Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Butterfly Project

The Holocaust Museum of Houston is sponsoring the Butterfly Project , an exhibition planned for 2012 featuring 1,500,000 handmade butterflies in remembrance of the 1.5 million children who died in the Holocaust.

I’m planning to have Will -- as well as the students in my preschool class – make butterflies. At preschool we’d already constructed these butterflies for a spring poster using the old tried and true method of dabbing paint on one side of a butterfly cut-out, then folding the paper in half to create some mirror-image symmetry.
But our butterflies are too big (the guidelines on the museum website call for butterflies 8-by-10 inches or smaller), so I’ll hunt around for a different butterfly craft. Here’s one web page with a bunch of them.

With three-year-olds, I will talk only vaguely about the tragedy of the Holocaust, but they will understand quite clearly the importance of treating all children with love and respect and of honoring other who aren’t as lucky as us. I like the idea of encouraging kids to make art for a larger audience as an expression of love and remembrance and as part of a collaborative project with children around the world.

Thanks to Grace, a friend from Atlanta and a home-schooling mom who’s much craftier than me, for clueing me into this one. Check out her daughter Ella’s butterflies and the poem that inspired the project on Grace’s blog.

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