A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt Guests: Ken Slesarik and His Daughter Catherine

poetry friday buttonThanks to Jone at Check it Out for hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon

Hello Friends! We’re back for more collaborations on my series, A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. Just In case you haven’t visited the series before, let me tell you a little about  it. My great nephew, Landon (now an eighth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 and had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on one Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests sharing poetry and art in beautiful collaborations. I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.

I’m super excited that our first episode this fall (it’s almost fall 🙂 ) will feature return guests. Today it’s my pleasure to share another creative collaboration from . . .

Ken Slesarik and His Daughter Catherine

I love the story behind this collaboration.

From Ken: As far as the collaboration process, Catherine shared her work in progress with me and I looked at the tiny mermaid and thought how brave she must be to venture into the depths of the ocean. About this same time, I was considering changing schools but did not yet have the courage to apply. I had heard about an amazing staff and school that was really making a difference. They are known as the “Trailblazers” and eventually I was hired and I’m smitten with the school and staff that I have met thus far. Vista Peak is a unique school that serves students who may have difficulty in a typical school setting. With the poem, I wanted to capture in as few words as possible what I perceived as an important goal of the Vista staff and that being to produce thoughtful, calm, unfazable, courageous, trailblazing students.

When Catherine and I each completed our part, I was very pleased with the results and feel the art and poem complement each other much like an illustration in a book and it also is our personal “hello” to my new school and sort of celebrates my next venture as a teacher. We hope you enjoy our efforts.

The Collaboration:
Poem by Ken Slesarik
Art by Catherine Slesarik

The Collaborators

Ken and Catherine collaborated in 2016 too. You can view that episode HERE. Also, Ken collaborated with a group of 1st graders in his after school poetry club. You can view that episode HERE.

Many thanks to Ken and Catherine for sharing their talents with us today.


Catherine2Meet Catherine: Catherine Slesarik is an award-winning artist and college student from Arizona. She enjoys sharing her talents with people of all ages. An avid reader and science buff, Catherine plans to incorporate science in her work as a children’s illustrator to inspire girls and women everywhere.


Ken SlesarikMeet Ken: Ken Slesarik is a special education teacher and children’s poet from Phoenix, Arizona. His “Heroes and Poets” assembly program has been well received by teachers, students, parents and administrators. When not teaching or visiting schools Ken writes poetry for children with poems published in several world-wide anthologies and magazines. Ken’s mission is to empower students through the medium of poetry and he is a poetry advocate to children and teachers alike.

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt, Guests-Ken Slesarik and His Daughter, Catherine

poetry friday button

Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup today. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Hello, Great Readers of our series! Just In case you haven’t visited before, let me tell you a little about A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. My great nephew, Landon (a seventh-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 and have had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on one Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests. I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.

Today it’s my pleasure to share a creative collaboration from . . .

Ken Slesarik and His Daughter, Catherine

From Ken: As far as the collaboration process, at first I tried to write a poem that matched a beautiful drawing that Catherine had done. The problem was I kept going towards subtle humor and that just did not do the beautiful art justification as that particular piece called for a more moving, less humorous approach. So then we went with plan B where I mentioned to Catherine a poem I was working on and then I asked her to draw something she thought would work with what I was trying to do. When we were both done I was very pleased with the results and feel the art and poem complement each other much like an illustration in a book. We hope you enjoy our efforts.

Catherine and Ken’s Collaboration

Art by Catherine Slesarik

Art by Catherine Slesarik (click to enlarge)

      My Favorite Train Car?
 
The railroad engine, red and bright?
Is this the one I choose tonight?
I can’t decide, oh what’s the use?
I guess I’ll pick the blue caboose?
 
I feel a tug within myself
then take the engine off the shelf
and put it back to call a truce
but pick again the blue caboose.
 

Each night I try without much gain.
I just can’t choose betwixt the twain. 

I can’t decide, I’ve no excuse.
The engine or the blue caboose?

