Saturday, September 20, 2014

Learning Names - Artist Tiles Activity

This is an activity that goes along with the "Learning Names" lesson of the Rite 13 curriculum which is popular in a lot of Episcopal churches.  This is obviously for one of the first weeks of the church school year, and it's my way of getting the kids to talk about their names and learn each other's, while creating a name card which we then put on our bulletin board display, where it will stay up for the rest of the year.

Here's a picture of all the supplies I used, along with the samples I created using my own name (and you will see here that I am most definitively NOT artistic, but I haven't let that stop me from having fun with it):  

Basically what I've done is take either a black or white sheet from one of the "Artist Tiles" books of what looks like heavy card stock to me, that I purchased earlier today at Michael's.  They are both Strathmore products, and I think are pretty widely available either at Michael's or Amazon.  I also bought a few gel pens, including white (for the black tiles), and some medium fine point drawing pens, for the white.  I also bought gold and silver for both tiles, as well as some blue color family Faber Castell markers, just because I thought they looked cool.  I also bought stick on letters in black and white glitter, and plain white, in case there were kids who didn't feel like free-handing it.  

The basic idea is that the kids will write or sticker their name on the tile/paper square, and then embellish it with Christian symbols.  This accomplishes several of my goals for this project:

  1. Everybody kind of pays attention to everyone's name while we're doing this, and they hopefully learn and remember them that way.
  2. We look at and talk about some Christian symbols as they doodle decorate.  I just downloaded some symbols from a Google image search for "Christian Symbols."  Some of these will be familiar to the kids (like, the cross?), some not so much, like the ChiRo, or the Alpha and Omega.  So, a good way to talk about them, too.  This picture gives an idea of what I downloaded for them to copy.  
  3. We'll be doing something with our hands while we talk about the symbols, their names (are they named after someone in their family, do they know what their name means, is it a Bible name, that sort of thing).  So much less awkward talking while doing something - this is a key element of my pedagogy, lol, always have a lot going on (I usually have music playing while we're doing all this, too, unless we're watching a video.  I have a Chris Tomlin station on Spotify that I usually play.)
Anyhoo, here's a closer look at what my samples look like.  I know, I know, they're not the great - but that way they don't intimidate the kids, lol (can I rationalize or what!).  

Doodling around the images, like I started to do in the center image, is fun and kind of cool, it's just for embellishment.  Here's a blog post I like on how to doodle that is fun and helpful, from a cool art techniques blog, Sparkle Tart, by Kate Palmer, an Australian creative art blogger.  Doodling is like a thing now, especially on Tumblr and Pinterest, so your kids might be familiar with it.  If not - here's their chance!   Here's an instructive video on "Doodling - How to Get Started," from Art ala Carte on YouTube.  Kinda long for Sunday School, I haven't showed this yet, but I might tomorrow, while they've getting started.

Okay, that's it, thanks for stopping by, hope someone finds this helpful!

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