We're continuing to explore famous Black Americans for Black History Month. Today, we looked at jazz music, specifically Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. Then we made a sparkly trumpet craft to go along with our lesson!
We started by reading a few chapters from Play, Louis, Play! by Muriel Harris Weinstein which we've been working through this week. This is a fantastic book for older preschoolers or early elementary aged students! It tells the story of Louis Armstrong's childhood, and is told from the point of view of his first horn. It needed a bit of parental editing as I read for a 4-year-old (there is one chapter about a gun and some outdated terminology), but overall was really great.
Next we read Skit-Skat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgerald by Roxanne Orgill. Like the first book, I wouldn't recommend this for younger preschoolers. Older, more mature preschoolers or elementary aged children should do fine with it, though. The text is rather long and deals with the poverty and other difficulties of Ella's childhood. But it is also lyrical and descriptive and remarkably inspiring. When we finished this book, Lena said, "Wow, she really stuck with her dream!" Yes, she did!
On to the craft!
I found this printable trumpet from Coloring Pages for Kids, which we pretended was Louis' trumpet. I ended up resizing it to make it nice and big. I would be happy to share that with you if I could, but I'm pretty sure that would be violating copyright! I essentially took a screen shot of it, then pasted it into a word document and enlarged it. I printed it on thick cardstock so that it would hold up under all the glue and glitter.
Next, have your child paint a thin layer of glue over the trumpet. Put a little glue in a small dish and use a regular paintbrush. I encouraged my girls to stay within the thick black outline, rather than on it so that the shape of the trumpet would show more clearly after having been glittered.
After you have the glue down, let your child shake glitter over it to make it nice and sparkly. You can do it all at once, or in chunks. Set the trumpet aside to dry.
Next comes the second part of the project. Give your child watercolor paints watercolor paper. While we worked on the watercolor background, I played Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald music via Pandora Internet radio. We talked briefly about jazz music and the great contribution that it was to American music.
I asked the girls to simply paint what they heard. Lena said things like, "This song feels happy, and to me, that's the color red.," and "This blue section of my painting is for the sad song." It was a simple way to encourage active listening, and to show them how music can convey many emotions that we can relate to.
Set the watercolor painting aside to dry. Then you'll simply cut out the trumpet (I did that part since it was so glittery) and glue it to the watercolor background.
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For more ideas for Black History Month, follow the Cutting Tiny Bites Pinterest board below!