Kindergarten Greeting Card Exchange: A Collaborative Project Between NYC and São Paulo

  • Learning
Ann Romero de Córdoba, Lower Division Visual Arts Teacher

The kindergarten Dragons and Eagles classes in New York and all three kindergarten classes in São Paulo – the Macaws, Hummingirds, and Toucans – have embarked upon an exciting artistic collaboration over the past few months.

In art class, each student first made a small watercolor painting. Students discussed filling the whole paper and explored making different marks, pictures, colors and shapes with their brushes and paint. In New York, this conversation took place in Chinese, while in São Paulo, the conversation took place in English – their immersion language.

New York students making their cards.

New York students making their cards.  

The New York students discussed the project in their target language, Mandarin Chinese

The New York students discussed the project in their target language, Mandarin Chinese

New York students adding on to the São Paulo watercolor designs.

New York students adding on to the São Paulo watercolor designs. 

Students’ images were then scanned by me and by our art teacher in São Paulo, Ms. Moura, and sent by email to the other campus. Next, the images were printed out as greeting cards and each student chose one watercolor greeting card from a student at the opposite campus. Using Sharpie markers and other various drawing tools in art, the students then added to or embellished the watercolor image on the front of their cards. In New York, the students then took their cards back to the classroom where classroom teacher Ms. Conte and Ms. Gootkin helped the students write short messages to their artistic pen pals. Finally, the cards were sent to the other campus and opened by the original sender who had made the first watercolor images.

Kindergarteners at Avenues São Paulo work on their cards.

Kindergarteners at Avenues São Paulo work on their cards.

A São Paulo student paints his card design.

A São Paulo student paints his card design. 

This kind of “artistic pen pal” collaboration encourages the students to do several things. First, each child must recognize that the final work was a collaborative effort. Their original watercolors are changed by the marks made by the other student. Second, students can see how art may change over time, especially through somebody else’s interpretation and hand. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it allows some of our youngest students to begin to develop a relationship with students at other campuses, and will hopefully fuel ideas for friendship and collaboration in the future.  

New York students open the cards from their peers in São Paulo

New York students open the cards from their peers in São Paulo.

Students excitedly share their cards with classmates.

Students excitedly share their cards with classmates. 

Enjoying the "mail" from the São Paulo students

Enjoying the "mail" from the São Paulo students

A design by both New York and São Paulo students

A design by both New York and São Paulo students

A design by both New York and São Paulo students

A design by both New York and São Paulo students

Watercolors by New York students, lines and designs by São Paulo students

Watercolors by New York students, lines and designs by São Paulo students

 

  • Art
  • Arts
  • Early Learning Center
  • Global
  • Kindergarten