All kids are full of creative juices just waiting to flow. They may not be talented at everything, but give them a box of crayons and they instantly know what to do with it. Give that box of crayons to an adult and just wait for the deer-in-the-headlight look. You want me to do what? Draw? I can’t draw. No five-year old is ever going to tell you he can’t draw.
My five-year old loves to draw every day, without prompting. He can’t wait to come back from school every day to draw with his colored pencils, since his school desk only features Crayola crayons, which are useless for any detailed drawing if you ask me. He also loves making up stories, usually involving warriors of some kind, maybe pirates or astronauts. Here’s one of his latest artistic renditions. Superman’s red laser eyes was a nice touch. I say, not bad, for a kid who’s not even six.
My son happens to be in a kindergarten / first grade combo class and gets to stay very busy during the day doing the kindergarten work, then the first grade work, then the optional work. After a few months of formal schooling, he’s realized he can not only draw, but also write down his thoughts and ideas.
He recently started writing a long story at school during his independent study time. He wrote it on lined paper, without drawing a single picture. He used both sides of his paper but still wasn’t done. That’s when his teacher offered him to cut up some paper and staple it together like a small book. He was thrilled and rewrote his whole story on this new book format, leaving blank pages to draw across the text. He wrote the story at school, then brought the book home and drew all the illustrations (remember, we have the good colored pencils). Here’s the front cover of “The Ninja and the Samurai” (we’re still working on spelling beyond phonics). That night he read his book to his brother and me. Sweet.
The next day, he brought his completed book back to school and asked his teacher if he could read it in front of the whole class. Er, how many of us adults would volunteer to read our book out loud in front of our peers? I’m sure he was beaming with pride.
Well, today his teacher came over to tell me that, by reading his book in front of the class and showing his peers how he wrote it (he used an outline, ha! Carrie at The Write Transition will love to hear that), he inspired at least half of his classmates to write their own books. How cool is that???
I thanked his teacher last week for allowing my son to write his book in class and she mentioned storywriting was an option, but no other kid took advantage of it but my son. This week he managed to inspire half his class to let their creative juices flow. Talk about positive peer influence!
Now for the sad part, I should note my son just finished writing his very first book, while I still haven’t written a single page of mine. How pathetic is that? Oh, wait a minute. I actually feel quite inspired. But let me grab a glass of wine first. I need some creative juices of my own.