I try to provide alternative approaches to suns, trees and birds but
agree that sometimes a student just isn't ready. But SOME are! And some
will get it later. Maybe this is part of the Murphy's Law of the art room.
Maybe the old symbols returning after a lesson is to keep us humble.
Sometimes I stipulate that there be no sun portrayed at all in
landscapes. I have kids look out the window and I ask them if they know if
the sun is out or not. I ask them how they know it is, and we talk about
the effect the sun has on objects during the day. After all, we rarely look
at the sun during a day as much as the results. Impressionist work is
especially good for this.