Senior Kindergarten students have spent the last few weeks learning about author and illustrator Mo Willems, creator of the Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Elephant and Piggie, and Knuffle Bunny series, among others. Students read many of Mo Willems’ books together in their classrooms and researched the author, watching videos to learn about his artistic process and how he creates his beloved characters.
“Knuffle Bunny is unique in the sense that Mo Willems uses actual photos from different scenes in Brooklyn, which he combines with cartoon-drawn illustrations of the characters,” said SK Head Teacher Ruth Jeanty. Inspired by Knuffle Bunny, students created original stories featuring scenes from around the Upper West Side. Students wrote their own stories and then picked out photographs before adding their own cut-out characters to illustrate their work.
“It was an intensive process and the group was very focused through the process,” said SKK Head Teacher Katie Pozerski.
Students concluded the unit by creating a fun collage featuring the Pigeon from Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus in each of their classrooms. The students traced, cut, and glued shapes together to create their own pigeon characters and wrote their own sayings for the pigeon to declare. “Cutting and pasting is great practice for students’ small-motor and spatial-awareness skills,” said Ms. Pozerski.
The Mo Willems unit is one of several author studies that SK students complete throughout the year. Other authors the students explored include Oge Mora and Eric Carle.