© 2016 by Ken Slesarik All Rights Reserved

Many thanks to Ken and Catherine for sharing their talents with us today.

ken-and-catherine-slesarik-ppk-blog-post-copyMeet Catherine: Catherine Slesarik is an award winning artist and collage student from Arizona. She enjoys sharing her talents with people of all ages. An avid reader and science buff, Catherine plans to incorporate science in her work as a children’s illustrator to inspire girls and women everywhere.

 
Meet Ken: Ken Slesarik is an elementary school teacher and children’s poet from Phoenix, Arizona. His “Heroes and Poets” assembly program has been well received by teachers, students, parents and administrators. When not teaching or visiting schools Ken writes poetry for children with poems published in several world-wide anthologies and magazines. Ken’s mission is to empower students through the medium of poetry and he is a poetry advocate to children and teachers alike.

A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt, Guests-Ken Slesarik and His 1st-Grade Poets

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Ants may rule the hill, but they don’t rule here! Art by Landon (Click to Enlarge)

Hello, Great Readers of our series! Just In case you haven’t visited before, let me tell you a little about A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. My great nephew, Landon (a sixth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 and have had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on the second Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests.

I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.

Every guest episode is delightful. But today’s episode is extra special due to the number of collaborators. Prepare to be wowed!

It’s my pleasure to share a creative collaboration from . . .

Ken Slesarik and His 1st-Grade Poets

From Ken: My after-school poetry club called “Poetry Rocks!” at Esperanza Elementary school in Phoenix, Arizona was inspired by children’s author Janet Wong‘s enthusiasm for promoting the genre and is designed to introduce core aspects of poetry to children in grades 1st through 6th while teaching them self-confidence.

Our Process in this collaboration was to read and discuss Laura Purdie Salas’ book “Water Can Be” with my 1st-grade group so we would have a model in which to frame our poem. We wrote it together after brainstorming ideas about a typical 1st-grade child and I would suggest an idea or rhyme and try to give just enough support and guidance to complete our poem. Some of the words are slang, but I think I have the common spellings. The artwork was a challenge at first because some of the kids would rush, but I’m very pleased with the final results. Each of my twelve 1st-grade students came up with a line and the corresponding artwork page so it truly was a collaboration. We hope you enjoy our efforts.

The Collaborative Poem
Poetry Rocks: 1st-Grade PoetsSlide1

The Art
Poetry Rocks: 1st-Grade Artists
Final Art
scaredy cat
spoiled bratcandy muncher

numbers cruncher

book reader

picky eater

dirt playerpoem sayerstory tellerflower smellercrazy wilddelightful child

And here’s all the artwork together.
artwork in grouping

A Glimpse Into the Collaboration Phases

The group was inspired by Water Can Be by Laura Purdie Salas.

water

Handwritten Poem

hand written poem

Artwork Planning

beginning art process

Enjoy these photos of Ken and the collaborators.Slide1

group serious

group

Group-Silly

Many, many thanks to Ken and his 1st graders for being a part of the series. This collaboration makes my heart sing!


kenMeet Ken: Ken Slesarik is a special education teacher and children’s poet from Phoenix, Arizona. His “Heroes and Poets” assembly program has been well received by teachers, students, parents and administrators. When not teaching or visiting schools, Ken writes poetry for children with poems published in The Poetry Friday Anthology K-5 Edition, The Poetry Friday Anthology For Middle School, The Poetry Friday Anthology For Science, The Poetry Friday Anthology For Celebrations and Dear Tomato: An International Crop of Food and Agriculture Poems, two upcoming anthologies as well as an animal collection called Creatures, Critters, Beasts and Varmints. Ken’s mission is to empower students through the medium of poetry and he is a poetry advocate to children and teachers alike. For more information, please visit http://kenslesarik.com


Thanks to Robyn Hood Black for hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup at Life on the Deckle Edge. If you’d like to know more about Poetry Friday, click HERE for an explanation by Renee LaTulippe.poetry friday button