Friday, July 13, 2018

Amazing Animals!

Creatures of Earth

The earth is just a speck in space.
Yet such an awesome, wild place,
For creatures great and small!

People of the earth beware!
It’s up to you to love and care
For creatures great and small.

Understand and nurture them.
Save their homes and be a friend
To creatures great and small.

Animals and birds and fish
Insects, reptiles too;
They need us to protect the earth
For creatures and for you!

This week our camps and classes celebrated "Amazing Animals!" 

And, we celebrated children's DRAWINGS in the process. 

Drawing is a child's very first attempt to communicate through the act making marks on paper (or walls or tabletops or sidewalks, etc.) 

It should be obvious that children don't need to be taught to draw! (As they get older, they may want to learn the "tricks" for drawing better, but they figure out drawing as soon as they are able hold a writing implement.) 

In addition, each child develops his or her own drawing system and style as s/he works through the process of expressing their world on paper. 

Children's spontaneous drawings, although often ignored, are often incredibly awesome insights into their interests, knowledge, and how they make sense of the world. 

For this project, we took turns naming random animals to draw on an 18" x 24" sheet of paper. I did not teach them how to draw any of the animals.  

Most of them immediately dove in to draw each one.I was amazed at the accuracy of their drawings! 

Once in a while they were 'stumped' about how to start a drawing, which merely means a lack of information. We found photos of the animal in our resource files or we googled it. Needing more information about something is always a good thing!

We fit our animal drawings into our composition like a puzzle. Proportional sizes did not matter. 

The drawings were completed in a full 3-hour class period. During the next class, we defined each animal by adding colors, patterns, outlines, fur, scales, feathers, and facial details.

Finally, we filled in the background very loosely with soft pastels, which were rubbed and blended for a soft, colorful effect. Then we mounted our drawings on a piece of black poster board, leaving a lovely black border around the outside of the artwork. Each child also got a matted copy of the poem above to display with their masterpiece!
Animal Menagerie, by Abbigail
Animal Menagerie, by Tylee
Animal Menagerie, by Abbey
Our students will continue practicing spontaneous drawing through games and imaginative / story-telling activities suggested in Marjorie and Brent Wilson's classic book, Teaching Children to Draw.

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