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ART WITH MS K


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3rd Grade Matisse Collagraph Prints

This project was inspired in part by Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists as well as another teacher in my county English Avery. I wanted to kind of re-think the way I have been doing collagraphs with 3rd graders to make it easier to get successful prints. For the past few years, I have been doing a collagraph lesson based on the artwork of Jasper Johns. It is actually one of my most looked at blog posts! While it is a very good lesson, the same issue always pops up when printing. Basically, it is very difficult to get every student to create their artwork backwards on the printing plate because it will print backwards. Inevitably there are always upside-down and topsy-turvy prints that illicit disappointment from students.

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So this year I figured we would switch it up and create more abstract prints in order to alleviate some of the confusion. I was inspired to base this project on Matisse because we could include so many concepts like geometric/organic shapes, abstract art, and positive/negative space. On the first day, we looked at artwork by Matisse and talked about these concepts. I even showed students a picture of me in front of giant Matisse works at the Vatican!

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Kiddos used card stock and cardboard to create their printing plate. They drew and cut out an organic shape and used a hole puncher to create negative space.

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The next week, we talked about complementary colors and created a collage to print on. Students chose their complementary colors for a background and used fancy scrap booking scissors to cut around squares that they glued down. They also glued down any pop-ups on their printing plate so they could be ready to print on the 3rd week.

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The third week we printed.

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First, students rolled out about a pinky-sized amount of ink onto the phone book with a brayer. Then they rolled the ink onto their plate.

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They flipped it over onto the complementary colored collage and used a spoon to press down.

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Last, they peeled off their collage very carefully to reveal a print.

I am so pleased with how this project went, I feel like the amount of successful prints was much higher and that students really understood the process and concepts. Way to go 3rd graders!

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Produce in SPAAAAACE!

Thank you Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists for the inspiration for this lesson! 

I just finished hanging up these amazing 3rd grade paintings in the hallway — I know they will be a big hit displayed by the cafeteria 🙂

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We began this project by viewing and discussing paintings by two contemporary female artists:

The painting on the left is by Japanese artist Miroco Machiko and the painting on the right is by Mexican artist Ana Victoriana Calderon. Students compared and contrasted the styles, composition, and media of these paintings and discussed what they thought about them.

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Next, we looked at plastic fruits and veggies and drew from observation in sketchbooks.

Students could also use their memory to draw fruits and veggies that were not available in the classroom. After a sketch day, the next step was to draw the designs onto a big piece of paper. Then students traced over their lines with oil pastels. They painted the inside of their fruits and veggies with water colors from the palette. The background was created with black liquid watercolor and salt – that technique was a hit!

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They kind of ended up looking like produce in space!

This was a super fun and successful project. Way to go 3rd graders!

❤ Ms. K

 


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Flowers and Portraits

I love kickin’ off the school year with 3rd graders by teaching about Georgia O’keeeffe and her flower paintings. It is such a great project to get them back in the swing of artistic habits and creative thinking. I have posted about this project before but I just couldn’t resist showing off this year’s batch of fantastic florals!

 

First graders are also finishing up on their tissue paper portraits (original post here) and they are amazing! Once again this project was awesome for teaching primary color mixing in a new way.

Way to go 1st and 3rd graders!

🙂


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Printed Neighborhood

This project was inspired by Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artist’s City Prints. I loved the component of students getting to trade their prints!

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The first day, students looked at the artwork of Friedensreich Hundertwasser and used his architecture and designs as inspiration to sketch their own whimsical buildings and houses. After choosing their favorite sketch, students drew it with a ballpoint pen onto styrofoam. They had the opportunity to print as many times as they wanted on any color of paper they wanted. The process was pretty fun!

When all of the prints were dry, the buildings were cut out and students could trade with their friends to create a landscape collage. I am enamored by the talent of these kiddos! 🙂

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They picked out a colorful background and used Art Stix to add details.

 

 


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Italy and Greece

Tomorrow is the first teacher workday for the 2015-2016 school year. That means that it is time for my summer-minded brain to get on board the Back-to-School train. This is easier said than done as I have had the great pleasure and fortune of being able to travel this summer. I went to cities near and far and just returned from an incredible trip to Italy and Greece. If you follow me on Twitter you have seen many of these pictures already but I wanted to put the story all together here on the blog.

