S has recently started to try to represent ideas and objects through drawing. He’s been making lines, crosses and circles for a while, from there he moved on to train tracks, magic wands and brooms. The other day he even drew me the Nazca Lines! Usually when he wants to draw something more complicated he asks me to do it for him. (The usual request is a witch on a broomstick with a wand).
Instead of just doing it for him, last week I decided to help him to do it himself by suggesting the shapes he could draw to make a witch. This technique worked really well and he was so proud with himself! Here’s the first witch below (with her wand and broom of course). PS If you are unsure what’s with the witch obsession – it all stems from this book.
So after doing several witches, I suggested we draw some people in the countryside. The resulting picture (below) really fascinated me because it was such a fluid process for him. As adults I think we see drawings as static objects, whereas S was almost trying to animate his picture. He added things to the drawing and narrated a story a he went along, changing some aspects to adapt to his story.
First he drew the tree, the people, the grass and some small flowers. Then he drew the sun and said it was very hot and the flowers had died. After that he drew a big rain cloud and lots of rain – which made the flowers grow big and tall.
What a great way to combine art and story-telling! He used a lot of language in this activity and really took ownership of the drawing and developed it a lot further than my initial suggestion. He did this drawing a few days ago but has come back to it several times to talk about it excitedly. It has made be think about how activities that seem unrelated to language actually hold a lot of potential. Have you done anything similar? As always I’d love to hear your ideas about stimulating use of the minority language.