~ Helping to Build the Imaginations of Children~
The Artful Thought Project is our contribution to help build back the imaginations of children through creative activities integrated with literature and art. A project we bring to our neighborhoods. We welcome you to do the same. details below
These are the first finished projects and the process of instructing them. The poetry and art in this issue of The River are the children’s work from the Artful Thought Project.
Artful Thought Project River Urke
Integrating Lit & Art w/Children
Location: Minnesota, US
Age: 11 and 12 years old
Time: 2 hours
# participants : 2
I instructed two 6th grade girls through the Artful Thought Project
The purpose is to engage their imaginations in a creative process that involves deductive
reasoning and participation to complete their project.
1) reading and imagination- 2 poems about self discovery and discussion.
The discusion went really well to my surprise. They were both open and thoughtful in
the small group. A rare event at their age. I was impressed with their thoughts and questions.
2) writing and imagination- write a poem or short story related to the reading.
They had the option to write a short story or a poem either together or separate.
They chose to write a poem together. one rewrite 45 minutes
3) painting– each child will paint a picture related to their writing.
They both chose to paint abstract paintings about the emotions they
felt from their poem. They were able to explain the meaning of
their paintings. 35 minutes
- 1) poem “Finding Yourself”
- 2) two paintings
The girls accomplished the goal of the activity creating two works of creation using
their imaginations. They participated in discussion with a little arm twisting and made
decisions using deductive reasoning within the activities and with their finished works.
Artful Thought Project Liliana Negoi
Integrating Lit & Art w/Children
Location: Bucharest, RO
Age: 2 years and a half old and 3 years and 9 months old
Time: 2 hours
I instructed two boys, kindergarten age.
The purpose was to determine the degree of understanding and the ability of graphically representing a story at very young ages.
1) reading and imagination – one story – First I chose one with which the children were not familiar in order to observe the degree of attention paid to novelty and also the capacity to focus on the thread. The story was a Romanian one, named “The goat with three kids” by Ion Creanga, 15 mins to read. But since at this age the power of concentration is quite low-leveled they kept being distracted by various elements around them, and so we eventually ended up working on the “Little Red Riding Hood”, which for some reason is their favorite. They responded better to what they already knew, and they were able to set up a small “play” in which the older one was ‘the hunter’ and the younger one was ‘Red Riding Hood’, the wolf was imaginary, so was the grandmother.
2) writing and imagination – I tried to get them to imagine a different ending to the story, but instead they did something else – when asked to “tell” the story, they focused on adding details, like for instance the colors of the flowers Red Riding Hood, or the color of the wolf being black. The older boy’s final judgement was made of a few words addressed to the ‘wolf’ – “you are not good!”.
3) painting – the older one drew in colored pencils the main elements of the story. Interesting enough, the “grandmother” is not in the drawing. The small boy participated only in a small measure at this, however he proved a high level of focus on the other one’s activity – he watched in silence at what the other one was doing, but refused to add more than a few lines and dots to the drawing.
Work attached: drawing of the Little Red Riding Hood story.
Due to the small ages, the entire project developed as a “game”, in which both children were engaged. Most of the time the smaller boy contented himself to echo the older one’s actions, but in both cases it was obvious that the artistic representation and the imagination were less related to graphic (drawing) and more related to the actual representation (role-playing). Also, it must be mentioned that the first two types of activities were quite intermixed, the “writing” developing somehow in the same time with the “reading”- more like an interactive game. The first two activities together lasted for about 40-45 minutes, the drawing part took about 10.
The Children’s Poetry and Paintings from the projects can be found throughout the issue.
Everyone is welcome to hold an Artful Thought Project!
please contact River at firstname.lastname@example.org
for details in joining the fight for imagination.