Mindful artistic expression can help students reduce stress and calm their minds as they deal with remote learning, being separated from school friends and teachers, and not knowing when things will get back to normal. Zentangle® is a relaxing way to draw beautiful images with patterns. It was created by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts and you can always go to zentangle.com to learn more about it. Ms. Shimabukuro, certified Zentangle® teacher, Ed.D. (CZT), is providing Zentangle® lessons for Alameda students this school year.
Lesson 9 – Say Something!
This Zentangle® lesson is based on an empowering children’s book by Peter H. Reynolds entitled Say Something! The story encourages children to express their voice in a myriad of positive ways in order to make the world a better place. He writes, “You can say something in so many ways. With words, with action, with creativity.” His underlying, inspirational message is that each individual is a remarkable being who has something meaningful to share with others. The lesson will begin with a read-aloud of the story by Mrs. Shimabukuro, followed by a Zentangle® lesson in which students will mindfully draw Zentangle® patterns in the creation of a poster reflecting the message of this book.
Lesson 8 – Mapping SAM
This lesson begins with a read-aloud of Joyce Hesselberth’s beautifully illustrated book, Mapping SAM. The main character, a cat named Sam, puts her family to bed and proceeds to explore her neighborhood at night. Through her explorations, Sam demonstrates different kinds of maps, how they work, and how they reflect different points of view, ranging from her neighborhood to her skeletal system to the planets in our solar system. In the words of the author, “Maps tell us how to get from here to there. Maps can also tell us what is where.” The story concludes with Sam returning to her home and her family and, finally, falling asleep. Following a read-aloud of this informative story, students will follow the direction of Mrs. Shimabukuro to mindfully draw Zentangle® patterns on a template of Sam the cat.
Lesson 7 — The Dot
The Zentangle® method is based on the belief that each person is an artist. In his acclaimed story, The Dot, Peter H. Reynolds illustrates the conviction that everyone has an artist within them that often involves a journey of self-discovery. The main character, Vashti, becomes aware of her creative, artistic self through a frustrated, angry dot on a piece of paper and, then, becomes empowered to create a gallery of artistic dots. Following a read-aloud of this engaging story, students will follow the direction of Mrs. Shimabukuro to mindfully draw Zentangle patterns on a template entitled “My Zentangle Dots.”
Lesson 6 — My, Oh My — a Butterfly!
In a Dr. Seuss style, Tish Rabe, author of My, Oh My — a Butterfly!, whimsically conveys the miracle of change in nature. She demonstrates the metamorphosis of a butterfly egg into a caterpillar into a chrysalis and, finally, into a beautiful butterfly. Following a read-aloud of pages 6 through 19 of this book, students will mindfully draw Zentangle® patterns on a template illustrating a caterpillar and a butterfly. Framed alongside the two drawings is the inspiring proverb: “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” Teachers are encouraged to reinforce with students the positive aspect of change through the metamorphosis of the butterfly.
Lesson 5 — The Kindness Quilt
Kindness is the quality of generosity and friendliness that should be nurtured on a daily basis. This lesson encourages students to think of ways to be kind. The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace illustrates many acts of kindness. Following a read aloud of the book, students will reflect on one kind thing that they can do for someone in their lives and write it on the attached kindness quilt template. Then, under the direction of Mrs. Shimabukuro, they will learn Zentangle® patterns that they will mindfully draw on the kindness quilt template.
Lesson 4 — Love the World
In his endearing book, Love the World, Todd Parr whimsically illustrates positive messages for children, urging them to show love for themselves, as well as all the people and creatures of the earth. His message is one of self-acceptance, compassion, and kindness. After a read aloud of the book, students will follow the direction of Mrs. Shimabukuro and will be guided to learn Zentangle® patterns that they will mindfully draw on a template related to illustrations in the book.
Lesson 3 — Inky’s Amazing Escape
Author of acclaimed bestseller, The Soul of an Octopus, Sy Montgomery wrote a follow-up book for children entitled Inky’s Amazing Escape, How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home. This true story of the journey of an octopus named Inky chronicles his amazing escape from an aquarium in New Zealand, illustrating the incredible intelligence and beauty of this remarkable sea animal. Following an oral reading of this book, students will follow the direction of Mrs. Shimabukuro and will be guided to learn Zentangle® patterns that they will mindfully draw on a template related to illustrations in the book.
Lesson 2 — Be Nice to Spiders
Spiders are often feared creatures of nature. Be Nice to Spiders by Margaret Bloy Graham presents an alternative perspective, demonstrating that spiders are positive for the environment. After an oral reading of this classic book, students will follow the direction of Ms. Shimabukuro and will be guided to learn Zentangle® patterns that they will mindfully draw on a spider web template.