UAE

2017, 4 years old, 5 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Germany, United Arab EmiratesArlene TuckerComment
As part of the process, the class made a map of sounds!

As part of the process, the class made a map of sounds!

This project was a bit difficult for me to conceptualize and present in an easy-to-understand manner. Because English is not the mother tongue of most of my kids, I thought they would have a hard time "picturing" what sound looks like. But I did my best and gave the children fingerpaint and let them go wild. 

To my surprise, many of them "got it" and what looked like colorful messes had a logic behind it. One boy in particular, who many describe as older than his 4 years, told me which colors corresponded to the quiet and nosy times of our day at the kindergarten. Pink is quiet, like our lunch time. But our morning circle is blue because it is loud. Green is quiet with some loud times. 

The surface that I gave the children to paint on was plain white paper with a pair of ears on the left and right side. They all recognized the ears and some painted the entire surface with wild abandon, while other concentrated on decorating the ears first and then coloring the empty space between them. 

When all the pieces were finished, I wanted something that would show the thought process of the children individually and the class as a whole. So I decided to create a map of the world and use the children's artwork to create a patchwork of the continents. Each patch was clearly marked with the child's name, so that they could find it on the map. The boy I spoke about earlier applied his color logic to the map and theorized that different areas of the world must be quiet or loud according to the color of the patches used. 

Furry and cuddly reflections from Munich

2016, 4 years old, 5 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Germany, MexicoArlene TuckerComment

Prior to receiving the project description, I was nervous about the supplies the project would need and if it would be age/ language appropriate. While most of the children I work with have at least a basic understanding of English, there are several that have no common language with the class, meaning that they speak neither English nor German. Therefore, class projects must be visually based to maintain accessibility. And even though Munich is a major city, simple supplies, like contact paper, can be difficult to obtain.

The project, “Light, Camera, Action” exceeded my expectations. It was specific without being restrictive and easy to incorporate into the previously scheduled classroom activities.

The current topic for our class is animals. We recently concluded our discussion on animals of the sea and were moving into land animals when we received the topic. We directed the conversation specifically to pets and asked the children to name all the different types of pets people keep. Many of the children do not actually have pets, so we asked them which kind of pet they would like. We then discussed the personalities their animals would have.

The kindergarten has two rabbits that are “everyone’s pets” but the children decided that rabbits are outside animals and would not make good pets.

To incorporate the use of light into to project, I showed the children pictures of stained glass portraits some people make of their favorite animals. The result was our version of stained glass, depicting cats, dogs, birds, and fish. They helped pack their artwork in a large envelope and are excited for their new friends in Mexico to see them. And they can’t wait to see what the other children created. 

Hallie Barrows
Munich German

The 4-5 year old artists at Elly und Stoffl kindergarten in Munich, Germany are making and sharing art with the 4-5 year olds in Kinder D at Colegio San Patricio in Monterrey, Mexico.