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Pysanka Easter Eggs in the Classroom

 

This has been an activity that’s consumed my thoughts for a while. Typically, the more something consumes my mind the more excited I am about it. I was on the search for a fun Easter Activity appropriate for Upper-Grades. It wasn’t until I stumbled across Pysanky: Ukrainian Easter Eggs, that I knew I had found it. The anticipation for the final reveal ignites engagement, the process requires higher-order thinking, and the end product is completely beautiful. This process allows students to keep and treasure their pysanka for years to come.

In my mind, this project is for 10-year-olds and up, however, 3rd graders continue to surprise me! If you teach 3rd grade and have success with this project in your classroom please let me know! If you teach high-school, please consider introducing your students to the actual tools, and crafts of pysanka. I had to try it for myself and was immediately enveloped by my fascination for the craft. I told my husband that this was my new therapy, a better word would have been obsession.

Pysanka has been around for thousands of years. Pysanka comes from the Ukrainian word, “pysaty” which means, to write. Painting an egg and writing on an egg are two completely separate things. In Pysanky, a tool known as a kistka is used. Think of it as a stick with a small metal funnel at the end of it. The funnel is used to scoop up beeswax, then melt it over a flame. Once the temperature is right the wax drizzles through the funnel, allowing the user to draw with wax on the easter egg. Intricate designs can be created by alternating layers of wax and dye. Traditionally, only the colors white, yellow, red and black were used. Later, green dye was also introduced. Once the design is achieved the wax is melted off using the candle’s flame. As you remove the wax the different layers of colors once protected by the wax show through.

I set out to come up with a classroom friendly, no flame necessary, pysanka copycat for kids. Like many, I had experimented with crayons and egg dye in the past, but I had never considered melting the wax off the egg. This ended up taking a few trials and error to perfect, but I am so excited to say that I present this process to you with full confidence.

Let’s get started! Before we can begin you need to order supplies for your students. Like craftivites in the past, I take into consideration the cost it takes to outfit your entire class with what they need. I know this is likely coming from your own pocket, which means I strive to bring the most cost-effective and engaging ideas to you!

Supplies:

Egg Dye: Traditional Pysanka Egg Dye is beautiful and toxic. A simple food-safe dye will give you a similar effect. If you are nervous about artificial dyes or have a student sensitive to specific food dyes,  I’ve also included a more natural option below. I would highly recommend purchasing the black food dye as well, not only is it a traditional pysanky color, but the contrast is really stunning. To make the dye simply mix 1/2 cup of water with 1 TBSP of vinegar, and 20-25 drops of the desired color. 

Picture Book: Not necessary, but who doesn’t love Patricia Polacco. This is a really sweet book about a Babuska that paints and decorates award winning eggs. One day an unruly guest may stand in the way of her prize. A friendship blooms and miracles are witnessed. This really is a perfect read-aloud to tie in this activity. Students can also seek out inspiration from Polacco’s illustrations for their own designs!

Egg Stands: If you plan to blow out the eggs, which is my recommendation. I also suggest gluing the eggs to a stand. This will prevent them from tipping over and allow them to be enjoyed for years to come. Don’t panic, I used my MacGyvering skills to come up with an extremely affordable alternative. Technically, they are for peg dolls. Technically, they work swimmingly.

  • Jumbo Push Pins  If you don’t already have a pack of jumbo push pins in your classroom, I highly suggest purchasing a pack. They are the perfect size to allow you to get a better grip and handle on what you’re doing. I use these for the String Art Christmas Ornaments as well. However, I was able to have success poking a hole in the egg with both regular thumbtacks and a regular push pin as well!

    Click Here to Purchase

  • Masking tape or Painter’s Tape: You will secure a piece on both the top and bottom of the egg when piercing it. The tape gives the pin a better grip as well as secures the egg to prevent it from cracking.
  • White Vinegar: Allows the dye to better adhere to the egg’s shell. We’re talking CHEMICAL REACTION.
  • Coarse Screws: You will use these to make the larger hole in the bottom of the egg if blowing them out. It took a little trial and error before my husband suggested a screw. He’s a gem, and these worked like a gem. Honest to goodness foolproof way for emptying an egg.
  • Eggs: Make sure you give them a nice little rinse and scrub before dying them. If they are from the grocery store a lot of times they are sprayed with a wax-like substance that can affect the dying process. If you have a student with an egg allergy. Try these Dyeable artificial eggs. They work, they don’t work well, but they work. Make sure to allow adequate time for the color to set in. (they are $$$ on Amazon, Target is your best bet :D)
  • Syringe Pack: When blowing out an egg you’re supposed to use your mouth…No thanks. THESE WORKED BEAUTIFULLY. Honestly, better than I imagined they would.

