Tag Archives: nature

Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems

“Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems”

Teaching children at a young age how to be present and how to self-calm can become a beneficial skill that can help them later in life when faced with stress. In Breathe and Be, mindfulness poems set the stage for children to calm, relax, and be. These poems use nature analogies that children can easily relate to.

By the end of the book, a sense of calm and serenity prevails. Readers connect mindfulness with the beauty of nature. On the book’s back cover, this poem portrays rushing thoughts and centeredness.

Gorgeous illustrations create a soothing peacefulness while illustrating how readers’ awareness of their thoughts can promote mindfulness.

This book promotes visualization, flexible thinking, and nature.

TITLE: Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems

AUTHOR: Kate Coombs

ILLUSTRATOR: Anna Emilia Laitinen

PUBLISHER: Sounds True, 2017

AGE GROUP: 4-8

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: visualization, flexible thinking, nature

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, is quoted: “Mindfulness is the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” As an act of mindfulness, sit quietly in nature. Pick a small square of dirt to observe. For five to ten minutes focus only on that patch of earth, watching nature happen.

2) Try your hand at writing a tanka poem. A tanka poem has five lines. The first and third lines have five syllables. The second, fourth and fifth lines have seven syllables. Here is an example that I wrote.

Up Above

by Ann Kelley

dollops of whipped cream

drift across speckled blue sky

like scoops of ice cream

piling higher and higher

until melting raindrops pour

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author Kate Coombs, visit:

http://www.katecoombs.com

To learn about illustrator Anna Emilia Laitinen, visit:

http://www.annaemilia.com

The True Adventure of Esther the Wonder Pig

The True Adventure of Esther the Wonder Pig”

Based on a true story about a rescued pig, Esther’s two dads were told she was a mini pig. But there was nothing mini about Esther.

She grew and grew and grew.

Esther often got into mischief. She made a mess in the garden.

She sneaked into the freezer and ate all the ice pops. But she would look into her dads’ eyes and that smile…it was love.

Eventually Esther, at over six hundred pounds, outgrew their tiny house. Her two dads bought property and created the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary for rescued animals.

This book promotes creative nonfiction and humor.

TITLE: The True Adventure of Esther the Wonder Pig

AUTHOR: Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter, Caprice Crane

ILLUSTRATOR: Cori Doerrfield

PUBLISHER: Little, Brown and Company, 2018

AGE GROUP: 6-8

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: humor, creative nonfiction

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Imagine having a dinosaur as a pet. What adventures would you and your pet have? What mischief might your pet get into?

2) Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary is located in Canada. Explore animal sanctuaries in other countries. How do animal shelters in the United States differ and are similar than other countries’ shelter? What ways can you help rescued animals? 

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about Esther the Pig, visit:

https://www.estherthewonderpig.com

To learn more about author Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter, Caprice Crane, visit:

http://www.stevejenkinsbooks.com

To learn more about Caprice Crane, visit:

http://www.capricecrane.com

To learn more about illustrator Cori Doerrfield, visit:

http://www.coridoerrfeld.com

Creative Thinking Prompt: Create a New Basket Design

Creative Thinking Prompt: Create a New Basket Design

Catriona Pollard – “Sowing New Seeds” www.TheArtofWeaving.com.au

Creative thinkers sometimes take what someone else has done and think about ways it can be improved. Australian fiber artist, Catriona Pollard takes natural weaving materials to create art. Her baskets connect people to nature. When working with foraged and discarded plant material, she “listens” to the material, weaving and shaping it into what it wants to be to create her unique organic sculptures.

Creative Thinking Prompt: Create a New Basket Design

First, think about the purpose of a basket. Is used to hold things, to carry things, or to be home to an animal? Brainstorm other ways a basket can be used. Will it hang from a wall? Will someone use it? From your list, pick one purpose.

Second, make a list of different materials that can a basket can be made from. Choose one material to use when creating your basket.

Third, think about how you can make your basket unique. Remember it needs to achieve its purpose.

Fourth, sketch out your design.

Fifth, gather materials you will need and begin to create your basket. Don’t worry if your design does not work at first. Sometimes it takes several tries and revision before it works. Your design may take on a different approach than what you originally thought and that is okay.

Sixth, elaborate on your basket design. What embellishments or decorations would you like to add (or not add)? What can be added or taken away to improve your basket’s function?

Seventh, proudly use and display your basket.

You can also use this creative thinking technique called Scamper to help you design your basket.

S = Substitute:  Remove some part and replace it with something else.

C = Combination:  Join or force together two or more elements of your subject to develop a solution.

A = Adapt:  Change some part so that it works where before it didn’t work.

M = Magnify or modify:  Consider the attributes of the subject and change them. Attributes include: size, shape, other dimensions, texture, color, position, etc.

P = Put to other uses:  Think about your subject – why it exists, what it is used for, what it’s supposed to do. Then think up new and unusual purposes.           

E = Eliminate:  Remove any or all elements of the subject to find another solution.

R = Rearrange or reverse:  Look at the subject from different perspectives. Turn it upside-down, inside-out. Make it go backwards, against the direction it was intended to go or be used. Similar to Reverse, modify the order of operations or any other hierarchy involved.

EXTENDED CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about Catriona Pollard and her creative process, visit: http://www.catrionapollard.com/art/  and watch this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZHySibDdoA

To practice your weaving skills, create an easy paper basket: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NX2Tw40K5DY