Every class in our school has read the book Love by Matt de la Pena & Loren Long. In preparation for their visit later this month, every class has also created a piece of art in response to the book. These projects began in the library and continued in the art classroom with Ms. Foretich. I have loved the inspiration that the book has given her and the pieces of art that students have created with her. I’ll be sharing much of this student work in the next few blog posts.
Today, I want to focus on 2nd grade. Every 2nd grade class came to the library to hear Love before the holidays. When we read the book, I invited students to listen to Matt’s words and look closely at Loren’s illustrations for as many examples of love as they could find. Similar noticings emerged in each class, but there were also unique observations made that other students didn’t catch. We always paused on the 2nd spread that shows a park image with a cab, a hot dog stand, and a man on a bench. Students always talked about the boy in the wheel chair giving the man a hot dog. Sometimes they noticed the people making eye contact and talking in the cab. Sometimes they talked about the color of the balloon being a symbol of love. The important thing is that they always talked. Students were never silent on a page. They always found love even on pages that were hard like the one with the boy hiding under the piano. Even with all of the bad things happening in the picture, love was still there.
In the art room, we took apart the F&G version of Love and Ms. Foretich gave groups of students an image from the book to study more closely. Students were asked to think about what the image said about love. They had a brainstorming page to get some of their ideas down. They used this process to reimagine the version of love into a new image that connected with them personally.
Over the next class, students turned this into a watercolor image. Each student made a statement about their art that could be posted in a tweet or Instagram caption and wrote it onto their art. What message of love could students send out into the world? I loved the student voice that Ms. Foretich was giving students as she asked them about a short message of love that they could actually send out to the world via social media. She has been taking time to post these images and captions to her Instagram & Twitter account. If you don’t follow her, please take a moment to. You will be inspired by the many examples of student work that she posts.
For now, I’ll let the student work speak for itself through this series of Instagrams. Take a moment to leave students comments here on the blog or on Ms. Foretich’s Instagram posts. The students would love to hear how their messages have connected with you.