|The Book of Kells is still on display at Trinity College in Dublin!|
|Abby's Cover for the Classroom Book|
The first grade classes have been learning about the art of Ireland. I was inspired to find a project that didn't include leprechauns and pots of gold, and I decided to show the kids images from The Book of Kells. This national treasure of Ireland was created by monks who built it from scratch. From making the parchment paper to finding exotic jewels and pigments for the ink, they were dedicated artists and scribes in the creation of this book. I started the lesson by having the kids watch a series of videos created by students in Ireland. These students studied the book from the very beginning, highlighting the monk who founded the monastery where these scribes studied and practiced. The videos went through the construction of the book and the destruction of parts of it as vikings invaded Ireland. The videos are on youtube at this link. I showed one each day for about 7 minutes while I passed out supplies. Students used stencils to trace the first letter of their name, and they were challenged to illuminate this letter and to write their name like a scribe. They used colors patterns and images from the Book of Kells, but also put their own twist on it. I let them use metallic markers for some final details. Abby used some of our gold paper left from the Egypt unit to create the cover design, and we bound leather with golden fabric for the cover itself. I loved how this project went, and I think they learned a lot about Irish art.