This project is easy to do and yields beautiful results. Your child might even give his or her illustrated poem as a gift to a grandparent or friend. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Favorite Poem printed on heavy paper, such as cardstock.
- Plain white paper to draw on (computer paper is fine)
- Pencil and Eraser
- Black drawing pen
- Soft pastels – These are the chalk-like pastels. You can get them at arts and craft stores, stores like Wal-Mart, and sometimes office supply stores.
- Transfer Paper (optional) – This can be purchased at arts and craft stores. When I was in school, we called it carbon paper and used it in typing class.
Choose a Poem
Read the poem with your child. Have your child decide on one thing to illustrate from the poem. For example, if the poem was “Caterpillar” by Christina Rossetti (one of my childhood favorites), your child might decide to draw a butterfly.
Draw the Illustration
Next, draw the picture on the plain white paper. This isn’t part of the final project, so your child can make changes, erase, and re-draw on this paper until he’s satisfied with the picture. If your child would like a reference picture to give him more ideas, look for one online.
Transfer the Drawing
Now it’s time to transfer the drawing onto the page with the poem. If you have transfer paper, simply place the drawing on top of the poem where you want the image to be. Hold down one edge of the paper and slip the transfer paper (shiny side down) underneath the drawing. As you press the drawing and the transfer paper onto the page with the poem, have your child trace his picture by going over the lines he already drew. When you remove the original drawing and the transfer paper, he’ll see his picture on top of the poem. It’s fine if the picture goes over the words of the poem – this actually creates a beautiful effect.
If you don’t have transfer paper, don’t worry – you can make your own! Simply flip over the drawing and color the back of it with a pencil. You’ll find that if you tip the pencil on its side, it will cover the area more quickly. You only need to color the part of the paper that has the drawing. Now flip the paper right-side up and position it over the poem. Trace the drawing, lift up the paper, and you should see the picture on top of the poem.
Trace It in Pen
The drawing is now on top of the poem. Have your child trace the drawing in pen. Don’t worry if the lines go through some of the words of the poem.
Color it with Pastels
Use the soft pastels (the chalky kind) to color the picture. These work really well because the colors can be transparent, allowing you to read the poem through the picture. Have your child choose the first pastel and color a little on the picture. Then have him rub it with his finger until the words show through. Continue until the whole picture is in color.
Your child has created a beautifully illustrated poem! We’re going to give one to each of the grandparents this year. Who do you think would enjoy this special piece of art?