Monday, March 4, 2013

SOLSC #4 Drawing our walks

Two Writing TeachersSlice of Life Story Challenge (SOLSC)

This year, our arts integration project with the Phillips Collection has the theme "Art in the City." The preschoolers are creating three art panels about the city.

Somehow, some way, our daily walks needed to be represented.

We try to take a city walk every single day.  Our favorite path - our shortest "time-allowing" walk - is around the city block, to check out the construction on the road behind us, where a new YMCA is being constructed.

We take frequent pictures of what we see on the walk.
We often search for particular things when we walk.
Using the photographs and their memories, the children have been drawing what we see:


Many of the preschoolers are mesmerized by the construction work in our city neighborhood.  Each day, there is lots of action and surprises.  Here are some of their drawings of this constant work.

Concrete mixer.

Cranes in the city

"Grate Man"

In an effort to get the children to notice details and to add a little whimsy and magic to these walks, I started a story about a "Grate Man" who lives underneath the roads and loves to slip out and make fun magic.  It is Grate Man who puts balloons in trees, hangs shoes from telephone wires, created a "house" for neighbors to share books, and all kinds of strange and wonderful finds in the city.  The children are enchanted by this possibility, and whenever we see something out of place, we know it is the Grate Man.

Talking to "Grate Man"

"Grate Man"

Tree with balloon.

Tree with balloon (2).
Tree with balloon (3).
(This particular tree is also our "turn-around tree," when a very short walk is needed.)

Neighborhood "Book House"

I have grown to love these city walks with the children.  I think they are loving this daily ritual, too!


This blogpost is my 200th since I started writing in January 2010!  Wow!  Time flies...and so does writing!


  1. I love the pairing of photos and your student's art.

  2. This is such a phenomenal idea. I need to do this with my preschoolers too! Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Maureen, your students have captured the essence of each object. I especially love the bicycle. These are precious! What a great way to teach noticing the details. And a big congrats for 200 posts. I have not reached that milestone yet.