Thursday, January 31, 2013

Multiple drafts are amazing!

This week, one of the kids checked out My Grandpa is Amazing! from the library.  After reading it, she decided to write her own My Dad is Amazing! book.  So, naturally, Lucy decided to write Katryna and Nerissa are Amazing!  I have some little blank books available for such occasions, so I sat down to take dictation.

Lucy wrote:

At that point, Lucy told me that was all she wanted to write, but that she would fill up the rest of the pages with pictures.  And she began to draw Katryna and Nerissa again and again and again.

Now is when I hear the worried parents who've been in my classrooms over the years.  "All he does is play with blocks."  "If I left it up to her, she'd play fairies all day every day."  And to them, I say "what's bad about that?"  If only we can trust the value in what they choose to do!

On the very next page, Katryna suddenly had a neck, a body, legs, and feet (something Lucy's rarely done before):

Then it was back to only heads, as she practiced eyes:

Then came arms with hands and fingers:
Lori Pickert, in her book Project-Based Homeschooling, encourages parents to "try to put yourself into a different frame of mind.  Creating multiple drafts of the same work allows your child to raise his efforts to a level that isn't possible if he simply creates first drafts over and over again.  Rather than thinking about new versus old, consider the importance of an artist or craftsman revising and polishing their work, introducing improvements at each pass.  Think about first and final drafts--and how much the work improves between them... Creating representations is about communicating, and doing multiple drafts allows your child to get closer to what he wants to say." (pp. 117-118)

And, of course, books can't communicate without a reader (or listener).  So Lucy's been reading her book to everyone this week, including Monkey:

A few days ago, Lucy decided she couldn't draw a guitar.  But she was so pleased with these new bodies, she thought maybe she could try again in one of the many pictures she draws of Katryna and Nerissa each day.  And this time, she was satisfied with her results.  (Nerissa's holding the guitar, on the right, below.)


Lori said...

oh my, love seeing this series of drawings with all those new developments. <3 <3 <3

and deciding to try again on the guitar!!!

Lori said...

oops, coming back to add — YES, re: the concerned parents who want to see more variety, but i saw this with teachers as well. they would set limits for how long each child could spend in a certain center in their classroom and rotate them around. they created a lot of transitions where none were needed and prevented the children from working deeply.

instead of trying to get a block-loving kid away from the blocks, it’s so much easier and better to bring variety to them — let them bring art materials into the block area, let them photograph their constructions, let them fold in dramatic play, and so on.

this also fits in with adults saying kids have short attention spans — which they don’t! and here we go interrupting their work and teaching them to need constant changes in activity, constant influx of new things, etc.

Lise said...

Yes, yes, yes!!!