  • (Recommended for Upper Grades) Regular Crayons 2 Pack 64 Count: Regular crayons are going to be your best bet to get the best coverage, better wax resistant and most contrast with your colors. Interestingly enough not all the crayons are created equally when it comes to this project. I found that your reds, purples, and blues perform the best. See my visual in the process below. Keep in mind these crayons require more heat in order to be wiped away. This can easily and safely be done with a blow dryer. From my little science experiment if you plan to let the eggs soak or want better coverage regular crayons are your best bet. Red, blues, purples seemed to perform the best.
  • (Recommended for younger grades)Washable Crayola Crayons: I know it seems so wrong to purchase crayons when you are surrounded by broken remnants everywhere in your classroom. These worked really well because of their “lavability”, melting point. These released and wiped clean easier than the regular crayons did.  However, some colors worked better than others. I’d avoid purple, it went on very smooth but didn’t adhere to the egg like I wanted it to. You also want your egg dry before adding more designs with your crayon. These crayons will work better for younger grades because the wax doesn’t need to reach as high as temperature to be removed. The only caveat is that these crayons are designed to be washable with warm water. This means if you plan to soak your eggs for a long period of time, you risk the crayon simply washing off. The bonus is that if you are nervous about using heat or a blow dryer to remove the wax you could technically just wash it off with warm water to get a similar effect.
  • Class Set Crayon SharpenersNot necessary but a good idea for students wanting to achieve a more fine and delicate design.

If you’re like me, then you are itching to get your hands on an actual Kistka and try your hand at some genuine Pysanky. Below is the kit I purchased and it was perfect! I am legitimately planning a Pyskany Party for friends and family to try their hand at this ancient craft!

 

 

Now stay tuned!  Step by step instructions and a few fun products to accompany this fun activity will be posted by the end of the week:

  • Pysanky Terminology and History: Reading Comprehension Questions, and Crossword Puzzles.
  • Pysanka Symbols, Colors, and their meaning.
  • Design your own Pysanka: Methodical planning, design, process, color mixing.
  • Scientific Observation: Chemical or Physical Change Checklist

For some Pysanky Inspiration make sure to check out a few of my favorite Pysanky Artists/Writers on Instagram!

@Sweetbing

@jenniferekwong

 

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“Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us. It is confidence that if we live according to God’s laws and the words of His prophets now, we will receive desired blessings in the future. It is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf ...

#givethanks 1:7
I've contemplated today what I would share and though I have SO much to be grateful for... There was no, ”aha!” ”that’s it!” moment!
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As I opened my photos to find a pretty picture to share I found a stream of these images from this morning that made me smile. It's not the picture perfect post, but it's our reality.
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Our reality is made up of a messy house, (that was cleaned today by the best daddy despite working full time from home.
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Our reality is made up of a boy that drags Alexa around from room to room to listen to his music like Chris Stapleton, or Jon Pardi way too loud.
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Our reality is made up of kids having more screentime than they should /taking pictures on mom's phone, left to fend for themselves or run to nana’s house.
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Our reality is a big sister giving her 8week old baby sister her brother’s medicine/ call to poison control...
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Our reality is an exhausted momma, wearing spit up as perfume, in an inside out nightgown, with who knows how long it's been since a brush has been in her hair, hair.
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Our reality is messy, and in the moment I'm not often thinking of how grateful I am for the mess.
But looking at this picture while the kids are sleeping sound... it’s like looking at things through a different lens.
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I'm grateful for the mess.
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LOVING this FREE coloring page to use with this weeks #comefollowme lesson. Head to the website for the link to this instant download and others 💛 ...

“There is no medication or operation that can fix the many spiritual woes and maladies that we face,” President Nelson said. “There is, however, a remedy—one that may seem surprising—because it flies in the face of our natural intuitions. Nevertheless, its effects have been validated by scientists as well as men and women of faith. I am referring to the healing power of gratitude.” – President Nelson ...

FUN & Free Download to help you brainstorm and get into an attitude of gratitude as you participate in @russellmnelson #givethanks challenge! Head to the website for this week’s #comefollowme weekly FREE Resource Roundup ...

Repost• @comefollowmedaily
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Sometimes I wonder, how did the Jaredites do it?

How did they have the faith and courage to step in those barges with everyone they loved, leaving behind their home, stability, and any semblance of control.

No steering wheel to steer. No sail to direct. No windows to see. No air source in the depths. No idea where they were going. No idea how long it would take. No idea if they had enough food.

No game plan but prayer.

Can you imagine those moments where they were running out of oxygen in the depths of the sea, praying fervently that the Lord would lift them in time? Because I’m sure they were imagining it as they stepped into that barge.

How did they do it?
The answer, I believe, is that God had prepared them.

Ether 2:6 says of their journey, “And it came to pass that they did travel in the wilderness, and did build barges, in which they did cross many waters, being directed continually by the hand of the Lord.”
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They had done this before. They had been in the barges. They had crossed over many waters, and had felt God direct them continually.

