Friday, September 5, 2014

School Visits and Lessons For the Classroom

Patient for Pumpkins is the perfect fall picture book to share and learn with. I'd love to visit classrooms to share my book, make art, write stories or whatever you might have in mind. One of the best ways to experience the book, is to take a field trip to the farmer's market!

Lesson Ideas related to the following standards can be done before or after a field trip to the farmer's market, or you can bring farm produce to your classroom!

Kindergarten CC Language Arts

RL.K. 1 - With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

RL.K. 3 - With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.

RI.K. 10 - Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.

Activity: Read a “Patient for Pumpkins” prior to a visit to the farmer’s market and have students retell events, answer questions, and identify major events in the story. This can be done verbally or students could draw a picture or create a storyboard.

Kindergarten CC Math

(2) Students describe their physical world using geometric ideas (e.g., shape, orientation, spatial relations) and vocabulary. They identify, name, and describe basic two-dimensional shapes, such as squares, triangles, circles, rectangles, and hexagons, presented in a variety of ways (e.g., with different sizes and orientations), as well as three-dimensional shapes such as cubes, cones, cylinders, and spheres. They use basic shapes and spatial reasoning to model objects in their environment and to construct more complex shapes.

Kindergarten Science
Investigation and Experimentation 
  1. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will: 
    1. Observe common objects by using the five senses. 
    2. Describe the properties of common objects. 
    3. Describe the relative position of objects by using one reference (e.g., above or below). 
    4. Compare and sort common objects by one physical attribute (e.g., color, shape, texture, size, weight). 
    5. Communicate observations orally and through drawings.

Notes: At the farmer’s market, students will have the opportunity to observe fruits and vegetables of many different sizes, shapes, textures, and colors. Students will be able to see, smell and touch a variety of produce. Use the list of produce in the back of the book to help students look for a variety of produce.

Activity: Paint or draw a fruit and vegetable still life composition. Have students describe the shapes, colors and textures of the produce, and its position in relation to other objects. See attached lesson plan.

First Grade CC Language Arts 
RL.1. 3 - Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
  
W.1. 8 - With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

SL.1.3 - Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.

Activity: Read “Patient for Pumpkins” prior to the visit and have students describe the characters, settings, and major events of the story using details. This can be done verbally or students can draw a picture or create a storyboard. Provide students with questions to ask the farmers at the market. Have students share questions/answers upon returning to school. Use the list of produce at the back of the book to help students formulate questions about different foods to look for at the market.

First Grade CC Math 
(4) Students compose and decompose plane or solid figures (e.g., put two triangles together to make a quadrilateral) and build understanding of part-whole relationships as well as the properties of the original and composite shapes. As they combine shapes, they recognize them from different perspectives and orientations, describe their geometric attributes, and determine how they are alike and different, to develop the background for measurement and for initial understandings of properties such as congruence and symmetry. 

First Grade Science
Investigation and Experimentation 
  1. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will: 
    1. Draw pictures that portray some features of the thing being described. 
    2. Record observations and data with pictures, numbers, or written statements. 
    3. Record observations on a bar graph. 
    4. Describe the relative position of objects by using two references (e.g., above and next to, below and left of). 
Notes: At the farmer’s market, students will have the opportunity to observe fruits and vegetables of many different sizes, shapes, textures, and colors. Students will be able to see, smell and touch a variety of produce. Use the list in the back of the book to help students look for a variety of produce.

Activity: Paint or draw a fruit and vegetable still life composition. Have students describe the shapes, colors and textures of the produce, and its position in relation to other objects. See attached lesson plan. Extend the project by writing observations and collecting data about the produce.

Second Grade Language Arts

RL.2.1 - Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

W.2.2 - Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.

W.2.8 - Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

SL.2.3 - Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.

Activity: Read “Patient for Pumpkins” prior to the visit and have students create a diagram in Kidspiration telling the who, what, where, when, why and how of the story. Provide students with questions to ask the farmers at the market. Have students share questions/answers upon returning to school. Use the list of produce at the back of the book to help students formulate questions about different foods to look for at the market. After visiting the market, have students write an informative piece related to their visit and the information they learned about different fruits or vegetables.

Second Grade CC Math
(4) Students describe and analyze shapes by examining their sides and angles. Students investigate, describe, and reason about decomposing and combining shapes to make other shapes. Through building, drawing, and analyzing two- and three-dimensional shapes, students develop a foundation for understanding area, volume, congruence, similarity, and symmetry in later grades.

Second Grade Science
Investigation and Experimentation
  1. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will: 
    1. Make predictions based on observed patterns and not random guessing. 
    2. Measure length, weight, temperature, and liquid volume with appropriate tools and express those measurements in standard metric system units. 
    3. Compare and sort common objects according to two or more physical attributes (e. g., color, shape, texture, size, weight). 
    4. Write or draw descriptions of a sequence of steps, events, and observations. 
    5. Construct bar graphs to record data, using appropriately labeled axes. 
    6. Use magnifiers or microscopes to observe and draw descriptions of small objects or small features of objects. 
    7. Follow oral instructions for a scientific investigation.

Activity: Using close observation with magnifiers or microscopes, draw or paint observations of one of the fruits or vegetables from the farmer’s market. Students should notice patterns, textures, colors and details. Make sure students fill the paper with a large illustration of their close-up observations. Extend this activity by having students compare their observations of one type of produce with another. For example, find the differences and similarities of a peach and a nectarine, or a strawberry and a blackberry. Students might compare number and size of seeds, overall size, shapes, texture, color, weight, symmetrical features.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Upcoming Events with Patient for Pumpkins

From "Patient for Pumpkins"
Now that Patient for Pumpkins has been out for a few months, the newness is wearing off. But, I've got a bunch of events in the works, and will be scheduling school events as soon as possible! The best way to keep up-to-date with me is to "Like" my Facebook page: Linda Knoll Books

On Wednesday, August 6, from 5 - 8:30 p.m. I'll be back at the Oakdale Farmer's Market with books and art.

