Saturday, November 21, 2009

Kid Art

One of my pet peeves is the way children's artwork is depicted on tv. I've seen many a movie or tv program that shows a six year-old at a table (in the kitchen, at school, in the police station, etc), hunched over a piece of paper, carefully drawing a picture. That part is fine. Most six year-olds love to draw and take the whole process very seriously. It's the finished product that gets me. The pictures attributed to six year-olds in movies or on tv are nothing like the art a six year-old actually produces. Seriously, kids just don't draw like that!

Now, me? I work with six year-olds. I know how they draw and what their pictures look like. And I don't see any problem in validating six year-olds and their art by, oh, I don't know, actually letting a six year-old draw the pictures for the movie or tv show!

Here's a sample of actual six year-old artwork. It was drawn by one of my students and she took the whole process very seriously. We had read the book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff, and now the kids were drawing pictures of their favorite part of the book. (This is speech therapy--we do more talking and drawing than writing.) This little munchkin kept referring back to the book and adding details here and there. The finished product is classic six year-old art. Including the hand-blocked title. (I hate it when kids do that; it takes forever and is a complete time-waster. But she really wanted to do it and I caved.)

See? How great is that? There's the mouse; he's wearing his overalls just like he does in the book. The boy is sitting on the rock with his book and cookie bag beside him and he's handing a cookie to the mouse. You can see the house indicated by an elaborate front door. The whole thing just makes me feel happy! Yep, this is six year-old art. This is the real deal. Not like that faux six year-old art that keeps popping up in movies or on tv.

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