Faith Ringgold is one of my favorite author/illustrators and I look forward to doing some sort of art lesson inspired by her every year!
This year, first graders read Dinner at Aunt Connie’s House which honors the lives of quite a few African American women. “For Melody the best thing about summertime was going to family dinners at Aunt Connie and Uncle Bate’s big house on the beach. This summer, Aunt Connie, an artist, has several surprises for the family. One is that she and Uncle Bates have adopted a son, Lonnie, whose green eyes and red hair instantly captivate Melody. While Melody and Lonnie are playing hide-and-seek, they hear strange voices coming from the attic, and there they find Aunt Connie’s other surprise. She has painted twelve beautiful portraits of famous African-American women–and the paintings can speak! Melody and Lonnie are at first amazed but are soon profoundly inspired as the women talk to them about their courageous lives. Faith Ringgold’s powerful story and vibrant art underscore the magic of this special moment in Melody’s and Lonnie’s life as they discover in a new way how proud they are to be African Americans. Cover excerpt, Dinner at Aunt Connie’s House by Faith Ringgold, Hyperion Press, New York 1993.”
First graders chose from 20 African America women to honor. They learned how many amazing different things that African American women have done from an astronaut to a three time Olympic gold medal winner!
First graders began by gluing their ‘quilt squares’ to the top, bottom or both of their papers. Then they drew the portrait of the woman they chose in black oil pastel as well as drew in some images to describe the person. Then they used watercolor to add color to their portraits.