I love book club days, and this group of girls is always fun. This month was no exception as we delved into Edison’s Gold“>Edison’s Gold, which we had a blast working with last summer, but while that book focused heavily on the exciting aspects of history and science, this one centered around art and relationships.
There is lots of meat for discussion with this book. What is theft? Who owns art? Can missing art be recovered after a long period of time? To what lengths is it okay to go to find stolen goods?
After hashing out the answers to those questions, we headed into the kitchen to make a British treat. The book does take place in London, after all, and Zena and Zander often mention their confusion at the differences between American and British food names. We chose to make cinnamon scones, and the girls worked together to prepare the dough and get them oven ready.
While they were baking, we moved on to our next project. Knowing that picture frames were, at some points in history, nearly as much of a work of art as the painting or drawing they contained, we decided to build our own gilded frames, like the ones holding the infamous “Girl with the Purple Hat.” I pre-cut large cardboard frames, leaving wide edges so they could hold lots of texture. I put ditalini, spaghetti noodles, and old yarn on the table, as well as dishes of Elmer’s glue. The kids dipped these objects into the glue and then positioned them on the frames in patterns to create different textures. When they were finished, I spray-painted them to achieve a solid color frame with a ‘carved’ look.
When their frames were gilded, the girls moved onto portrait work. We talked about proportion and scale in faces and body figures, and then the girls chose a friend to paint. We set up easels with big paper and palettes of paint, and after sketching out their people with some light-colored chalk, they set to work.
After creating some super colorful portraits, we headed back into the kitchen to eat our scones. They were a hit – just like this book.
What are your kids reading now?