On Saturday, August 16, I'll have a booth at the Wood Colony Country Fair. Wood Colony is an agricultural neighborhood just outside Modesto. They have been threatened with annexation and development despite a long and rich history, socially and agriculturally. During the event, between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., you can tour farms, visit the local school where food, arts, crafts and other fun stuff will be happening. I'll be selling my book, along with some art and probably a few giveaways for the kids.

On Saturday, September 6, I get to share my book with teachers and librarians in Fresno at a special "shmooze" put on by Nor Cal SCBWI.

Later in September, I have a whole weekend in Sacramento planned. Its still tentative, but I hope to have a booth at the Farm to Fork Festival on Capitol Mall on September 27. Its an all day affair with vendors, music, cooking, a kids' zone and more.

On the following day, September 28, Sacramento's Fairytale Town is holding its ScholarShare Book Festival! I'm scheduled for a presentation at 1:00 p.m., with signing afterwards. I participated in this event a couple of years ago with Over in the Valley. Its a fun day for youngsters to see lots of authors and new books!

Then, back to Modesto the following weekend. At our local Barnes and Noble, I'll be having a signing/sharing event Saturday, October 4 at noon. More info to come on that.

Next, I'll be participating in the Great Valley Book Fest in Manteca on Saturday, October 18, between  10 and 4. Tons of authors from up and down the valley will be there! This is for authors of ALL kinds of books, from kids to adults. So bring the whole family!

That same night, I'll be racing back to Modesto to participate in the Northern California Women's Music Festival, which will feature local women musicians, artists and poets. So exciting!

I'm sure that's not the end of it... so stay tuned.








Thursday, April 24, 2014

Its Finally Here!

I've tried to be patient...

Work began on this story over 4 years ago. And finally its done! On sale. Ready to share.

So I'm planning to spend the summer and fall talking about it and visiting as many places as I can to share my creation, "Patient for Pumpkins."

Though it appears to be a fall-themed story, it actually takes place over the course of the summer season. T.J. and his dad visit the Farmer's Market to find fresh, seasonal produce. Each visit, they discover something new and tasty.

Here are some ways to purchase the book online:
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble.com
North Atlantic Books (the publisher)
Random House (the distributor)

Or, please ask for it at your local bookstore.

Maybe even look for me at your local farmer's market this summer and get an autographed copy.

Let me also thank all those people who helped make this endeavor possible!

T.J. and his dad at the market.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

Student art ala Georgia O'Keeffe, tempera
Teaching has been keeping me very busy lately. I love celebrating the spring with flower and animal art. The kids always do such beautiful work!

I'm getting ready for Stanislaus Artist Open Studio tour, coming up on April 12-13. We've been rehabbing the yard, framing art and planning menus. And trying to finish a few new paintings as well.

This year on the tour, my work will be focused on the launch of my first professionally published picture book, Patient for Pumpkins. Here's one of my favorite pictures from the book.

"Summer Bounty" from Patient for Pumpkins, watercolor, 2013
Dinosaur story, work in progress
I've been working on several new picture book ideas. Hoping to have them ready for submissions over the summer. Although, I'm considering another self-publishing venture. We'll see.

Hope you have a beautiful spring!

"Dancing Maidens" watercolor by Linda Knoll, 2013
Yard work.
Refurbished bar stool.



Friday, November 15, 2013

Inspiration from Kids' Projects

I've been SO busy lately teaching art, that I haven't had a lot of time to make any myself. But, after working on a project with trees the other day, I was inspired to try one.

I remember being asked once why techniques such as crayon resist aren't used in "grown up" art. I couldn't really come up with a good answer, except that other methods are available that aren't really suited to kids or teaching. This method of resist uses masking tape. To get a nice rough edge that looks like bark, I had the kids tear the tape, and create the tree with multiple pieces.
And so I did the same masking tape tree for the large one in the foreground. But after that was done, it seemed like it needed more. After one light wash of blue, I added some trees behind by pouring and guiding masking fluid.
Then came a wash of oranges, blues and purples. Still not enough, I thought. So, I put more masking fluid trees. And more vermillion and Payne's gray.
I couldn't wait any longer to remove the masking! This is the result. Still not done, though. I'm pondering my next move. More detail on the foreground tree? But how much? Crop off a little from the left so its not so centered? Hmm. We shall see.

I might try another one from a different perspective. Like this tree from my front yard which has some splendid color right now. Since the first one was really just an experiment, I can now approach it with a plan. Maybe.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Over in the Valley Originals Still for Sale


Rainbow Trout, from Over in the Valley, 2009

Over in the Valley is based on the old children's song, Over in the Meadow, but adapted to tell about the animals that are native to the San Joaquin Valley. It's also a counting song. And the book contains art activities and scientific information about the animals.

The book, is available from Amazon.com, and locally (Modesto, CA) at the McHenry Museum Gift Shop, and the Great Valley Museum at Modesto Junior College. Prints are available of all 10 pictures in 11"x11" or 8"x8" sizes. 

The following original 11" x 11" watercolor illustrations are for sale, $300 each, plus any shipping or delivery. Email for information, llknoll@gmail.com.


Least Bell's Vireo, from Over in the Valley, 2009


San Joaquin Kit Fox, from Over in the Valley, 2009

Friday, August 30, 2013

Back Yard Doodle

Back Yard Doodle, Linda Knoll 2013
Prints available at imagekind