We spent a week on the project, starting by talking about were Haiti is, what an earthquake is, and what happened. I chose not to show them images - some parents did at home - but I did not do that in the classroom. The children talked about things falling down, and their initial reaction was to send glue and tape to fix the houses and the schools. A part of me wishes that I could have supported their exploration of help and charity, but we were getting ready for the February break, and the project that was organized was a great way for them to get involved right away. Perhaps we will be able to explore service learning later.
We looked at many paintings and talked about the themes and the colors, and then the children glued small copies of the paintings that they liked into their sketchbooks. We used our sketchbooks all week as our place to get ready, and late in the week, the children chose a painting that they had liked all week and drew with black pen. The idea was to help keep them on theme and have the artwork nearby, so we could talk about colors and objects and what, perhaps, to draw. Every child's piece came out original, and reflected their personal style, with inspiration from the Haitian artwork. I'm grateful that we were able to help in some way, and that the children were able to have this experience.