This trip was months in the making and was made possible by a very detailed (possibly too detailed) google doc and strict savings plan. It was absolutely incredible to see works of art that I have grown up learning about and teach my students about. There is something very surreal about being surrounded by ruins or frescos that are thousands of years old, it makes you feel connected to humanity in the past, present, and future. This was the second time I have been out of the country and I was just as enchanted and inspired.

So with that in mind I present to you my journey abroad!

We began in Milan. Milan is a modern and clean European city that has more contemporary architecture than architecture of antiquity. However there is a magnificent Duomo cathedral in a Gothic style! This building was enormous and so intricately detailed.

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I loved riding the hop-on-hop-off bus in Milan which included an audio tour describing some of the sights.

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The next stop was Monterosso al Mare, one of the cliff towns of Cinque Terre. A friend recommended me to go here and after watching Rick Steves I was sold!

I can only describe Monterosso as magical with its lovely beaches:

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Charming town:

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Splendid views:

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and the BEST pesto I have ever had:

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I went on an amazing hike from one town to the next which led through winding vineyard hills and cliffs overlooking the sea:

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The next stop on the trip was Florence. A tour through the Tuscan countryside was first up on the agenda.

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Walking around the city of Florence was so much fun, I even stumbled across an exhibit featuring paintings and sculptures of Salvador Dali inspired by the poetry of Dante.

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The Duomo in Florence is astounding:

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Near the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge there is a hidden alleyway filled with interesting graffiti:

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The bridge itself is magnificent with its crowded street filled with shops selling gold and jewelry.

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The leather market nearby is also quite an experience:

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While in Florence I had the chance to visit the Boboli Gardens, part of the Pitti Palace. The garden has many sculptures of mythology and an excellent view overlooking the city.

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After Florence, we headed to the coast for Sorrento. Sorrento is famous for its lemons and coastal fun. The town was charming with shops, restaurants, and small churches.

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The best part of Sorrento was a boat tour to the nearby island of Capri. We got to see the famous lagoons and grottos and float once again in crystal blue Mediterranean water.

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After Sorrento, we travelled to Rome. Rome is a city of mighty magnificence. Everything there is massive and impressive and symbolic. There are sculptures in every plaza that have stories and histories. Just walking through the streets you can truly feel the splendor of one of the greatest cities the world has ever known.

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The magnificence wouldn’t be complete of course without a trip to the Colosseum! Being inside and getting to walk upon and touch ancient stones was so impressive.

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We paid a visit to the Pantheon next and marvelled at the great condition it remains in. Looking up inside you can see the domes roof with a hole in the middle. The design was stunning!

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The Vatican was another stop not to be missed. These pictures really do not capture how completely gigantic this building is.

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There was so much amazing art inside from cultures all around the world especially Greece and Egypt.

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Every surface was decorated with vibrant frescos and every ceiling was sculpted with ornate details.

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My favorite part of course was the modern art collection including Matisse and Dali!

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The very best part of going to the Vatican was climbing the 551 steps to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica. The climb was exhausting and difficult – we spiraled up and up and up through tight steep stairs until we finally emerged high above Rome and looked upon the magnificent city. What a view!

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Leaving Rome marked the end of the Italian portion of the journey and the beginning of the adventures in Greece. We started out on the island of Santorini, famous for its beaches and sunsets. The appropriately named Black Sand Beach was a rocky shore of volcanic stones.

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The sunset was breathtaking and a true masterpiece of the natural world.

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The island is covered in buildings made of white stone and there are many shops including a wonderful pottery studio with some of the nicest and more talented artisans I have ever met!

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The appropriately named Red Beach is a sight to behold with its red stones and rocky shore:

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I haven’t been everywhere yet but I am certain that Santorini is one of the most beautiful places on Earth! From this paradise we travelled inland to Athens. I was so excited to see Athens because I teach my 3rd graders about The Parthenon and couldn’t wait to see the building in real life. So first thing we headed up the hill to the Acropolis.

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From the top of the Acropolis you can look out onto all of Athens and Mount Olympus. It was a spectacular view!

