Drawing is one of the activities that always connected me with kids. When I was in high school, I used to babysit for $. It was so easy for me to grab a couple of pieces of paper, all the colors they had available and just draw with them. After all, drawing is the single most accessible form of art available.
This past month, I accepted an offer to spend some time in Switzerland and teach art class as a substitute teacher. It was amazing to see what they came up with!
When I heard that this Kindergarten had a dog, well that just made me get up extra early! Ellie, the Kindergarten dog gets to visit the kids 3 days out of 5 and help shy kids open up to other kids. What a wonderful idea, something we should apply to every office!
Switzerland has had a long winter, even the kids can’t stand the snow any more. When we started class, we sang a couple of songs and the kids begged to please not sing about winter or snow anymore, so cute. We sang spring songs and started talking about the animals that we see when the snow melts in the woods. BUNNYS! they yelled, so we drew happy little Easter bunnies. By the end of the day even Ellie had enough of bunnies and excused herself to the napping area and did just that…
Teaching Second Grade
Drawing bunnies would have been too easy for second graders and “only babies draw bunnies”. To keep celebrating the long awaited spring, we drew flowers and animals to make the classroom more colorful. Not only with color pencil but also with watercolor. Those who felt really artistic could try a more abstract approach by dripping watercolor paint onto a piece of paper and blowing the paint around with a straw. We created beautiful, colorful flowers. The kids had so much fun, and I ended up with quite some fan mail…
Teaching Fifth Grade
I must say, I was a bit nervous from getting bullied by the fifth graders because some of these kids are taller than me! I thought it would be fun to teach them about branding and logos. This is after all my expertise. I started with basic shapes of well-known logos without any type and asked them if they could recognize the brand. It did not surprise me that they knew the big M of McDonalds, the round icon of Pepsi or the Swoosh of Nike. But they even knew the white on blue N of Nivea and the dark L for Lindt Chocolates. They impressed themselves! We went on and looked at other logos that are more intricate and how certain coloring automatically gives the brand a category. I gave the assignment for each to create their personal logo with the two main letters of their first and last name. I purchased this fun do-it-yourself-button kit and at the end of the class each student was allowed to place their logo on a button. Success!