The Big Kids on the Go work on their 3D Summer Mural. See the result below.

Summer Study of Murals Has Begun
by Carla Goldberg
Preschool Director
We are having a fantastic time at our Akiba summer program! It has been great seeing old friends who have joined us again for the summer and making new friends as well. We are amazed at how quickly the children adjusted to new classrooms or teachers, and we have jumped right into the fun of summer.  

The month of June was not terrific weather wise, but that didn't stop us from being busy and engaged. We are excited about our summer study of murals and Chicago street artThe children have been exploring how to create murals with different types of medium. They created murals by putting together individual paintings to create a large one. Children have painted on transparencies to make a collective mural. They experimented with finger paints and assembled them in a mural form. 

The Purple  Little Explorers first mural was a fun kinetic experience using finger paint.

We have also done many group projects where we focus on team work. Children had to work together to paint a masterpiece, and had many conversations around what it means to work together towards a common goal .  Children have also explored three dimensional art in making a large piece of artwork and storytelling with a mural.  

3D Summer Mural by the Big Kids on the Go

In the upstairs classes our resident artist, Susan Carton, led a workshop on mural making. Again, the focus was teamwork as children painted their feet to make a collective mural and used a "car wash" technique to create a beautiful print. This was only the first part of the workshop with Susan - stay tuned for what happens next week as we add to this process.

We are also enjoying the weather whenever we can by splashing in the wading pools, playing in the sandbox, using side walk chalk to create large drawings and so much more.  

The Big Kids on the Go have loved walking to the swimming pool, jumping in and working on their swimming skills. We also loved our Drumming Workshop with Greg Fundis. 

The Blue Little Explorers loved trying out the drums.

Drumming Workshop with Greg Fundis

Our afternoon chugim (activities) are in full swing for the upstairs classes. Children are participating in gardening, master chef, and storytelling with art, yoga, and movement. We can't wait to see all of the wonderful skills our children will learn over the summer at Akiba.  

Akiba will be marching in the Fourth of July Parade on Thursday, July 4 in Hyde Park.  More information to follow!  

Save the Date for our Art Gallery Opening on Thursday, July 25, 4:00-5:15 PM. This is an end of the summer celebration to view all of the children's work created throughout the summer. All are invited!  

In the meantime, Shabbat Shalom and Happy July 4th!

For their third mural, the Purple Little Explorers decided to use paint and loose parts.
In Parent/Tot, everyone got to work with finger paints!
Happy Birthday, America! 4th of July mural by Parent/Tot!

Chugim in the Afternoon                
Children created stories working in a team and then made puppets to illustrate those stories.

Storytelling and Illustration Chug

In our Storytelling and Illustration Chug, the children investigate story appreciation by  listening to international folk tales acting out the characters in the story, and
reinforcing the story line through yoga poses.  Each of these unique, imaginative, humorous, or sad stories has a morale, which always leads the group into discussions , such as "Have you ever felt scared about a promise you made?" (from the Buffalo Dance), or "How do we learn to grow our patience and trust?" (from The Lion's Whisker). 

Next, the children create illustrations inspired by the folk tale, using a famous artist's technique they learned about.

Working on illustrations in the Story Chug

The children then work in small teams and create their own stories rich in the motifs of childhood: dragons, monsters, unicorns, magical waterfalls and caves.  Following is an example of such an illustrated story, drawn by hand using markers. Each student took on a piece of the story. As they learn more about art techniques, such as Monet's use of impressionism, the children will explore illustrating with different media and materials.
Story board detail from "The Indian Unicorn, the Rabbit and the Raccoon"
The Indian Unicorn, the Rabbit and the Raccoon
A Story by Enyi, Natalie & Elsie
From the Storytelling and Illustration Chug
Once upon a time there was a unicorn that lived in India. There was a rabbit living on an apple tree. There was a cave in that forest and a raccoon lived in that cave. They were all neighbors. 
They all went to get bananas and fish for lunch. The rabbit went to play in the meadow. The raccoon joined the rabbit.
All of a sudden a volcano erupted. There was an evil person made out of fire. The unicorn saved the rabbit and the raccoon, putting them in a magical water trap so they didn't get hurt. They all became friends and lived in the cave.
The end.
The Master Chef Chug has been learning about herbs.
Master Chef Chug   
It has been exciting to continue the tradition of Master Chef during the summer program. A year has passed since the first Master Chef Chug, and so this session began with recalling the rules about good hygiene and the importance of keeping hands and work surfaces clean at all times. It was also fun to crown the children with chef's hats and aprons.

So far the chug has been investigating herbs and their use in different cultures and cuisines. The children used their five senses to gain a deeper understanding of herbs. Finally, they added them to mini sandwiches to try the different flavors the herbs add to food.

Tasty sandwiches with herbs
The Gardening Chug has been busy taking care of plants.
Gardening Chug   
The gardening Chug is centered around our green spaces in the playground. The children went out and weeded the spaces, pulled old roots and trimmed the daffodils so they can return next year. 

Then they turned the soil and added new soil to the green planters so they could plant sunflower seeds. Of course they had to water because it has been so hot outside! Now the group is waiting for the delivery of seeds to fill the large planter with two different kinds of milkweed, zinnias, and other flowers that attract different species of Butterflies.

4th of July Parade
We'll be marching in Hyde Park's 4th of July Parade on Thursday morning. Stay tuned for details!

Save the Date: 
Summer Program Gallery Opening

Thursday, July 25
4:00 - 5:15 p.m.
@ Akiba

Back to School...

Monday, August 26
First Day of Classes for Grades 1-8

Monday, September 2
Labor Day
No Classes

Tuesday, September 3
First Day of Classes for Kindergarten
Preschool Visitation

Wednesday, September 4
First Day of Classes for Preschool
Late Pick-Up Begins
5th-8th Grade Parents Back-to-School Night

Affiliated with the Associated Talmud Torahs and supported by the Kehillah Jewish Education Fund

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