Tar Beach

For Spirit Day yesterday, I used a project inspired by the book Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold. In this story a girl imagines she is flying above the night skies of New York and claiming it for herself. She reclaims the union building that won’t let her father join due to the color of his skin and she decides to have ice cream for dessert every night. I read it aloud and  explained that according to this girl you can have whatever dreams you want–both big and little. You just have to be willing to shut your eyes and fly.


Cheesy, right? They loved it. One boy had his eyes shut when I finished (and wasn’t sleeping).

In the back is a photo of a quilt that copies the style of the book illustrations.  This was the design for our project.



I had each student make a square for the border with their own dreams on it, and a group worked on a large size picture in the style of the book illustrations using our city as the background.  Then they made small flying versions of themselves like the author did in the book, and we hung them on the large picture as if they were flying over the city It looks pretty cool! 

I’ll post pictures when I get back in the classroom.  Oh yeah, did I mention?  This caped teacher is flying off for Spring Break!!!

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