Backyard Buddies

These painted paper collages were created by at risk children living in residential care. First, the children chose an animal that brought a special memory to mind. Using photo reference they painted papers with colors and textures similar to those in their animal photo. Next they made tracing paper templates from their animal photo. The templates were used to cut intricate shapes from the painted papers. The paper shapes were then put together to create the animal. Painted paper backgrounds were added. When finished, each child wrote a short story about their animal.

Snail House

When I was 5 years old I had a pet snail in my bedroom. My pet snail had the same name as me, even though it was a girl. My snail had a nice place to live. It was a square glass container with an island. There were palm trees on the island. I fed my pet snail everyday. One day I fed my snail and left. When I came back the snail wasn't moving. That's when I noticed my snail had laid eggs. The eggs hatched and now I had about 10 snails! My snail house keeps getting bigger!

Jace, age 10

Duck Tales 

I see ducks everyday where I live. I like when they chase me. Sometimes I scare them away. I feed them too. I like watching them. I feel peaceful when I watch them. Their feathers are such pretty colors. One day I saw a mother duck swimming in the pond with her ducklings. Ducks can be silly. They make me laugh. One day the ducks got a little confused. They thought our swimming pool was a pond. Luckily they figured it out and flew back to the real pond.

Betina, age 12

Surprise Catch

I was fishing in a small pond with worms, but I wasn't catching much. I saw a loaf of bread that someone had left, so I decide to try that. I cast the line and waited. I felt a tug. I pulled the line in fast, but nothing was there. I tried again. After awhile there was another tug, much bigger than the first. I pulled the line in fast. It was very heavy! When I got my "fish" to shore I could see it wasn't a fish at all. It was a really big turtle! I showed it to my family then let it go.

Michael, age 13