Karyn and I got to chatting about inventors and decided to do a tandem post (art and poetry) on George Washington Carver. Go to Karyn’s blog HERE to check out what Karyn put together!
George Washington Carver is well known for his discovery of 300 uses for the peanut. His work helped save the livelihoods of many farmers struggling to make use of soil depleted of nutrients from years and years of cotton-farming. And George was more: a botanist, a researcher, an inventor and teacher; he started his career studying art and music.
But first he was a boy, born into slavery, who yearned for an education. From his own account, as a young boy he traveled 10 miles to get to a school he was allowed to attend. A woman he met there, Mariah Watkins, told him something that would shape his life – “You must learn all you can, then go back out into the world and give your learning back to the people.” And these are the words I imagined him listening to while drawing the silhouette above.
And I imagined what he might say, years later:
Those words fed me. They skimmed along the lobes and slipped into my ear, my brain, my heart. I hungered for knowledge and took what I got. I digested it. From those words, I fed all that I could.
This post is the perfect excuse to share a favorite song:
Author/Illustrator: Alice and Martin Provensen
Publisher: Random House, 1974
Themes: farm animals, domestic animals, farm life
Opening: Who lives at Maple Hill Farm?
Summary: (from Amazon) Two dogs, five horses, a pig, some geese, lots of chickens, a few cows, a few goats, several sheep, and four special cats — these are the animals at Maple Hill Farm.
With simple text that is both affectionate and wry, and irresistible illustrations that burst with personality, Alice and Martin Provensen bring their barnyard friends to life for the delight of animal lovers both young and old.
I like this book because: this picture book tells all about farm life, even without the words and I appreciate the range of children that can enjoy this – even on their own. The well designed spreads pictures are humorous yet honest – maybe that’s what makes them so timeless.
Robyn and Susanna?
Resources/activities: sing Old MacDonald; list all the farm animals you can think of and talk about why they might be kept on a farm (other than sheer cuteness!); visit a farm, preferably a working farm. My city of choice, Fort Collins, CO, has one that serves ‘as an educational and interactive experience for residents and visitors’, where one ‘can learn more about the industry that shaped this region, have interactive, hands-on farm fun, and introduce your child to agriculture and farm life while visiting’ – for more info click HERE
For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.