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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Crafts in the Czech

In this blog I will highlight a few of the crafts done by campers in the Czech. Basically, it is a follow up to this post (which talks about all the plans I had).

1. Necklaces:

I helped coteach the "level 5" English group, which would be the most mid-level English speakers. I used the necklace craft during the "fashion" lesson (because necklaces have to do with fashion, right?). The students were supposed to cut words out of magazines that describe themselves. I thought this girls choice of words were funny since she was one of our quietest students. But her necklaces didn't make me laugh as much as some of them did (although I didn't get pictures of them all). Some of them had some really random words on them like "monkey", "keyboard", "brain" and "back"- a reminder that they don't speak English fluently yet.

I have to say this boy was my favorite student of all. He began by being placed in level 2, but after realizing that he was beyond level 2, he got moved up into my class (lucky for me). The first few days he was extremely hesitant to speak, but by the last two days, when our level's translator got sick and couldn't make it, he was doing the majority of the translating for us. Also, by the end, we could sit together at lunch and have a decently understandable conversation... well, atleast understandable enough to realize that he was a super high quality boy that I would have liked to adopt as my own son, but since that's not possible, I hope my own kids end up this awesome. I wish that I could have taken this necklace home with me, because I thought it was so awesome. This girl wasn't in my class though.

2. Playdough

If there is one thing I learned about Czech people, it is that they really like play dough. I didn't realize that play dough would be such a hit or I would have planned it into more lessons. Apparently, you can't get play dough in the Czech.

This is the "supermodel" we created before beginning our "fashion" lesson- complete with whitey tighteys, rollerblades, and a bottle of beer.
At the end of our "space and technology" lesson we had some extra time and I asked the kids what they wanted to do, and they unanimously voted for playdough. So we created this space scene. I thought it was pretty impressive. Again, with the whitey tighteys. This is my entire class with our space scene. Sean, who is sitting in the back in the window sill was my teaching partner.

These are some aliens that Brandi's class created. I didn't get to get around to all the classes, but I hear that there were many more awesome playdough sculptures.

3. Tie Dye Bags

I have to say that I have never seen tiedye come out as brilliant as these bags did. Even when I put my sample bag next to these, it looked dull and pastel. I don't know why these turned out so well, but I hope I can do whatever it was again.

We tied and dyed the bags on Tuesday. That night, Brandi and Kim stayed up late helping me untie them and rinse them out (while not separating the name of the artist from the bag- a challenge). I was so excited that night about all the beautiful deep tones that didn't rinse out, like they normally do for me. On Wednesday, the craft session was cancelled and all the campers went on a 4 hour hike. I took that opportunity to stay back and catch up on sleep (which I was deeply deprived of the entire time). When I woke up, I ironed all of the bags and then laid them out on the green sloped lawn. As the campers arrived back from their hike, they could see their beautiful bags from a distance and they looked like a brilliant psychedelic quilt all together. Here I am laying with the bags, which I am very proud of, even though I didn't even make them. Three of the Czech girls model their bags.

4. Decoupage Frames

I think this was the Czech's favorite craft. That made me feel good, because it made my months and months of OCD magazine cutting seem totally worth it.

5. Hats

The hat painting wasn't my idea. My team members, who had been to the Czech last year said that the campers really loved painting hats, so we should do it again. When I made the sample hat (which, by the way, I am really glad I made samples, because otherwise I would have had virtually no way of communicating to them what we were doing, since there was sometimes no translator around for craft time), but as I was saying, when I made my sample hat, I used my nice acrylic paint here at home, which was sortof cruel because all we could afford to buy for them was cheap puffy paint. I was seriously impressed with how well the campers were able to actually make decent looking hats with really crappy paint that I wouldn't dare touch.

This is Romi and she attended every single one of my craft sessions. We also had a large ziplock bag of really cheap kids tempera paint that I kept in the craft bag. Any time she had any free time, she would get out the tempera paint and begin to paint something on whatever scrap paper was around. By the looks of it, she was really a talented artist. At the end of the week, we were dispersing our leftover supplies to all the campers so we wouldnt have to haul them home. I made sure to get the bag of tempera paint to her, and when I gave it to her, she started crying because she was so happy to be able to keep the paint. Like I said, art supplies are hard to come by in the Czech and if an artist is grateful for kids tempera paint, then I would think the Czech is not a great place to be born if you're an artist! Last week I picked up a nice set of acrylic paints at Hobby Lobby, and I will mail them to her next week. If she's never used nice paints before, she's going to discover that she's a much better artist than she ever even knew!
So that's it! The crafts that I didn't mention anything about either didn't go as well as I planned (like the nature prints) or I didn't have my camera around to take pictures of them (like the clothing collages).


Matt said...

That's why I married you - because you are good at doing crafts!

Sarah said...

Since you left all the supplies in the Czech does that mean no craft day with Naomi?? Bummer!

The Shoup Family said...

That is awesome!

Donna Mc said...

Wahoo ~ FABULOUS crafts! I'm very impressed with the all of them, and the kids' enthusiasm. I especially like the tie-dyed bags.

Jo Ann said...

Better late than never... I like your tie dyed bags they look neat.
or should I say cool man.