Thursday, November 10, 2016

Blackout Poetry

Last month, my 11-year-old daughter and I attended Books by the Banks in Cincinnati. While she was preoccupied with alcohol-inked ceramic tiles and activities that taught her how to solder and create a paper circuit with copper tape and a LED diode, my eye was drawn to the Blackout Poetry station at the end of the table. For more details about the time we spent at this event, please visit this post I've published on my website.

A few days after the event, I decided I wanted to create my own example of Blackout Poetry for this post. I pulled out the pages provided at the event and read over the text, drawing boxes around words to form a poem.  I illustrated my poem with Sharpie markers. Instead of drawing footprints on a beach, I could have chosen to sketch a pattern or design.

The words I chose to highlight read as follows:

There’s nothing.
dead silence
wipe the sweat
inspect the damage
I know the path
I keep walking.
I feel…tired.

Any sheet of paper with printed words will work for this activity–consider pages from a book, newspaper, or magazine. Try different mediums to achieve the desired effect–crayons, markers, colored pencils, or paint. With Blackout Poetry, the possibilities are endless.

How can you incorporate this activity with your Girl Scout troop?
  • Provide supplies at the next troop holiday party. The printed pages can be related to the party theme.
  • Print pages about Juliette Gordon Low for a JGL or Girl Scout Birthday celebration.
  • Copy a page from The Brownie Story (The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting or a related website).
  • Before or after your troop bridges, find a page from a ceremony script or a related story.
  • For Juniors working on the Scribe badge, this activity satisfies Step 1 (Start with a Poem).
  • For Juniors working on the Drawing badge, this activity satisfies Step 1 (Experiment with Different Shading Materials). In fact, depending on what is drawn, girls could satisfy all the steps with this activity.
  • Plan some time for Blackout Poetry during a Self-Esteem Workshop. This activity offers girls a different avenue for expression, and it's another way to emphasize how special and unique each individual is.
I've presented several ways to introduce Blackout Poetry to the girls in your troop. I'm sure readers will come up with other applications. Please feel free to post your art in the comments section below. I'd love to see it!  Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Alcohol-Inked Ceramic Tiles

On October 15th, my 11-year-old daughter and I attended Books by the Banks in Cincinnati. This "day-long festival, which is free and open to the public, features national, regional, and local authors and illustrators; book signings; panel discussions; and activities for the entire family to enjoy."  And enjoy, we did! In this post, I will highlight alcohol-inked ceramic tiles, one of the many different activities offered at the event to readers who visited Teen Scene.

  • Ceramic tiles--4"x4" or 4.5"x4.5".  These tiles are relatively inexpensive and can be picked up at home improvement stores.
  • Alcohol Ink.  I found 3-packs of Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Ink online for $10. I would look for the inks at a craft store where I could use coupon.
  • Rubbing Alcohol 
  • Tissues or cotton balls
  • Use a tissue or cotton ball to wipe the tile with rubbing alcohol.
  • Apply drops of alcohol ink to the tile. 
  • Allow the ink to dry.  Other readers returned after about 10 to 15 minutes to retrieve their tiles. By this time, the ink had dried enough to transport the tiles home.
*When my daughter made her tile, she dripped a complimentary color of ink on top of another drop, which resulted in a cool blending of colors.  Beware though, too much ink will cause the colors to bleed into an unpleasant brown. 
*While the price of the alcohol ink could pose a problem for the troop budget, keep in mind I was assured the ink goes a long way by the volunteer working this station.

This would be a fun craft to do during a troop party or meeting. Maybe incorporate it into a Self-Esteem Workshop and celebrate each girl's unique qualities alongside the beautiful tiles. Or think outside the box and plan for your Brownies to create these tiles to satisfy Step 3 (Paint a Mood) and/or Step 4 (Paint without Brushes) for the Painting badge.

I invite you to check back soon. In my next post, I will share another activity offered during the Books by the Banks event and explain how it can be incorporated in your next troop meeting. Thank you for reading.