Monday, March 31, 2014

The Greak Kapok Tree and Rainforest Art {with giveaway}

The first theme of the new Poppins Book Nook year is Around the World, which is such an expansive theme with so many possibilities!  I ran through a lot of ideas, but we finally chose the book The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry, because I had the perfect art project.

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The story is about a man who attempts to cut down a Kapok tree, but is visited by many inhabitants of the rainforest who want to convince him otherwise.  The moral is explicitly obvious, but it opens the line of discussion about environmentalism, and the artwork is just gorgeous!  The author actually went into the rainforest to study and illustrate the book!  So we looked at a map and discussed where you can find the Amazon Rainforest, and then used the book as an opportunity to explore the beauty of the rainforest, attempting to create our own beautiful rainforest art!

Awhile back I received a copy of Ms. Woods Wild Art Adventures-The Rainforest, but we had yet to work it into our day.  I knew this would be a lovely, natural pairing!  This is a story and art book in one.  Ms. Woods takes us on an adventure to the rainforest, and along the way she teaches us to how capture what we see through art.  I really enjoyed the book because Ms. Woods teaches technique, vocabulary, art history and artistic styles.  So much ART packed into this book!

We started out flying through the clouds to reach the rainforest, and Ms. Woods helped us paint the sky and clouds.  Then we drew large tropical leaves.  We talked about shading and noticed detail like the veins.

Another project was painting from a "bug's eye view" or from the ground looking up into the trees.  We talked about perspective and vanishing points.  Elliott even got down in the floor, held his painting above him and checked it out from a bug's eye view!

This was our messy workspace. You can see Emory to the left, working on his green color mixing. 

Meet Bonzo; he was a joint effort.  We're planning to go back and paint the toucan later!

These art lessons were a lot of fun, and focusing on the plants and animals of the rainforest went along great with our book this month!  We enjoyed "traveling" to the rainforest, and I'm glad this month's theme took us there, because Ms. Woods' next book is about Japan and it looks really fun too!

April's theme is Planes, Trains and Automobiles, so if you are planning to join in, start thinking about what book(s) you're going to read. That's another very fun topic, especially for my two boys, so I'm excited!


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Poppins Book Nook


Poppins Book Nook Giveaway! Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win a copy of Where in the World?  The winner must reside within the United States. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here {}.  Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:

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  1. We read that book and it's a good one! Fabulous art projects! This is my favorite way to teach!

    1. Thanks . . . we love the literature based and hands-on approach!

  2. We haven't read the book but we do have it. The art projects look like a lot of fun.

    1. The art was fun, and there was a lot of interesting art history and vocabulary packed into the little art book!

  3. Collaborative art sounds lovely. :)

    1. You know, I never did any art in school, so I always thought of myself as "artistically challenged" but I've really enjoyed joining in with the kids!

  4. That Bonzo painting is fantastic!

  5. Looks like a fun book, and what fabulous art you all created!

  6. I love The Great Kapok Tree. I still remember it was one of the first books I learned to "teach" when I was getting my undergraduate degree in education. :-)

  7. This sounds like a great book for teaching kids about the rain forest and the animals that live there.
    Thank you for helping to bring a spoonful of reading fun to the Poppins Book Nook this month!
    P.S. The paintings are fantastic!

  8. Love the watercolors! That book is a favorite of mine but we've never really done anything with it except read it yet :-)