This class began with the artist, Della Heywood, introducing the children to "Coon," a raccoon puppet she brought to the class. Coon was friendly but very shy, so the children petted him and then began bringing other stuffed animals to say hello to him. There was one new attendee, a young boy who was quite rambunctious, so Della encouraged him to be nice to Coon and to be gentle. The families straggled in during this period, and the class was not as large as others have been , 12 children in all. She then introduced the theme of textures related to the pond, and the children gave a wide series of responses to how the bottom of the pond feels (squishy, gushy, etc). The new boy got some recognition for giving this texture of the mud a funny sound through his nose - which I can't even write! Della then told the children they could make their own pond art work with different textures. The children and parents moved to the tables, where they had colored construction paper for backing, paper for cut-outs, a paint medium to use as glue, and tissue paper for texture. Della and I also went from table to table with a container of fine sand that the children could glue to their art works to be the pond bottom or the sides. This made a great texture on the paper, as did the tissue paper. Most of the children were absorbed for 30 - 45 minutes in making the art works, which came out beautifully. The new boy worked for a while and then went off to some other activity. A very young girl, 1 ½ year old, worked quite well with the paint and a chubby brush clutched in her fist, but was hardly interested in finishing the art work itself. The others worked very collaboratively with parents and were all quite proud of their pond pictures! Della had brought clear plastic wrap also, and the clear wrap applied over the pictures made them seem to be seen through water - the sand and other textures could still be felt through the wrap. This was quite a successful activity, benefiting for these children in verbal skills, conceptualization, hand-eye coordination, artistic appreciation, and self-esteem. None of these artists would part with an art work to be scanned for the MAMA website - the parents had to promise to bring them back later.
MAMA Art Class Assistant Teacher