Camp COVID Summer Learning: Jump the Broom!

Hello, Friends!

We are deep into our Black History Awakening Mural… and it’s so so good! And today we’ve got a great book and a fun craft that is bringing our mural to life!

Ellen's Broom by Kelly Starling Lyons and Illustrated by Daniel Minter

Ellen’s Broom by Kelly Starling Lyons and Illustrated by Daniel Minter


If you are just joining us, welcome. We are in the midst of an amazing summer learning project. My family is creating a Black History Awakening mural as we learn about the incredible contributions, life stories, traditions, and more of Black Americans. I hope you’ll grab your family, some construction paper, this incredible book, and jump right ┬áin!

Speaking of jumping… often when you go to a wedding in the Low Country of South Carolina, you’ll discover that marriages are not official until the bride and groom hold hands and jump over a broom!

It’s a ritual that dates back to slavery. In the pages of Kelly Starling Lyon’s gorgeous book, ELLEN’S BROOM, readers learn where the tradition came from and why. This book is illustrated by Daniel Minter using linoleum block prints. There is so much movement and emotion in these illustrations. They have a timeless and evocative feel. I just love them. And the hallmark of the book is particularly masterful storytelling. Both author and illustrator pull off not only exposing the younger readers to one of the horrors of slavery, but also keep love and joy as central themes of the book. My kids loved it.

For our craft, we made a broom out of construction paper and attached it to our mural. Then we printed out the cover of the book and pasted it nearby.

Want to give it a try?

Jumping the Broom Craft
Supplies: Construction paper, tissue paper, markers, tape, glue and scissors.
Step 1: Take a piece of construction paper and cut it out in the shape of a broom.
Step 2: Cut long strips into the bottom of the broom.
Step 3: Make paper flowers to decorate the broom
Jumping the Broom craft
Step 4: We decorated our handle with a strip of tissue paper tied into a bow
Step 5: Attach it to your mural!
Our Black History Awakening Mural

For a discussion guide for Ellen’s Broom and more craft ideas, you can visit the author’s website here. There are so many ways to bring this book to life. If you try something fun, please post pics below.

For those of you who missed our first posts on the mural, click here to learn what inspired us to dive into the deep end of Black History and click here to see how Frederick Douglass’ life became a great addition to our mural. More to come!

Please share your ideas with us as you make your mural. Questions? Comment below! Things I could have said better or something I missed? Let me know in the comment section. I’m excited to grow.



P.S. During the course of our study, when we decide to invest in a new book about Black History, we are buying from bookshops owned by Black people. One of our favorite’s is Semicolon. Click here to support them with your book purchases.

P.P.S. Like what we are doing? Want to be privy to special giveaways, news, and other fun? Be sure to sign up for my newsletter. The sign up is in the upper right hand corner of this page. Thanks for visiting!