Note: To protect the privacy of our members, e-mail addresses have been removed from the archived messages. As a result, some links may be broken.
It's me again, feeling chatty! I know I started this by complaining about
holiday art being requested. I resented being told what to do by someone
who didn't understand. But, as we have been discussing the issue, I have
come to realize "holiday art" does not have to be a bad thing. In fact,
denying a student the opportunity to make art based on their personal
experiences is unfair. Children get so excited (or have other strong
feelings, like depression) around the holidays. It would be a shame to
discount these strong feelings, instead of helping students direct that
energy towards self expression. Even students who don't celebrate or
celebrate differently than most, would have something to say. It would be
like telling them that what is important to them, can't inform their art.
This is the wrong message to send.
In order to steer students away from commercial holiday symbols, this year,
I might approach the holidays from a personal perspective. We could tell
stories about our traditions, then perhaps create narrative paintings, or
books? Just thinking....
One thing I did with second graders is kind of neat. We made cards that
looked like wrapped presents on the outside. We used hand printed paper and
mixed media, like ribbons and beads. Then inside, we did a drawing of a
gift we would give (someone special) if we could. Some students had really
touching ideas, like a house, baby sister, a deceased loved one...it was
Thanks for listening! Leah