Monday, August 28, 2017

Giverny Sunflowers and The Grateful Dead

While visiting Giverny (to see full post about Giverny, click HERE), I took the 2 pictures below of the sunflowers and was inspired to do sunflowers with 3rd Grade.  Third Grade does a unit on sunflowers each year.  Last year, we did clay slabs with sunflowers. (Click HERE for clay slab with sunflower project)  Sunflowers are my favorite!


The kids placed a big roll of masking tape in the middle of a 12 x 12 paper.  They drew a circle with pencil.
Then, they painted orange in the circle to make the center of the sunflower.
Once they got the orange on the paper, they used bright yellow and yellow ochre for the petals.  Some chose to add a little white.  I loved all the different colors in these sunflowers.
I encouraged them to put the paintbrush on the edge of the circle and the paint towards the outside edge.  I loved seeing some turn the paper as they pulled the paintbrush towards them.
After we got the yellow petals down, they painted black over the orange center.  Now, the center was more brown.  They put yellow dots on the center of the flower.
Once the paint had dried, the kids drew petals with black sharpie.

I think they turned out pretty!
Here's "China Cat Sunflower" by Grateful Dead.
China Cat Sunflower is an interesting name for a song.  I looked into this song and found this information from Songfacts.  (Click HERE for Songfacts Link)
Robert Hunter mailed the lyrics for "China Cat Sunflower" to the Dead in the middle of 1967. This helped establish him as the band's lyricist.
In his book of collected lyrics, Box of Rain, Robert Hunter states, "Nobody ever asked me the meaning of this song. People seem to know exactly what I'm talking about. It's good that a few things in this world are clear to all of us." Hunter was indeed asked about the song some time later. In David Gans' Conversations With the Dead: The Grateful Dead Interview Book, he said that he first got the "germ" of the song while sitting with a cat on his belly on Mexico's Lake Chapala. Hunter never comes out and says he was on any particular drug (other than saying he was in a "rather hypersensitive state"), but his story of following the cat into Neptune and seeing cats marching across rainbows leaves little doubt.
 Groovy song, for sure.  The song was released in 1969.  So, that explains lots.

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