A Peek at the Canvas: March

by Frank Caracciolo

The most recent episode of The Blank Canvas with Frank Caracciolo is out now. Released on April 28th, the episode features a conversation with elementary Art/Tech teacher Amanda Tulli about cross-curricular projects and the importance of community.

Frank Caracciolo: I have a package on my desk, and it is full of these beautiful photography books and the books…
You want to talk about that project? Because that was a lot of fun to do as well.

Amanda Tulli: Yeah, for sure. So, in the fall, I wanted the kids to get outside. I also wanted to do some photography with them. I knew that not all the students could be photographed, and not all of them were comfortable having their pictures taken.

So, I came up with the idea of taking nature photos. Something I like to do also in my passtime I wanted this project to be meaningful, so I thought that we might make our own books where we would go around our community, in Verdun, and capture the beauty of nature in our own community.

Amanda Tulli is a Art/Tech teacher at Riverview Elementary School in Verdun, seen here with her DKG Scholarship, and Riverview's Principal Allison Brown.

Then I thought that the kids should write their own poems inspired by their favorite photo, that they took. So that’s what we did.
We went out into our community, took photos, edited them, and each student chose their best one, wrote a poem about that particular photo, and then added their photo and poem into the story jumper application, which is a bookmaking app, and this led to several collaborative books that the students decided to make.

Frank Caracciolo: Well you do a beautiful job, I mean, I’ve been showing… you sent me copies of each one of the books? I’ve been showing them around the board, and everybody’s going crazy for them.

They’re really beautiful. Tell me about the poetry part.

Frank Caracciolo

Amanda Tulli: So I had to collaborate with my colleagues on that one. So, some colleagues of mine decided to show the kids sample poems and talked about different types of poetry. Some students decided to write free verse poems. Others wrote acrostic poems, so I assisted in that in some aspects. However, my colleagues are part of this, they took a great chunk of it!

Frank Caracciolo: Well, and they should because… it’s a lot. It’s a lot of work, I mean, editing all that and then designing the books and then getting them off to be published and printed.

That was amazing… and each of the students who get one of their own books. It’s just a really beautiful piece that you’ve created, and I love it how you continue — If people are listening — how you’re collaborating with everybody in your school to get things done… your music teacher, your English teachers…

And I know that because you were an English teacher, and I’m very happy to steal you over to our side, here in the arts. For sure those things you can see, it comes through, those past influences in the way you do things.

Hear the complete episode on your favourite podcast player or by clicking here.

For more information on Ms. Tulli, click here to check out this issue’s article in the Pearson News!