A few years ago, a number of my kindergarten students told me they were ‘building Bethlehem’. They were inspired by all of the Nativity Stories I had read to them.
First, the setting
Then the animals
A group of SK girls decided that the stable needed animals – to scale.
“Can we put big papers on the floor and paint them? Then they can be costumes!”
One of them volunteered to be taped into the paper so her friend could paint her standing up. One condition: She would be the standing model for the animal painting process, but she wanted to be Mary after that. Hello law school!
I’m sure you can imagine the reaction.
All of them wanted to be Mary. They went back to the painting on the floor idea.
“Girls,” I said, “We use the easels for painting upright. It saves space and keeps your paintings safe from being ruined, right?”
They nodded, but did not feel the easels were big enough.
“Can you think of anything that is? We do have this giant roll of paper…”
Here’s what they came up with:
The house center was transformed. We wrapped up the house center oven and cupboard pieces. The kids decided which animals they wanted to include. They worked in pairs, outlining where their heads, the main trunk of their bodies and limbs in pencil. I put simple blackline images up as models for sketching before getting the paint out. The appliances had two animals painted on opposite sides. This allowed for variety and more artist opportunities!To ensure all of my kindergarteners could contribute artistically to the Building Bethlehem, I printed sheep onto construction paper. Here’s how they turned out: