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Lesson Plans

messing up

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Tue, 14 Apr 1998 18:43:02 -0400

I don't wait much past the second class meeting (K-5, 1x/week) to talk with
kids about "mess ups". I tell them the story of the dog I drew when I was
little: it was a terrible dog, but when I turned the paper upside down and
added a few more lines and details, it became an exquisite rhododendron
bush. (This usually gets a laugh). And I drew a better dog beside the
bush. So our classroom rules on mess-ups are these:
1. Look at it again. Does it remind you of something else it could
2. Try rotating the paper.
3. If it can't be changed, turn it into a bush or tree.
4. If it's a REAL disaster, turn it into a rock and have something
peeking out from behind it.
5. Last resort: turn the paper over and start again.

This is especially successful with the primary grades. By 4th and 5th,
they're usually required to do a preliminary drawing anyway, so problems
are usually dealt with at that point. If someone is at wits end and I
think a new paper is the best solution, I have them put their mess-up in
the "test paper" pile so the used paper can be used again.

Cathy Gobeille
Philip Smith School
South Windsor, CT