Saturday, January 07, 2006


Of all the ARTS work I have done with students in elementary school, teaching "scribbling" has been the most exhilarating and successful. Kids love it; they are energized by the myriad of possibilities and the total drawing freedom. Teachers love it too; it's fun and easy to teach, and all kids thrive.

In the child's mind scribbling is not meant to be artwork in the sense that we think of artwork. Scribbling for a child is more about action than about creating a product. It is process. It is activity. I never ask, "What is it?" I might say, "Wow, this looks like you are having fun. Your crayon is really going fast." As the child gets closer to the stage of image making, I might , say, "This part looks neat, can you tell me about it?" As children become verbal and are able describe their work, their minds are learning to think in imaginary and abstract ways. It is our ability to imagine that makes us human. It makes us care. It makes it possible for us to take responsibility.
For the rest of our lives it is our imaginations that allow us to predict the consequences of scribbling and every other thoughtless and considerate act of expression. Our imaginations help us avoid thoughtless acts that bring sadness from those we care about. Our imaginations allow us to be creative, to solve everyday problems, and to make the world a better more joyous place for ourselves and those we care about.

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