They knew God was with them. So, when their greatest challenge came, they were prepared.

How has God prepared you for your challenges today? What smaller waters have you already crossed to prepare you for the ocean you are now in?

Or, what smaller waters are you crossing right now to prepare you for the oceans ahead?

Remember, “God has already prepared the way. He is just preparing you.” (Tangie Ambrose).

Art by @yongsungkimart
Thanks to my friend, Becky Rowley, for the conversation that inspired this post ❤️
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Have you ever lost something, looked EVERYWHERE, all the while telling yourself “You don’t need to pray,” “YOU can find it,” ” We’re not to that point yet…” Only to get to the point of offering a desperate prayer, to find the thing you were searching for moments later, likely in a place you had already looked. This has happened to me more times than I care to admit. From my wedding ring to my only set of car keys. As I reflect on those little miracles or moments of God showing me His hand, I think those moments carry more weight because I left myself to my own devices for so long. I knew when I sheepishly found them after praying that the finding was outside of my own capabilities. Again I think this was an example of my own veil of disbelief.

According to President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973), the Lord’s question was similar to saying the following:

“‘Well, have you any good ideas? What would you suggest that we should do in order to have light?’ …

“Then the Lord went away and left him alone. It was as though the Lord were saying to him, ‘Look, I gave you a mind to think with, and I gave you agency to use it. Now you do all you can to help yourself with this problem; and then, after you’ve done all you can, I’ll step in to help you.’”
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“Sometimes the only thing separating us from the blessings we seek is our own “veil of unbelief,” and if we can “rend that veil” (Ether 4:15), we may be surprised by what the Lord is willing to do for us.”
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This excerpt from Come Follow Me this week really struck me. As I thought about what it meant, I realized that too often I had fallen victim to my own disbelief sometimes in the simplest ways and moments. I think in part it’s how my “natural” mind works. I’m quite an anxious person and my mind always puts things in worst-case scenario, that way when best-case or mildly-acceptable case come along I feel prepared and even happy with the outcome. I think it’s a survival mechanism. Whatever it is, it’s the default setting for my brain.
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An instance that sticks out to me happened about a year ago. A dear friend of our family was going through cancer treatments for a cancer that he had beat once already. Things looked pretty bleak. My family had helped to organize a fundraiser that I was quite involved with. I did everything within my power to make things ok. Notice I did everything within MY power.
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My husband and I were headed to the temple to do sealings with some of his old mission companions and mission president. As we drove to the temple I broke down filled with dread and hopelessness as our friend’s battle with cancer seemed to take another drive.
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This brought the question… What’s the point? What’s the point in praying, if God already knows the outcome. Because God knows the outcome and it’s ultimately His will why even pray….. (read the rest on this week’s Come Follow Me Blog Post)
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Comment below your thoughts, I’d love to hear what you think💛
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Fun Object Lesson for #comefollowme this week:
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Mormon and Moroni had faith that their actions, work, and sacrifice would bring about beauty for tomorrow.

What are you doing today? What seeds are you planting, or in my case SHOULD be planting? What is something you can do today that will bring about a more beautiful tomorrow?

If you are looking for a way to solidify this idea, it just so happens to be the perfect time to plant bulbs. Tulips and daffodils are one of my absolute FAVORITES.

If you’ve never planted bulbs before here are a few tips:

🌷Plant in a spot where it will receive full sun, or afternoon sun.
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🌷Tulips prefer well-drained soil.
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🌷Planting before a freeze is optimal, however, you will still have great chances with planting your bulbs in the winter. Tulips are surprisingly hardy.
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🌷The larger the bulb, the deeper it will need to be planted. Larger bulbs need to be planted around 6-8inches deep.
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🌷When you plant the bulbs the pointy side needs to be pointed up.
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🌷Leave them to their own devices and have faith that March will be made more beautiful because of your efforts!
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this! Make sure to comment below.

As you plant, consider making a commitment to the figurative seeds you can plant and care for each day. Come March, when your tulips bloom, reflect on your actions and document the beauty that came because of your actions.
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“To gain unshakable faith in Jesus Christ is to flood your life with brilliant light. You are no longer alone to struggle with challenges you know you cannot resolve or control yourself, for He said, ‘If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me’ (Moroni 7:33; italics added). – Richard G. Scott ...

You may not know this about me, but I love gardening, especially flower gardens. I’m no good at it, and again my good intentions outdo any action on my part, leaving an often neglected and overgrown sight, however, I still love it and love learning, reading, and experimenting with different blooms.

One of my favorite ideas/thought process about gardening is the idea of planting seeds is a demonstration of faith. The ACTION of planting the seeds and caring for them demonstrates your belief or hope in the beauty that may come tomorrow.

As I read the heading form Come Follow Me this week, I was immediately reminded of this idea.

