When They Get It

Sometimes you spend so much time planning what you expect to be the perfect lesson and then it flops.  Despite all the preparations you do and the modeling you do, for some reason the kids just don’t get it and you basically just want to abort the mission 10 minutes in.

But then there are those lessons where you’re just experimenting.  You have an idea of where it will go, but you’re not sure they’ll even get it.  But for whatever reason, they do get it.  And the results are amazing.  Not amazing because they made perfect things, but amazing because they showed that they completely understood what you were trying to teach and they applied it.

This is what happened today.  We’re in our final unit of inquiry:  How We Express Ourselves.  We are finishing an author study of Eric Carle.  I wanted to help them to create their own animals in a similar style, but to make it their own.  As I read all the books, I encouraged them to notice the illustrations.  We wondered how he made it look the way it does.  We talked about texture in art.

When it came time to create, I gave them guidance.  We started by painting plain pieces of paper.  I wish I’d photographed this part.  They had so much fun painting in solid colors and then adding white to tint it.  Then they could use their fingers or the paint brushes or whatever else they could find to create texture on the paper.

We let it dry over night.

Then today I showed them how to draw their image on the white side of the paper.  I showed them how to cut it out in sections and then glue it all onto a background.  They totally understood how to do it: