Thursday, July 19, 2007

Slipping away

Summer is really slipping away, between art camp and traveling. Art camp was a great success. The first group of kids was perhaps my most engaged and enthusiastic ever. The second week, well, I really wondered about them at first. Seated in front of paper and piles of crayons, all twelve of them just sat there. My helpers and I told them they could draw while we waited for everybody to arrive, and nobody bothered. I thought "oh dear, a week of this?" Who could imagine a dozen third graders with no interest in coloring? I suggested they do something with their a few wrote their names, and that was it.

As it turned out, these kids had great imaginations and remarkably long attention spans, they just weren't into drawing. I asked them to choose an animal, and I made them a wire armature of it and had it waiting for them the next morning - the wire is too stiff for little hands - then they built up the bodies with newsprint and tape, and we covered them with plaster gauze and painted them. I was amazed with their ideas and the fact that they happily spent an entire morning on this one project.

It never fails to interest me that classes of kids have a kind of groupthink.