Happy Monday and welcome to Comox Valley Family Literacy Week. Folks all over the Comox Valley will be hosting events at schools, clubs and organizations throughout the week with everything culminating in a bit of a literary extravaganza on Family Literacy Day this Friday.
Here at Our Big Earth, we are big fans of getting your creative juices flowing and telling stories in all kinds of ways. So, in honor of Family Literacy Week, finding that spark of creativity in you kids and the fun that goes with it, we’ll be here all week with different ways for you to help make learning a true adventure.
Art is an amazing tool for getting kids interested in reading. Creating stories with paint and glue make for some really interesting projects and studies have shown that kids who use art as a way to discover words are more likely to be lifelong readers.
The Comox Valley Art Gallery in partnership with Family Literacy Week is celebrating the act of spinning yarns with tools such as paint and glue as they celebrate words through art this week. Local residents are invited to enter into the world of animals, taking a peek at two art shows that opened recently and making animal art with local illustrator and painter Ken Henderson from 10 a.m. to Noon Friday, Jan. 27 at the CVAG across from the Courtenay Public Library in downtown Courtenay.
Guests of all ages will draw inspiration from two shows. The first, hanging in the Contemporary Gallery, features an exhibit titled, In Place / Displaced. This exhibit consists of a selection of artworks by artists Haruko Okano, Maria Whiteman and Pamela Speight presenting installation, large format photography and drawings together to spark the discussion surrounding the human relationship with animals, the phenomena of habitat/territory and invasive species. Parents may want to preview this show before bringing young children as some of the images may be difficult.
Kids will love Animalmorphic, an open call community art show, in conjunction with the main exhibit. CVAG invited the community to submit artworks on humanity’s relationship to animals and our practice of attributing human qualities towards them; and to consider animals both wild and domestic. Artists were asked: How does this practice affect how we see, feel and think about animals? In its most prevalent form, we see animals as characters in fables, stories, and legends. Nowadays, how do we continue this relationship in popular media?
Staff and Henderson, a long-time Valley residents who creates worlds for television and film, will be making some lively animal art projects with kids and adults alike that bring images and words together to tell a larger tale. The event is free of charge and open to the public as a part of Comox Valley Family Literacy Week.
Meanwhile, check out some projects for kids at different age and ability levels that bring that spark to words:
The Nature Alphabet: We love this one because it combines spending time outside, using imagination to make creatures and coming up with ideas for every letter.
Story boxes: These are a great way to use up old magazines, practice word recognition, make up cool stories and more. Easy and you more than likely have everything you need in your house right this minute.
Wet Watercolor Painting: This is a great way to get kids young and old into storytelling through color. Wet watercolor is a soothing process and fun to do after reading a classic story like Beatrix Potter. We often use old paintings for projects such as the salmon mobile shown below
and other fun cutouts.
Learning Mobiles: Making mobiles to learn a letter, a word or a subject can be great fun, like with the salmon migration project.
Alphabet Journals: One favorite project is to make a journal for a certain letter and then fill it with things like drawings, found items and pictures of things that begin with that letter.