Nathalie Trovato, artist of The Environmental Book Pack, is also a Pre-K teacher in Brooklyn. She brought her set of books into her class and used the books to prompt a 'drawing with scissors' activity with her students. Nathalie was kind enough to author a guest post for us, sharing her and her students' experiences around the books.
As an artist it is always such an achievement to see your work become alive in the hands of children. I am lucky to be a Pre-K teacher at the International School of Brooklyn and to have the opportunity to witness these precious moments.
A few weeks ago the school celebrated its Literacy week—I couldn’t find better occasion to show my own work with Home Grown Books to my classroom. I brought in all of the original drawings for the books and explained to my class how the project started, how I gathered ideas and thoughts, and then how I started drawing with scissors.
All of the children were so eager to hear all the anecdotes behind the images. There are some very intimate moments in the books—actually, my whole family is there! My two daughters, my husband and myself! They kept looking for us and were so thrilled to spot their teacher… in a bathtub!
Then, I told them about the process of building an image from paper cut and how you can let your imagination play while working with paper. The children also learned how you can modify your composition before fixing a drawing in a particular spot, which allows them to experiment with shape, color, and composition before making a final decision.
Making a picture became real magic to them. They all got very excited and wanted to grab scissors and start cutting right away.
The plan was to have them invent and create their own garden. This was a great opportunity to work on language. Children were happily sharing their ideas while cutting and composing. When ready, each group was so proud to present their work.
Although my Pre-K are not yet at a reading stage, they were able to read my books just by looking at the pictures. Before I knew it they had created a French version. What a treat for their teacher!
Special thanks to: Zoe, Augustin, Eitan, Wilder, James, Zakariya and Margot.