Showing posts from November, 2016

Art vs. Craft: The Difference in What Children Learn

Don’t be misled by the phrase “Arts and Crafts.”The two words are not synonymous.They do not represent the same activity.The materials used for art and a craft may be the same but the learning outcomes are not the same.Children gain different skills from participating in an art activity and assembling a craft. Art is self-expression.The formal definition of art is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”An art activity has no pre-conceived product.It is entirely about the process of creation and comes from the thoughts of the artist.In a classroom, students are simply offered the opportunity to create – to paint or sculpt or draw – and they freely determine the end product.A teacher does not show an example, provide materials that suggest an outcome or give instructions.The beautiful blobs of paint, freely drawn shap…

“Hi Cindy. Just wondering what you suggest we tell the children about the election…”

“What do we tell our students who are talking about their parents’ reactions to the election?”
“What do you suggest I say to my children about the outcome of the election?”
I have received a number of emails from parents and from teachers asking what I suggest we say in classrooms or at home.I am humbled to be asked and I hope this post helps those who are struggling or are unsure about what to say.
First and foremost, I believe in telling children truth.They know when we are not honest.We need to find a truth that they can understand.It doesn’t have to be terrifying.It just has to teach our children a most basic lesson about life.So what is the truth of these events?If we strip away the sensationalism, the emotions and the rhetoric what is left?What remains is what always remains when life seems daunting.We have some things to learn.That is what we tell the children.We have things to learn about each other and how things work.
When you have lived a while, you come to know that the greate…