Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Art with Rechenka's Eggs -- Pysanky Egg Masterpieces!

Rechenka's Eggs by Patricia Polacco is one of my long-time personal favorites!  I have used this beloved picture book every year, since I student taught, when this time of year rolls around. Many moons ago, pysanky eggs also became the subject of art for my kids.

My first encounter with Ukrainian pysanky eggs came when I was in college.  I had an elementary math education text with these intricate eggs on the cover, and I was intrigued with them at once.  Soon after, I came across a poster in a library media magazine of the same eggs--a photo of pysanky eggs with one pair being identical.  Since I was a poor college student at the time, I did not spend the money to purchase the poster.  BUT a friend who worked at a printing company surprised me by blowing up a small version to poster size (yes, I know this is against the rules). :0(  Anyway, I have saved the poster and bring it out for student exploration after reading Rechenka's Eggs every year. To this day, I have never been able to find the same poster, so I am sorry I cannot refer you to a site to purchase, BUT you can find other Pysanky egg posters online.

Some years students have made single eggs decorated in the pysanky style, and other years they have created a collection of eggs with two being identical like the poster.  The kids really get into trying to trick the viewers of their art by creating pairs of eggs that are ALMOST identical.    I have also varied the extent we learn about the symbols and colors used on traditional pysanky eggs and the process of making the eggs. There are many resources on line for teaching kids about the tradition and process of making pysanky eggs.  I have created some guide sheets for students that I have used from year to year as well.

This year, my second graders created some beautiful pysanky masterpieces.  I was truly impressed with their creativity and patience in creating their masterpieces.  

The first step was to decorate their eggs by drawing with pencil.  You will notice students made two eggs at a time--one pair being identical and the others almost identical (like our poster).

Then they added color with colored pencil. They again took care in coloring two eggs at a time. 

Here are their finished masterpieces!

 I recommend Rechenka's Eggs by Patricia Polacco and an art opportunity with Pysanky eggs for ANY age. Hop online to learn more about Pysanky eggs!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarah! Neat post! I love that book as well! Have you seen Patricia Polacco on Reading Rainbow? She demonstrates how she makes the eggs. It is really neat! (I don't know the year. A friend gave me a VHS version.)
    Thanks for sharing!