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Being in front of the Parthenon was a very meaningful experience for me. I was of course impressed by all of the great landmarks in Italy but there was something about seeing this original structure marking the glory of the ancient Greeks that struck a chord for me.

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After the descent back down to street level, we visited the Acropolis museum. The museum was beautiful and it was so cool to see so many of the ancient adornments and sculptures up close.

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The next stop in Athens was the original modern Olympics Panathenaic stadium from 1896. It was really neat!

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Then we went down the street and made it just in time for the famous changing of the guard. The was the guards moved and dressed was so bizarre and intriguing!

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We got to do another hop-on-hop-off bus tour which was a grand way to see Athens. The trip ended with a glorious rooftop view of the acropolis at sunset.

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This trip was an incredible experience, I learned so much about structures and art that I have only ever seen in pictures. I am excited to bring this experience back as an influence in my teaching. It is hard to believe that summer is already over!

I’ll post some pictures of my classroom sometime soon as I get it prepared for students. I have a few neat new things I am excited to implement and share. Here’s to a great summer and a great upcoming school year!

❤ Ms. K

 


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Value Weaving Self Portraits

What do you so when you are scrambling for an end for an end of the year project that will keep 5th graders engaged and hit some overlooked standards? You make something up and keep your fingers crossed that it isn’t a fiasco. This lesson was anything but a fiasco and one that will surely be in my bag o’ classic awesome lessons for years to come.

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I needed something that would continue to incorporate craft techniques, touch upon value/tint/shade, and provide a way to show emphasis and contrast. I wanted to utilize skills we have learned already so that during testing and in the weeks after I wouldn’t be pushing tired minds too far but still present an interesting project. On the first day we talked about value and 5th graders painted a value scale.

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The next way was all about weaving. Students used the fancy scissors to cut a warp and colorful construction paper for a weft. We briefly discussed color schemes and students could choose any color they wanted but were encouraged to think about their choice and perhaps even make it complementary or monochromatic.

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The next day was a sketching day. We talked about emojis and students used mirrors to draw self portraits with an emoji twist. They picked their favorite to make into a final draft and traced it with sharpie. Then they added a thought or speech bubble.

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These turned out so fabulous, I am very impressed with all of them! I love how graphic and bold these portraits are. This was the perfect project to end the school year and to end elementary art with.

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I am really going to miss this year’s 5th grade class. I have known many of them since 3rd grade and it has been a joy to watch them grow into the thoughtful and amazing people they are. Overall this has been a spectacular year and I cannot believe that in a few hours I will be done with my 3rd year of teaching. I like to look back at my posts from my first year sometimes because it reminds me what a dream come true this job truly is for me. I started this year feeling a little burned out and kind of deflated but I feel like I am ending on a strong, positive note. I will be posting during the summer but for all of my kiddos who are reading — I hope you have a great summer and I will see you next year!

❤ Ms. K


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Futurism Inspired Sculptures

3rd graders used scraps to create sculptures inspired by Futurism.

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We began by looking at the artwork of Fernand Leger and identifying lines and shapes. We talked about how the artwork is all about the future and movement. I did a quick demo on how cut, fold, and glue paper. Students went to town using scraps from this big ol’ box:

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. . . And they were delighted to have access to these fancy scissors which I randomly found in my supply cabinets. . .

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One side says the name of the line and the other side has an example of what the cut will look like. Neat-o!

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I love how funky these are. The kiddos really let their imaginations run wild to create some awesome sculptures. Our playgrounds are currently being renovated so many of these were inspired by “What I Wish the Playground Will Look Like” Others were mechanical parts, rooms, forests, and even time machines!

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^ Some sweet jagged edges ^

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^ Some sweet negative space in action ^

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^ Some sweet scrolls wavin’ ^

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^ “Its a torch” ^

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^ “Ms Katzin I am using the cold colors” ^

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^ A sweet apple tree ^

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^ So I wish I had recorded this student as she described this crazy amazing contraption to me it for like 15 minutes it was all about a dog that had to go through this door thing and do all this stuff. . . I don’t even know ^

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^ “I hope the new playground looks like this” ^

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^ Sweet pile of rings ^

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^ Sweet border ^

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^ On the drying rack ^

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^ On the wall* ^

* Why do they look different all of a sudden? WHAT SORCERY IS THIS?
Not sorcery — its because this batch was made with scrap construction paper instead of scrap painted paper.

