I have found in Asia, lots of kids have a hard time with art. They have been directed carefully about how to do so many other things. It’s hard for them to unleash their creativity. When I ask my students to draw something, they often say, “I can’t” and really don’t seem to know even where to begin. I want my kids to feel safe in exploring through art. The process of creating and expressing themselves is so much more important than the outcome. So we added art to our schedule. This week, I asked them to do self-portraits. I wish we’d had mirrors to give everyone so they could look at themselves as they drew. We gave them a printed photo of themselves to look at instead. I did an example first on the white board so I could model thinking about the details like the clip in my hair and eyebrows. I also added a few things that are not true to life like flowers in my hand so I could model using imagination in the drawing as well. I plan to have them do a self-portrait each quarter for their portfolios. Next quarter I will ask my co-lead to draw the model so they can get another perspective on drawing people and see that everyone can do art. I made sure to erase my picture before letting my kids do theirs. I want them to explore not copy. I was really pleased with the results. Some girls added crowns and red hair. Some portraits really looked like the child. Also, as the kids were drawing, I asked questions like, “what about your hands?” to encourage them to add to their pictures. I made sure to compliment their choices and actions rather than generalizing about their pictures– “wow, you chose some really creative colors! I like that!” instead of, “beautiful picture!” I gave smiles and thumbs ups to some of the newest kids that I can only communicate with through expression.
During KG time, I have an hour with only the oldest kids who will go to first grade next year. Every day, we are focusing on a letter. When we did the letter P, I modeled what all of their names would be if they started with P- Pasmine instead of Jasmine. They about died laughing. This inspired me to do the Name Game. We played freeze dance to introduce the melody then I sang and they repeated (with lots of pauses for giggle fests). Next week, when we play again, I will try to have them sing along with me. I also let them write their name with P on their worksheet. Their attempts at the new spelling were really cute.