Project 4: How children understand death
Subject of drawing: Sometimes I think I will never...
This project is designed to help you understand other fears your children may
have. Your children possess unique fears that result from their inability to
control situations. If you help them express these sorts of fears you might
understand how you could help them achieve important milestones in the future.
Knowing they have your support will ease their fears and help them turn to you
Before talking about the drawings, ask each child to complete the following
open-ended statements about their picture. One at a time read aloud the fill-in-the-blank
statements below. Write completed sentences on the back of the picture, or ask
them to tell you what to write.
The name of my picture is:
I wish I could:
If I could change one thing I would:
Sometimes it seems like:
Don’t ever expect me to:
What I need most today is:
Show and tell
After completing the sentences, tell your children that you hope they will share
something about their drawing. Tell them that they can share whatever they want
to share, and suggest they begin by reading the sentences that summarize the
If children agree to share, ask who will go first and begin the process taking
turns. If children are reluctant to share you may share your drawing first.
Read the sentences on the back of your picture. Model a brief show and tell
so they learn that sharing even a little is okay. Then ask if they have questions
about your drawing. Continue taking turns.
After each family member shares his thoughts, ask if it would be okay for family
members to share their reflections about the drawing. If this is okay, take
the first turn and model appropriate, uncritical reflections. It is important
not to comment about the quality of a picture but to focus on its content. For
example: Martha, I noticed you are very tiny in the picture or Sam, I noticed
you used only the black crayon today. (Words for all to avoid: nice, good, pretty,
beautiful, ugly, dumb, etc.)
Round table discussion
After everyone has shared ask if there are other things they think are impossible.
How would they like the family to be different in the future. If you have enough
time or on another day, build a mobile together and put each of the family members
on the mobile to represent the family today. Show how the movement of one family
member causes motion for all the family. As each changes, we all change.
Read more about this project.
Art Exercises© Jeanne D. Ritterson 1998
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