Something I absolutely delight in as a teacher is finding and appreciating the imaginations of my students through their drawings. Sometimes I receive these delightful treats as gifts, “I drew this for you Miss M.” Other times I grumble at a piece of paper on the floor only to find that within its crumples is a comical scene from daily school life. The folders students keep their work in this year are covered in detailed doodles of fantastical creatures, birds, favorite cartoon characters, and inventions. Oh, and then there are the fabulous doodles on the backs of assignments I’m grading, which are highly entertaining and distracting (definitely adds an extra hour or two to the laborious task).
A couple of weeks ago I happily stumbled upon an interview with illustrator and author, Chris Riddell. In June of 2015, he was appointed Children’s Laureate in England. This two year appointment is bestowed upon writers or illustrators with immense talent and accomplishments in the realm of creating children’s books. In the interview, Riddell speaks of the importance of being able to think visually to develop creativity. He expresses the need for children to have sketchbooks and to not be afraid of drawing. He also speaks to the importance of the school librarians who know just the right books to put into the hands of children to create lifelong readers.
Listening to Riddell’s interview inspired me to take another look at the most recent sketches, doodles and drawings in my classrooms, take pictures of them, and share them with you.