Time and again, I’ve noticed Pari’s motivation to write shifts into a new, high gear when the writing project is integrated with art, and she has a theme to work on.
In the past, I’ve shared here her autobiography writing assignment that was supported by a bunch of photos.
I’m giving her more and more such art-themed and yet open-ended writing projects these days.
As I’d mentioned in a post some time back, she loves writing letters and has written tons of them. But, last couple of weeks, she has not felt motivated enough to take up pure writing – in an open-ended, express-your-thoughts sort of way.
She’s been excitedly doing crosswords and wanting to learn new words during our reading and story telling sessions. She loves highlighting those words with her fluorescent marker.
But she’s been shying away from writing in her journal.
I have decided to make writing sound like part of one or other art project.
You can say, her writing is now disguised as art. And, she’s so happy!
Yesterday, she did one such beautiful writing+art project.
I first read a story to her from her favourite book about animals. It has very interesting legends or folk tales about animals from South Africa. We picked it up during our recent trip.
She highlighted the words she thought were new to her or interesting.
Then, I asked her if she could make a movie based on this story; would that excite her?
The answer was very much a “yes”.
I prodded her further and asked if she’s seen any movie posters?
“What do you see in them?”. “Big photos of hero and heroine and name of the movie”.
I kept prodding – “…and may be some clues about the story of the movie”
I asked if she would be interested in making a movie poster for her film based on this
story. She thought for a few seconds. May be she was visualizing in her mind how to go about it.
And, all of a sudden, she started drawing in her art book.
I asked her what was she upto. She said – “I already have an idea”.
I said, “wonderful, I’ll wait to see what you make” and left the room.
Some time later, she comes to me with her hands behind and shows me the sketches.
I was zapped to see her pencil drawings of the animals – Kudu and Jackal and text clouds. I thought they were brilliant.
I don’t normally encourage her consciously to draw looking at pictures from story books. But, in this case, when she started drawing from the story book, I didn’t stop her.
I think her drawings and text were nicely juxtaposed.
She asked me if Kudu (the good animal) in the story was her hero, what would she call the Jackal (the bad guy).
I said, it’s called a ‘Villain’ in the film parlance.
She went ahead and described her two characters. And finally, coloured them both in vibrant and bold – brown, green and blue.
The little girl had obviously put her heart into it. And, that’s what I told her. That – she’s put her best effort into it and hence it came out so well.
I went on to discuss a few design elements with her. Like – I liked the size of her animals. They were in ‘proportion’ with the space and size of her poster. I explained what proportion means.
Integrated learning – again. I love this approach. You never know where you can introduce a math concept into an art project or a science concept when baking cookies!