Sunday, July 1, 2012

Red, White and Blue, Patriotic Art Projects!

photo of: Patriotic American Flag photo from 4th of July parade
Old Glory Against a Blue Sky
Last month for America's flag day, our very own Carolyn Wilhelm selected my newest picture book for the focus of all her loving attention. She did her usual brilliant work at creating an amazing FREE resource with patriotic images for all things numeric. I was so very surprised and delighted. Immediately as I saw her hard work and kindness I was given the 'focus' for my entry this month. Again, timely!

I realize that we have readers from around the globe, for whom the 4th is not a national holiday, so please excuse this second Ameri-centric article in quick rotation -- as I share classroom and student response to my book, "Red, White and Blue." The text of my picture book is the lyric of my original song by the same name. I wrote the simple repetitive 'dittie' immediately after 9-11.  Today I have images to share from my Author-Illustrator School Visits, where teachers have directed their students to respond to the quilted graphics in my project.

 photo of: "Red, White and Blue" picture book by Debbie Clement

It's so exciting to make my way into the classroom and find my own book amid other patriotic choices. Here's a recent kindergarten bookshelf upon my arrival. 

photo of: Patriotic picture books, Red White and Blue by Debbie Clement
Patriotic Picture Books on Kindergarten Book Shelf

Let's start with the amazing response from a kindergarten team of teachers at St. Paul Catholic School in Westerville, OH. We think that I have come for an end-of-the-year visit with their students every year for the past nine years. It's kinda like ol' home day with LOTS of hugs upon my arrival each May. The teachers both have bulletin boards of the children's art in response to each of my books. Today lets look at their patriotic efforts. 

photo of: American Flag Collage of Kindergarten Art Work in Construction Paper
photo of: American Flag
I Pledge Alligience  to the Flag
photo of: Bulletin Board of Patriotic Images for Author Illustrator School Visit with Debbie Clemen
Bulletin Board of Patriotic Images from Kindergarten
photo of: Kindergarten Patriotic Americana Symbols
Kindergarten Bulletin Board -- an ENTIRE WALL of Americana 

photo of: Kindergarten American Flag Art Project for Bulletin Board
Kindergarten Flags Created for Author Illustrator School Visit
Now let's take a look at one way to convey fireworks in an open-ended Art exploration.
photo of: Fireworks Art Project in Celebration of all things Americana by Kindergarten Students

As you've probably imagined, these fireworks are created with 'marble rolling' through paint. I LUV the way they frame each individual student's photo. Trust me. Together the entire bulletin board is A.MAZ.ING! 

photo of: Memorial Day Art project for children, kindergarten painting for Memorial Day

photo of: Field of Heroes: American Flags honor Memorial Day

Now let's take a look at a preschool flag of delight. One can never have enough painted hand prints from children. This was my welcome to the Chicago-land area at Small Miracles. LUV LUV LUV it! Simple enough to create for children participating in a summer program. 

photo of: Preschool Painted Handprint American flag
Preschool Banner of Welcome: Flag created from Handprint Paintings

This is an INCREDIBLE photographic extravaganza from Blair Moody elementary school up in Taylor Michigan. As you can see each student is photographed individually to become a montage of smiles in the stripes and the teachers and staff are captured for the field of stars. LOTS of work. I think I've seen something like this on Pinterest -- but I have to tell you that seeing a work of this nature in person is so very inspirational. Much work for a HUGE and permanent outcome for a whole year and beyond!

photo of: Flag collage of student pictures, Patriotic project for Memorial Day 

photo of: Flag image of photos of students, Patriotic projects
Amazing "All School" Flag created from Students and Staff Individual Photos
These flags were created at the Preschool easel in Powel, OH in anticipation of my arrival. LUV their sincere simplicity and the individual style that is captured in each treasure. What an awesome project and appropriate for framing!

photo of: Flag paintings by young children, preschool patriotism

Here's an even younger 'response'....... these beauties were created by a group of 'oldish' toddlers in New York City. Their center is right in the heart of the city. The children each created their own 'collage' quilt square in preparation for my arrival. Somehow in all of the excitement I forgot to take photos myself and this was sent via cell phone after the fact, but I think that you can still see the texture and fun in this work. It's a combination of scrap book papers and art supplies and other miscellaneous fabrics and bits and bobs. 

photo of: Patriotic Media Collage by Toddlers at NYC Childcare center
NYC Patriotic Quilt Creation by Young Children -- Three years old

This next image is an actual framed piece of art hanging in the Jones Center in Arkansas. Another variation on young, painted handprints. Whenever a finished piece is indeed 'framed' it conveys the worth of the subject and adds to its sense of permanency. 

photo of: Flag of painted handprints

I'll conclude with an absolutely un-be-lieve-able project created in a classroom that I have never visited. That's the power of the book!!! The book can travel to places that the author has yet to visit. This incredible work was created by our contributing author here, Carie. We met at a reading conference in her home state of Illinois. She tells her story of serving in the US Army for nine years before taking over the reigns of the kindergarten classroom. She served a year in Iraq and needless to say, has a profound sense of patriotism and adoration for our flag. She is also an appreciator of quilting. When we met she promised a quilt response to my book. 

Carie also used the technique of marbles rolling through paint to create the papers for their quilting.

photo of: Marble Painting in Kindergarten for Art Project
Marble Painting in Kindergarten
photo of: Kindergarten Patriotic Art Project

Adding painted stars

photo of: Kindergarten Quilt Project in response to picture book, "Red, White and Blue"

Here it is in all its glory!!! 
That's Carie over on the left hand side of the picture. 
That's my book being cradled lovingly in the front row. 
Yes, folks it turned out to be 19 feet wide and 11 feet high. 
That's the power of the book in the hands of a dedicated teacher! 

photo of: Kindergarten Children Pose in front of their Collaborative Quilt Project, for "Red, White and Blue" picture book by Debbie Clement

I had a recent 'Tutorial Tuesday' where I focused on the simple steps of building a peace drum. You can jump over to my blog if you need more of a description beyond the photos. Drumming provides so many opportunities for young children. You could use the same 'wrapping-with-tape' concept around a shadow box/deep picture frame to simplify your life. 

photo of: Patriotic Peace Drum: DIY Tuesday Tutorial
DIY Patriotic Peace Drum: Wood Frame wrapped in Wide Packing Tape

photo of: Collage of Patriotic Art Projects by Young Children in preschool and kindergarten
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-- Debbie --
photo of: Author Illustrator Visit to US Army Base in Italy, Comparing original Quilt to Finished Book

Debbie Clement writes her own blog over at RainbowsWithinReach. From that venue she shares her travels from around the block, around the city, around the country and yes around the world!! The opportunity of a lifetime arose where she was able to take her book and visit 4 US Army bases across Europe. Follow your dreams people. Follow your dreams. 


  1. You always have such amazing patriotic inspiration, Debbie! I pinned your post to my Kids' Patriotic Activities (U.S.) Pinterest board at Have a wonderful 4th of July week! :)

  2. This is such an inspiring post. I love the huge flag with the children's faces. The pictures with their hand on their hearts is precious too.

    Heather's Heart

  3. These are all wonderful! We did patriotic folded flags last year:
    I would make these with First graders when I was an Elementary Art Teacher!
    They loved this project!

  4. THank you for linking up! You have some really great resources here that you shared. I really appreciate it! :) Maria Dismondy


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