For the last couple weeks, our focus book at the PreK/Kindergarten program has been Molly's Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen. (Ms. Christina's favorite Thanksgiving book!) In the story, Molly, a recent immigrant, has a homework assignment to make a pilgrim doll out of a clothespin. Her mother helps her make the doll but it doesn't look like the pilgrims Molly is learning about in school. Her mother considers herself a pilgrim so she makes the doll in clothes from her homeland. So as it happens in the story, we too asked the kids to make a doll out of a clothespin, dressed in clothing that represents their heritage.
While the kids were working on their dolls at home, in art class, we made a village for the dolls to play in when they got to our school! We saw this super cute and easy project on the internet a few years ago so we tried it out. Each child received an ordinary brown paper lunch bag and newspaper to crumple up and stuff into the bag. Then we folded over the top of the bag and stapled them shut.
The kids were then given construction paper, scissors and glue sticks and asked to decorate their house with windows, doors, chimneys - whatever they wanted on their house. They did and AMAZING job with this project! The houses had well thought out accoutrements and lots of detail! We let the houses dry while we waited for the dolls to come to school.
When the kids brought their dolls to school, they were so proud of their creations - and for good reason! They were nothing short of incredible! The families obviously worked hard on this project with their kids. The kids loved telling each other about where they their family was from. One little boy said "I'm not really from anywhere, so I just made mine look like a regular pilgrim!" (Mom confirmed their non-specific European heritage! Too funny!)
We were so thrilled by how much the thought and effort the families put into this project! The kids were so proud and happy with their dolls, they play that resulted was extremely thoughtful and engaging. A big hit for everyone involved!