Soar High with this Harriet Tubman Craft for Elementary Kids


Here’s a Harriet Tubman craft inspired by a new biography for lower elementary aged kids. It’s just right for Black History Month / African American History Month, and all year long as well.

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A couple years ago my sister-in-law gave the twins a little square box with four different I Am … biographies. The small size was perfect for little hands, and the engaging illustrations caught the girls’ attention. We read about Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks, and Albert Einstein. The girls loved them!

Fast forward to this year, and you can imagine I was excited when Penguin Young Readers asked if I wanted an advance copy of I Am Harriet Tubman, their latest in the series, so I could participate in their blog tour. Of course, I said “yes.”

When the new book arrived, it was a few days before my kids let me have a turn reading it. Even my 5th grader picked this one up and read it when he thought no one was looking. I think he planned to just leaf through it, but then got sucked in.

It’s a powerful little book.

The content is more sensitive than the earlier books we read from the series. I recommend it for about ages 6 and up, depending on your kids’ sensitivity and background.

For instance, one page depicts Tubman’s young sisters being taken away after being sold to new “owners.” The very next page, though, balances that evil by showing Tubman’s mother later standing up to the slaveholders and protecting her young son.

Ultimately, the book conveys an inspiring message of hope, strength, and generosity. I love the beautiful metaphor Meltzer introduces near the end — he compares Tubman to a bird soaring across the night sky, fluttering back down to the ground to help others fly too.

Harriet Tubman Craft

With that bird in mind, I created a book extension craft for you. We’ve been having such dreary gray weather here lately that I felt inspired to make a brightly colored bird suncatcher.

We’ve made fancy Valentine suncatchers and environmentally correct Earth Day suncatchers, but never bird ones.

There are SO many ways to make these little window-brightening crafts. I love the stained glass look that Liska at Adventure in a Box achieved with her heart suncatchers, but I wanted to create something simple enough to use in a classroom. If you want to try this Harriet Tubman craft at home or with a smaller group of kids, you could totally use her more fabulous method here.

Materials

  • Clear re-stickable contact paper – I have this kind  (affiliate link)
  • Permanent markers
  • Scissors
  • Printout of bird template

Instructions

1. Cut out a square of contact paper, and then peel and stick it to the bird template.
2. Trace the bird onto the contact paper with a black permanent marker.
3. Color inside the bird shape with light and medium shades of permanent markers.
4. Use the black marker to add outlines between colors.
5. Use a dark color marker to write in words related to the book.
6. Cut out the bird shape, and then gently pull the contact paper off the template paper.

Stick that pretty bird to the window, and go soar!

Suncatchers with meaning! This Harriet Tubman craft ties in with the children's biography

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