It is with the last words of my previous blog in mind that I share the results of the first real artistic effort in my life. As humble as the results are, I am proud of the fact that I did it, that I made the effort. The contribution of the chalk is evident. Most of the cards were made in just a few minutes, but there was something in my interaction with the colored chalk that was very inspiring and encouraging to me. I made chalk drawings on the blackboard for nearly 30 years and never got beyond a certain point in developing my skill. Still, I am confident that putting those drawings on the board made the stories I told that much more meaningful to the children, giving them an impetus to draw their own.
I hope this encourages you. If you work with young children, as parent or teacher, and even if the children already are familiar with the alphabet, try this. Choose a block letter to draw. Imagine something which begins with that sound which resembles the shape of the letter and see where it leads.
The process certainly adds an imaginative dimension to the students’ relation to the letters. I can still remember years ago presenting LMNOP to a 6th grade public school class. The drawing I remember best is of L for labyrinth. The accompanying poem I cannot recall. In this particular class I presented a few poems and illustrations from LMNOP. Then each student chose a different letter to do, with the results later collated into a bound volume. Children love working with something as familiar as the alphabet and finding new dimensions in it.