“Mormon and Moroni had faith that their record would inspire those living in the latter days. As you read Mormon 7–9, write the impressions that come to you about how you can apply what you are learning. “

Mormon and Moroni had faith that their actions, work, and sacrifice would bring about beauty for tomorrow.

What are you doing today? What seeds are you planting, or in my case SHOULD be planting? What is something you can do today that will bring about a more beautiful tomorrow?
📷: @spellandtell
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Have I Seen the Hand of God? FREE printable, November Gratitude Challenge.
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This fun download can be completed digitally by typing into one of the 30 squares each day for the month of November, or print out the page and write in one of the spaces each day.
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“I heard in my mind—not in my own voice—these words: “I’m not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down.” […] I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?”

-Henry B. Eyring
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New post with FREE Printable for #comefollowme this week! It’s all about making the effort o see the Lord’s hand in our lives every day. Download the November Gratitude Challenge and be ready to start come November 1st💛
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Art by Sammie Rose
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Gracelyn Jo
(See Full Picture in Profile)

“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments...”
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“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments.
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“The Bible Dictionary states, "Grace is an enabling power.”
-Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient
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Gracelyn Jo
(See Full Picture in Profile)

“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments...”
-
“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments.
-
“The Bible Dictionary states, "Grace is an enabling power.”
-Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient
...

Gracelyn Jo
(See Full Picture in Profile)

“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments...”
-
“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments.
-
“The Bible Dictionary states, "Grace is an enabling power.”
-Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient
...

Had to share Emily’s post and this piece titled “The Refiner’s Fire”

@emilyshayart 2020 has been a YEAR.
Personally, it tops the charts.
My family has been drastically and painfully altered, bringing overwhelming heartache.

And yet, considering a piece of rough ore- a rock encased with minerals which naturally contains impurities. With those impurities, it also carries within it precious metals such as silver and gold. For the refiner to create something out of that piece of ore, he needs to begin the refining process by breaking the ore with a heavy hammer. The ore then must be exposed to the refiner’s fire, with temperatures as high as 900-1000 degrees Celsius, in order to burn away the impurities and reveal the precious metal inside.
God refines us by allowing us to go through painful trials and difficulties. One might think, “What is the purpose of letting Their children suffer if They truly love us?” Is it possible- one way to look at this allegory is to help us understand the purpose beyond our pain- to expose and purify the greatness within?
Could there be a gold and silver lining to the trials we are experiencing? By clinging to hope, persevering in faith and trusting in the Master Refiner’s perfect plan, we are refined in the fire.

In this painting there are a few things I’d like to point out:
⁃ with the support of Jesus Christ and heaven raining down tender mercy to keep her from burning, she is safe, cool and unconsumed.
⁃ by accepting such love and support, this brings new growth – beautiful fiery growth.
⁃ Christ’s halo is made of all colors of the flame, as he takes on every and all impurities.

“I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say ‘The Lord is our God.’” Zech. 13:9

“Adversity should not be viewed as either disfavor from the Lord or a withdrawal of his blessings. Opposition in all things is part of the Refiner’s Fire to prepare us for an eternal celestial destiny.” -Quintin L. Cook

“God would not put you through a refiner’s fire if you were not worth refining.” -Brad Wilcox
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We’re BACK! Thank you so much for your kindness and patience as we took a brief pause to prepare for and welcome our sweetest new addition. THANK you to so many of you who reached out and checked in on us, to know that you have looked forward to and used these posts and even missed them...made me eager to return. ...

Excerpt from a personal post 💛 Thank you all for your patience as we welcome the newest member of our little family🍓
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2020 the Year of the Poppies
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“... You may not know this about me, but I love gardening, especially flower gardens. I'm no good at it, and again my good intentions out do any action on my part, leaving an often neglected and overgrown sight, however, I still love it and love learning, reading, and experimenting with different blooms. One of my favorite flowers is a poppy. I think there is so much to be said about and learned from these flowers. From the alien-like tubers you plant, to the fury foliage it produces, one would NEVER think that something so weed-like could ever produce such a gorgeous sight... And then... It does. Is that not life? Is that not 2020? This year has been hard for everyone, especially for some that I love the most, and yet despite everything, there has been beauty.

I truly believe that some of life’s most beautiful moments are produced after the hard or ugly. Is that not the Gospel and Hope found in Christ? Through His Grace the hard and ugly things we go through can actually be the source of something really beautiful, something better than we could have imagined, even a better version of ourself? 2020 has been hard, it’s still hard. But because of that hardness I’ve seen growth and light and beauty that I never would have expected. From repaired and renewed relationships, to a new focus on family and what’s really important, to things working out when they shouldn’t, to a beautiful new addition to our family... The increase is through Him. I think for me 2020 will always be the year of the poppies.
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