From the teaching files of
Barbara Jean Hicks
Last week I reviewed Gabriel Lusser Rico’s 1983 book, Writing the Natural Way. It is Rico’s contention that children write with an expressive power that comes naturally, that we lose this power in the “educational” process, and that we can regain it with right brain exercises. “Central to natural writing is an attitude of wonder,” Rico says. Julia Cameron, in The Artist’s Way, also addresses this idea, leading us to appreciate our Inner Artist, who is childlike and playful.
I thought it would be fun to share some writing and visual art done by elementary school kids demonstrating their expressive power.
Here are two self-portraits of Arianna, a fourth grade student in a California district in which I did a series of writing and art workshops over a two month period. One is visual, the other verbal:
My Hair Is as Long as a Blue Whale
My hair is as long as a blue whale.
My eyes are as blue as a star
and the moon and the ocean.
My ears are like apples cut in half.
My voice is like a lion’s voice.
My laugh sounds like the ocean waves.
When I ride my bike I see my speed
And my heart sounds like thunder.
Arianna, Age 9
Tune in here the next couple of weeks for more inspiration from the mouths and hands of babes!