SchoolArts Magazine

December 2015

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 27 E A R L Y C H I L D H O O D piece of aluminum foil, they cut and shape a small figure. Small, cut pieces of colored tissue paper, pipe cleaners cut to short lengths, and white glue are used to make clothing, dresses, and capes to define the character. Story Prompts • What is your character like? Is he or she happy? Lonely? What special powers does he or she have? The ability to fly, super strength, the ability to jump long distances? • Where does the stor y take place? A tower in a castle? A city with sky- scrapers? On another planet? • To make your story interesting, A recent marketing ploy, one that is apparently successful for publishers of children's books, has been to sell a toy along with the book. Thus, a small stuffed caterpillar is sold with Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I borrowed this idea and created a les - son that has been successful in teach- ing children story development, but I r eversed the idea by having students create the toy first. Shaping Characters Students begin by creating a story- book or graphic novel character, such as a princess or superhero. From a Stor book Craig Hinshaw b Figures your character needs to have a problem. Why might your princess be sad? Does a dragon live in the woods near the castle? Is there a super villain who thinks he or she can defeat your superhero? • Most children's stories have a happy ending. How does your character solve his or her problem? How does your story end? Storyboards Students tell the stories about their figures by drawing their ideas on sto- ryboards. Traditional storyboards are linear or sequential, which seems to work quite well for students. I l ike to have students show me their storyboards and tell me about the action. I offer suggestions, mostly about clarity, and encourage adding words to help the reader understand the story. Sometimes I take these sto- ryboards home to show my wife, who is a retired kindergarten teacher. She can decipher their inventive spelling better than I can. T he playfulness that occurs as stu- dents shape their toy characters and the imagination ignited are important and necessary components in the art- making process. Craig Hinshaw is an art teacher, artist, the author of Clay Connections and Ani- mals, Houses, and People (Poodle Press). N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context. W E B L I N K The pla fulness that occurs as students shape their to characters and the imagination ignited are important and necessar omponents in the art-making process.

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