Lana Flowers May 8, 2021 Dot to Dot
Reynolds story, which has been translated into 22 languages including Braille, has been inspiring the creativity of students and teachers around the world. Reynolds has also been one of the main inspirations for teacher Angela Maiers, who began the World Movement Choose2Matter. What would happen if children and adults not only believed that they had the power to take on the world, but chose to use it? Maiers asked at her TEDx Conference in Des Moines, Iowa this August. She wholeheartedly believes that encouraging others and the self to understand that "You Matter" can make teachers and students more responsible and empowered. Reynolds teamed up with Maiers this year to kickoff the Dot Day event at the Boston Childrens Museum this Saturday. This year more than half a million students participating in 15,000 classrooms worldwide registered online for International Dot Day.
It has been a long while since I last wrote. I really miss it when I cant put my thoughts to paper (or keys... as it is). Last week I was teaching a bunch of kids aged 4-8 about the importance of mindfulness. This is a class which I teach every week. If you have never taught little kids before, it is much like trying to herd cats. The mindfulness class is one hour and for one hour I need about ten to twenty different activities as their attention span is so fleeting. Last week I had prepared a very exciting lesson using vinegar and baking soda to demonstrate how, when your mind is racing, it is like bubbles in the jar. I LOVED my new experiment and the kids were mildly amused for thirty seconds. I taught them to put their hand on their belly and breathe down the "bubbles of anxiety in their minds". Naturally as the acetic acid reacted completely with the sodium bicarbonate, the bubbles settled. Seemed like a compelling lesson? But, as with the others, it was... on to the next lesson!
When you draw something, you need to know about the technique used so you are able to give the sense of what you want. One of techniques in making pictures is pointillism; thats a technique using a series of dots to get the wanted image. As any other job, you need to be patient during this technique, because like the statement above it makes dots to arrange the image. As the preparation, you need some special pens especially tip pens with free flowing ink. I suggest not using ballpoint because it needs movement to get ink flowing well. Then the better is to use Staedtler pigment liners that are very useful because it is available in various sizes that you will need. To start with a good line drawing, outline the contours of your subjects rapidly include the place of shapes of the major shadows.
Third- Hold their arm and direct it into large circles. Then, let go of their arm and guide their arm into creating lines, circles and marks on the paper. He or she will love the tactile, warm, interaction with you, and be thrilled that there is color on the paper. Fourth- Praise your child, and point to the marks and let them discover that they have created something by themselves. Smiles will abound. Now you are both ready to draw a person! Whether a child is from Asia, Africa, or America, a pre-school child sees a person as a circle with a face. It is universal. The arms radiate from the sides of the circle. The legs sprout from the bottom of the circle. Take their hand and have them feel their eyebrows, and look into a mirror and point out eyes, nose, mouth, eyebrows, ears, and hair. Have them feel their arms, legs and feet. As a child draws and grows, their person will have more detail. Your child will have more of a body concept. Draw eyebrows. Put their hands on their ears, and help them draw the ears. Ask your child to draw hair. It usually will not be attached to the head. To them, the hair is above the head.
Its also a good idea to have a larger one, about the size of a sheet of paper. 9 inches by 12 inches is a good size. Most papers these days are acid free, but if you have a choice, I suggest getting the acid free, because it will not turn yellow over time. I have a few drawings I made long ago that I wanted to keep, but the paper has turned yellow, because it wasnt acid free. So I suggest using it, because you may want to keep some of your drawings. I also like to get a pad of Bristol board. Thats like a heavier paper or a light cardboard. When you make finished drawings, you can use markers and felt pens on it, and they wont bleed through, like they will with lighter weight paper.
I quickly put away the jar, vinegar, and baking soda and moved on to another exercise and another and another. At the end of each mindfulness class, I conclude with the same exercise: lying on your stomach and drawing your happy place. As soon as I announce that we are going to be doing the mindful drawing, they excitedly drop to their tummies and wiggle with the anticipation of a kid on Christmas morning. I pass out the fresh white paper and a can containing shards of crayons. The second their crayons hit the paper, you can hear a pin drop. There is no goofing around, there is no talking, but there is complete mindfulness. For fifteen minutes, they will draw, colour, and become immersed in their creation. Of course the real magic is not what is happening on the paper but rather what is happening in their mind. They are thinking about their happy place and then making it happen on paper - perfect mindfulness. It is the same as when we use guided visualization to enter into meditation.