Thursday, October 17, 2019

365: Black Poetry Day

October 17 is Black Poetry Day. Black poetry is rich with a culture that Jude is not regularly immersed in. Much like Indigenous People's Day, we wanted to celebrate and educate, not appropriate, so we enjoyed the poetry but did not try in any way to mimic it.
One of my favorite poems of all time is "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou. I taught it every year in my English classes when I was teaching. I felt like it wouldn't be Black Poetry Day without reading some Maya Angelou, so we started with her. While I read it, I set Jude up with an art project to create an artistic depiction of the poem. I had lofty goals of Jude representing the suns, moons, and tides in the three different sections of his sheet. Since he is one, that didn't work out as planned.
Jude used his chunky paint brushes, Learning Resources Jumbo Eyedroppers, and Colorations Liquid Watercolor to paint. This is the first time that Jude has used the jumbo eyedroppers, and he had such a good time. He would pull a couple out, use them, and put them back. He did that over and over. It was a colorful mess. The liquid watercolors are so easy to clean off that I was able to let him paint without fear of a permanent mess.
After we read "Still I Rise" a couple of times, we read some Langston Hughes. My favorite of the bunch was "Mother to Son". After Jude's paintings dried, I put a quote from "Still I Rise" on one of them, and we will be hanging it in the playroom. Painting to poetry was a nice way to celebrate this holiday!

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