Tonight we went to see Jan Brett and Hedgie at the downtown library. We got there early and had great seats, right in the front. Having thought so much about Katie Ray's In Pictures and In Words (illustration study in writing workshop), I loved hearing (and seeing) Jan's demonstration about the power of eyes in a story. She did a quick demonstration where she would turn around, make an expression, and cover her face before turning around to reveal only her eyes. The kids in the audience were all yelling out what expressions she was making- by seeing only her eyes. It seems like a small thing to consider, but grounding stories and characters with their emotions is a powerful strategy all writers can try- even 6 year-old writers.
Fran and I meeting Hedgie.
She talked a lot about making art accessible with some how-to's and tips. I tucked the drawing tips away for future writing lessons: starting something with a shape, planning a picture (leaving space for antlers!), drawing something part by part, studying something to draw it, working on drawing every day, holding a picture in a mirror to check the image for balance and composition, considering materials (pencils for shading, watercolors, markers), how different kids of lines have different effects (especially helpful with fur), and adding details until the work feels complete- like it's all ready for you to step into the scene.
Getting our book signed!
It's amazing how much teaching was tucked into her conversation! Thanks, Jan Brett, AADL, and Nicola's Books!
Don't forget to check out the Swedish moose antler!
A former classroom teacher, I am currently teaching Reading Intervention part-time for a public school district and am continuing my work as a part-time literacy consultant, working with teachers to refine their Reading and Writing Workshops. I also volunteer with children and their families in our community for storytelling, book-making, and writing workshops.
At home, I am raising two readers and writers, now ages 5 and 9. We are an enthusiastic public-schooling family.
This blog is about finding common ground and joy with educational philosophy and parenting.