Next up for 3rd grade is clay so stay tuned!


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Graffiti Cityscapes

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The inspiration for this project came from Mrs. Kim at Art in the Big Green Room! We began by looking at pictures of cityscapes and skylines on iPads.

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Students sketched their designs and transferred them to the top half of a 12×18 paper. They could use inspiration from real cities or make up their own.

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They traced their design with sharpie and used tissue paper and water to add colors. I love this method of “painting!” Originally they were going to paint with tints and shades of tempera but they were so intent on detailed cityscapes that a Plan B needed to be devised so their lovely details did not become muddled messes.

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Whilst digging through my Mary-Poppin’s-Bag-Like supply cabinets, I found some practically never before used metallic colored pencils. And who doesn’t like a bit o’ sparkle?! Students who finished their tissue paper early could use the colored pencils for more details.

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Next, we talked about graffiti. I have done a graffiti project with 5th graders for the past couple of years and this was a great update to that project! Students wrote their name or a school appropriate word in graffiti style typography. They traced it with sharpie and used liquid water colors to add color. They cut out their words to be glued to the “wall”

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The brick wall was created by printmaking**. Students carved a brick pattern into styrofoam and used brayers and paint to print the wall. They rolled brick colored tempera paint and printed their bricks 4 times onto the big paper.

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Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!

I think these turned out phenomenally, I am really proud of the stamina and perseverance 5th graders showed during this project. (Jeez, I make it sound like they went through some harrowing event, its only elementary art!) But this was actually pretty challenging and rigorous what with all of the different concepts and mediums. I think next year I might step it up even more and throw in some color scheme restrictions to hit a few more standards. As one of my very vocal kindergarteners said the other day, Check this out, dude! 

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**Now, I really, really, really, REALLY hate printmaking (maybe even more than weaving!) I think it is irrelevant in an age where you can press a button and literally print infinite amounts of images (at least until the CMYK runs out.) I think that the dazzling magic of creating multiple images is lost on younger generations. I believe that there are better artforms that will engage and inspire my students. Also, I just don’t really like it that much, it takes waaaay too much time.

This year I am challenging myself to get out of the box of “multiple prints of whatever blah blah” projects and come up with more interesting ideas for printmaking that do not necessarily just showcase printmaking but rather incorporate it into a mixed media type of project. So this is the first solution I came up with on How To Not Take 8 Weeks To Complete A Printmaking Project. The next one is an amazing 4th grade project that is currently in the works! So stay tuned 🙂


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Starry Night Landscapes

 

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I was so inspired by this lesson from Cassie Stevens for 4th grade’s first project. We began by looking at and talking about Starry Night. We played the art crit game I See, I Think, I Wonder to talk about the artwork. Students got a kick out of these videos:

We began with a background of blue/purple/black tempera paint. Students used the tips of their paintbrushes to create the directional lines and texture from Starry Night.

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We also created painted paper using intermediate colors (and some tints and shades) and paint scrapers for texture.

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The painted papers were cut up and used to create the ground and woven houses.

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The results are stunning, what a great way to kick off the year!

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Faith Ringgold Story Quilts

Check out these fantastic Story Quilts created by 2nd graders. They were inspired bythe book Tar Beach, written and illustrated by Faith Ringgold. For full step-by-step instructions, check out THIS POST.

 

I will fly in the White House. . . . How will I get past the guards? 

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I would fly to Bikini Bottom (From Spongebob Squarepants)

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I would fly to Mexico. . . Hi Mexico

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I would fly to Portugal. . . YES!

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I would fly to Haiti. 

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I would fly to a rose. 

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I would fly to the moon. 

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I would fly to New York. 

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I will fly into the TV. 

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I am Alix and I will fly to the ocean. 

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I will fly to Coca-Cola world.

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I would fly to New York. 

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I would fly to Minecraft. 

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I would fly to Ice Cream Land. 

 

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I would fly to New Orleans. 

 

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I love how imaginative these are, so full of stories and creativity!