In January, I set goals which I didn’t meet, although I tried. I had challenges and ideas, but they did not inspire me as I’d hoped. Too much going on in the news, too much to consider and worry about.
Then, DoodleaDay by Royan Lee started in March. Listen to a song, and doodle. Wow. I could do that. And, the March Slice of Life challenge started — a doodle with a song and a slice from life: a refocus that starts with art.
I’m not an artist, my lines are never straight, and what’s perspective? But doodling? I could doodle. And the first few doodle prompts provided some tips. And in researching [of course, I had to research…], I discovered zentangle doodling.
It also reminded me of my classroom. The last fifteen years has seen an emphasis on one standardized test and its scores, which refocused all work by teachers and students to reading, writing, and math. So much was eliminated: art, music, even social studies and science. But kids can’t focus on just those– learning isn’t just skills. Learning is thinking and doing and connections and reflections. So one thing I did was to bring in art, and to take art breaks. Just simple things, like draw five dots, then create an action figure from those five dots:
These didn’t take much time, but ah the sound of joy and relief in the classroom. The sound of sharing and chuckles and success. Art is the human story in shapes; art centers us; art gives expression to our feelings and hopes.
So, in the classroom, our schedules and impromptu art sessions helped build our relationships with each other and improve our classroom climate; art rounded out the mandates and made us whole.
Shake out the slump with art!
Resource on Art in Education: Commensense: Art in ELL Classroom
If you’re down, and your smile can’t be
If you’re sad, and your mind needs some
Give a sigh, and grab a pen, close your
Make a squiggle, add some spark ’til you
Make a start, find yourself, find your glad in
Doodling Song: Bellamy Brothers: Let Your Love Flow