An interesting discovery happened this week, when a young boy entered the studio while his older sister and a few other XP students were giving an impromptu puppet show using their own hand-made puppets. This boy wanted to join them using a puppet of his own and uncertain how to make one to his satisfaction, he simply grabbed a pipe cleaner and wound it around his index. Suddenly his finger was transformed into something all together different. This greatly excited him. Soon he was encamped in the puppet theater, with the others, creating a story of his own. When he finished, he simply unwound the pipe cleaner and returned it to the central supply shelf. This was such an inspiring revelation about younger students and the import of process over product, while employing an economy of materials.Another interesting discovery took place this week while I watched several students doing their daily drawings. I had been noticing an increase in scribbling and hurried drawings over the last few weeks. These speedy drawings were then proffered for my inspection accompanied by an elaborate story which I wrote down. I began to wonder about this. I have certainly learned, during my time in the studio, that most of the children savor opportunities to convey their stories to me and have them read back to them. What I didn’t understand was why the daily drawings had dwindled to mere scribbles. Had the stories taken precedence? The answer came when a student mentioned to me that he didn’t draw much. I thought about it and realized that this year, with the emergent investigation of puppetry, dramatic expression and painting, little focus had been given to the elements of drawing. So, I on Friday I began scaffolding the daily drawings with more comments relating to line quality, composition, shape, etc. This certainly reinvigorated the children and soon many were spending more time on their drawings.
After further reflection, I decided to spend one day next week devoted to looking at a still-life display and drawing it. I will let you know how things develop.