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Lesson Plans


re: arts (was Re: Coloring Books)

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Becky Alexander (Bekalex)
Tue, 29 Apr 1997 22:19:40 -0700


>>About colouring books being OK for 4 year olds, it is the fact that
>>the child has opportunity to produce his own images on blank paper
>>which makes all the difference. W Lambert Brittain in his book
>>"Creativity, Art, and the Young Child comments about the child
>>drawing and talking.. Describing the images as they draw. He suggests
>>that a child will articulate his thoughts more while drawing to help him
>>think. The problem there is for the adult to be around when the
>>drawing is being done and then giving the child the freedom to talk
>>about the drawing as it is being produced.

Thanks, Bob!! I'm definitely going to have to find that book!

I have run into the problem that if I let the kids (kindergarteners) draw
and then have them talk to me about what they have produced the young ones
frequently have to make up something there on the spur of the moment. They
really don't know, remember, whatever. It makes it kind of frustrating for
me as well as them, I expect.

Other times the really young ones are focused on the experience of making
just lines, colors etc. on the paper so that "what it is" is not part of
the production. The "art" is entirely process/experience oriented. This is
especially true of kids whose home background is so limited they aren't
sure what the tools will do.

I don't want to start on "image making" until they are a little more sure
of the tools. The first 4 - 6 weeks are pretty much "directed
exploratation" with those who are able, producing images, those who aren't
producing whatever. (They don't know the names of colors or shapes or lines
either, so that's not really discussable by them without input. Learning to
use the tools is difficult enough for most.

Next year I will have only 20 kids in my class. Maybe I will have time to
let them talk to me "as" they are drawing. Especially at the beginning when
about 1/2 of them are still only 4! I will be very interested in what they
say.

I am also concerned that this might take a lot of focus. Could I do it? I'm
quite non-verbal if I'm in the middle of creating something.

Different subject: I have gotten so much out of this list.

A few weeks ago I had about 6 of my better "artists" draw huge (on the back
of chart paper!) landscapes with mountains in the background (that's what
it looks like here) and cars going along a road, with a pretty house,
trees, etc. I had them "color the air" between the sky and the mountain
tops and the mountain bottoms and the grass. (In spite of the explicit
directions, each was very different!) :)

It worked! They understood "color the air" (this time) and the pictures
were beautiful. Next we cut pictures of trash items from magazines and
pasted them on the pictures. (We trashed the pictures like litterbugs.)
Finally, I had some of the best "letterers" print "Don't Trash The Earth"
in red across the top of them.

Then I laminated them and sent them over to Walmart for an Earth Day
display. We brought back 32 Chrysanthemums, a daisy bush and some sort of
blue flowering vine.

Anyway, I thought it was a pretty good poster art, co-operative learning
lesson.

Guess what we're giving for Mom's Day??

Becky