Puzzle Project Fosters Memories of Home

An artist friend (Lynn) developed a simple puzzle project as a teaching tool for children to learn about different human habitats. I adapted it as a project with immigrant women inside a family detention center as a way to talk about memories from home with their children.
The project requires eight Popsicle sticks taped together (use two pieces of masking tape on the backside). It's easier to have the sticks pre-taped. Lynn offers step-by-step guidelines on how to draw one's own home ("habitat"). The art technique emphasis is contrasting colors. Outline in dark and fill with light; or vice versa. 

It is important to have a sample, not only for the "students" to have a visual but also so the instructor has had the experience in making the puzzle. It was helpful for me to have photos of my house to refer to as "guide prints."  Of course my immigrant participants would not have that luxury. 

Write your names on the back.
2.           Draw your “house” picture step by step, ONE step at a time.
3.           OUTLINE each step and color it in. Outlining is part of this process.
4.           Outline the house, door, windows and roof/chimney.
5.  Color in the forms made. Use colors that stand out next to each other
so you can “see” the outline –use a dark outline with light interior or vice versa.
6.  Outline the smoke and color it in.
7.  Draw a yard horizon line
8.  Draw the tree, foliage and branches Outline first then color in
9.  The flowers are next. Outline and color in with chosen colors.
10.        Draw the front “lawn” and color in or put flowers/rocks/pathways in. Color and outline
Draw any people, outline and color in.
12.        Outline mountains, or any background. DO NOT color in yet.
13.        Draw a sun next, outline and color in.
14.        Outline clouds and color in. Put mountains in, outline and then color the
 background after all images are outlined first. Add birds (“V” birds!)
15.       Add any details.

16.       Pull tape off and reassemble puzzles. Trade and do each other’s puzzles!