One day last week, I invited two students, who were in my class last year, to come in a share a sketch journal page with my new class. The two graduates (who happen to be twin brother and sister) are currently in Kindergarten. Each had looked through their journals at home and selected a favorite page to show and talk about with the new students. I’ve never done this before, so I really didn’t know what to expect. Hudson showed his revised owl, which happens to be a topic I covered in a blog post last year.
Sienna shared a “trail to a tree”.
With incredible grace and aplomb, both talked about how hard they worked on those journal pages. They asked my new class for feedback, and students made comments such as, “I like how you filled your whole canvas”, and “That’s a really good owl”, and “I like the colors that you used”. The comments were a bit cursory, but it is only the beginning of the year with children who are mostly still four years old, with little experience.
After our visitors left, the children went to work in their journals. As I circulated around the room, I asked the children about what they are drawing/writing. One little girl, Esme, said, “I’m making a path to a rainbow circle.” I asked where she got her idea, and her response was, “From the girl that came and shared her journal. She did a path to a tree, but mine is to a rainbow circle.”
A simple visit from an “expert” can be all of the inspiration our budding artist-writers need.