Monday, November 26, 2007

Right Brain Drawing

Today we did some more work with the Right Brain Drawing idea. The older groups first started out with a writing activity – building on some of the stuff we did for Amnesty International. I had them do a creative writing exercise, imagining that they had a completely different life – born to a different family in a different country, etc – they could be anything, rich, poor, homeless, a circus family, an African family, etc. They then wrote details – did they go to school, what was their family like, where did they live, etc. It went over pretty well, the 6th graders in particular did a great job with it. We then a few more of the Betty Edwards Right Brain drawing exercises – teaching drawing has proven to be really effective. It lets me explain larger ideas of pushing ourselves/not censoring ourselves or stopping because something is not perfect. It can be a frustrating process for them, but I’m finding I’m able to use that as an effective teaching tool at times. Today all three groups – 6th, 1st/2nd and 5th all did the blind contour drawing – they had to draw the lines of their hands while not looking at their paper – and the upside down line drawing.

Line contour drawings

It’s cool to see them get excited about what they can accomplish. Trying to figure out the best direction to go now with the drawing, and keep a balance with other projects – want to keep a continuity (something that is critical when teaching after school) going but also don’t want to get them feeling too burdened down.

The novel writing is going well – kids are writing way more than I thought, which is cool. We officially decided to expand this project into a writers club to last for the rest of the year, I’m working on thinking of some cool themes to keep them motivated and focused.

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