One day, while taking a class for sixth standard students, I asked them to take a look at picture and craft a story out of it. The exercise required them to study the details, the elements and the mood to create something original. While some of them did quite well and a few were able to recognize people and places in the picture, others were not able to come up with anything substantial.
However, I then asked them to draw a picture and the involvement immediately peaked. Putting crayons to paper, they unleashed their creativity, bringing ideas to life. While drawing, they might not have realized these were stories they were telling, so I wanted to make them aware. Once done, I put forth few questions to the students:
- Where it happened?
- Point out the characters
- What are their names? Places?
- What are they like?
- Where is it?
- Describe the picture
The detailed explanations I got made it amply clear how creative these children are. Pictures are rich in meaning, narrative and subtext. There’s a lot of information in illustration. If you don’t believe me, pick up a copy of office Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann. Every child may not be equally gifted but all have ways to express their imagination and fantasies. Look beyond the quality of the pictures to figure the tales they tell. It’s a fascinating experience.
As teachers, Parents or mentors, we should always praise them for their imaginative Ideas and take this opportunity to increase their confidence as story tellers.