Friday, May 1, 2009

Wink Goes to Kindergarten

Here's me at a school visit telling the kids to Can it!  Just kidding.  I was illustrating Master Zutsu's (the ninja teacher in the book) gesture.

I had a great visit to the Holmes School in New Britian today.  I got to visit three Kindergarten classrooms, read Wink, and do an art project with the kids.

This is my favorite of the "presentation" shots.  As you can see, I'm very interesting.

Actually, the principal had stepped into the classroom and one of the boys was telling him that he'd just turned six.  That was waaaay more exciting that anything I was saying - for sure!

Then I talked about Japanese brush painting and showed the kids some places in the book where I used it.  Then we got down to business and did some of our own.

I learned a lot from the first group.  1.) Unless you specifically tell them not to, kids will cover the whole paper with paint.  2.) It's important to demonstrate how to blow with a straw.  3.) When the kids are done with the black paint take the black paint away.

The art lesson for the second and third groups went much, much smoother.  I always feel bad for the first group b/c I learn a lot about how to teach a project after doing it a few times.

Isn't this one lovely?  I think it's the best one of all three classes.  The teacher told me that this boy was one of the low performers in her class.  She was so impressed at how he answered questions during my presentation and how well he did with the art.  I guess he doesn't come out of his shell a lot.

I was glad that I made a special point of telling him how awesome I thought his project was.

Thanks Holmes School!


Shelley said...

Julie, these school visit reports just make my day. Hilarious!

Natalie said...

Wow--his brush painting is lovely, Julie!

äiti said...

Thanks for making me laugh out loud. Love that shot where the kids are looking away :-)

That's the thing about "low" performance in schools. The definition comes from a specific set of parameters and often kids become defined and bound by this label which is never measuring the whole child.

Jessica said...

Looks like another great school visit. You must be having so much fun with all this book promotion!

Jon's painting is fantastic. I was the kid who sat in class and daydreamed all day. I don't know if I was considered a low performer, but I had lots of trouble with school. I can remember having special guests visit our class from time to time and getting super excited by the activities they would bring. I was lucky to already have art in my life, but when someone would come to make art with us I would totally come alive. Maybe Jon had the same experience and you touched on something that really made him tick.