Monday, July 26, 2010

Teaching Children To Draw Seagulls

This past week, Emerson had the opportunity to work with 100+ children at a local Vacation Bible School. The theme of the week long, all day program was "The High Seas Expedition." In addition to a set curriculum, each afternoon featured special guests from the community. The Bay Gull was a perfect compliment to the program with the ocean theme and the sea gull himself being on quite a journey of his own throughout Narragansett Bay.

A typical book event is about 30 minutes with reading the book plus Q&A time. The coordinator scheduled Emerson to fill one hour of the afternoon program. So how do you fill an hour and keep a group of 3 year old through 5th grade children entertained?

It was not an easy task that I presented Emerson with the night before his presentation. He spent hours online researching interesting facts about the lighthouses presented in The Bay Gull. We went over the information together and discussed how this would keep the whole group engaged.

With half a morning to think more about the event, Emerson came up with a fabulous idea - teach the children how to draw the sea gull! Each of the kids were given a sheet of paper and a crayon. As Emerson went through the elements of the bird, the children repeated the actions on their own paper. A few of the children chose to make paper airplanes instead (including our son) but the majority of the group followed along.

The quick activity produced countless sea gull art pieces which the children proudly showed off to each other and their guest. Children are so fun to teach because they are so eager to learn. I bet we'll see some fabulous artists, illustrators, story tellers and authors coming out of that group.

Our middle child, Grace, was very proud of her sea gull art. Not exactly like daddy's but it sure is cute.

Feel free to check out the video and learn how to draw The Bay Gull!