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Updated developmental art in the low literacy classroom

  1. Developmental Art in the Low Literacy Classroom Jean Marrapodi   @jmarrapodi 401-440-6165
  2. Context  Adult Sunday School Class  Liberian refugees  Senior citizens, age unknown (not tracked in Liberia)  Meet 1 hour/week for past 5 years
  3. Preamble: Spring 2006  Lesson One: Palm Sunday  Draw a picture to illustrate the story  Could not do.  Through a translator: “We can’t do that. We haven’t practiced like you have to be able to do that.”
  4. Preamble Two  Lesson Two: Easter  Ok, let’s copy some drawings to tell the story.  We can’t do that.
  5. Preamble Three  Let’s try to copy some symbols then.  Could not complete unless dots were drawn to connect the lines.  Circles were misshapen and barely recognizable.
  6. No Print Awareness Elizabeth loves Jesus Switched cards: Jesus loves Elizabeth Said: Elizabeth loves Jesus.
  7. Reading Art: Part One Isabella Stewart Gardner Adam and Eve Museum, Boston C H A T T E R Ho-hum !
  8. Reading Art: Part Two
  9. What time of year is it?
  10. Setting One: October 2010  Pastor Appreciation Sunday  Given a template with prompts:  Pastor Berkley is ___________  Pastor Michele is ___________  I love my pastors!  Learned what the prompts said. Asked to come up with a word to fill in. They either copied the word or had teacher spell it.  Draw a picture of you and the pastors.
  11. Setting Two (following week)  Given blank paper and markers  Draw a picture of you with your grandchildren  Teacher wrote names of children
  12. Annie K.
  13. Elizabeth
  14. Martha
  15. Essah
  16. Kumba
  17. Annie G.
  18. Frances * Granddaughter came over to “help” * * * *
  19. Setting Three (following week)  Discussion about houses in America vs Liberia  Let’s draw pictures of your houses here and in Liberia.  Given blank paper and markers  Teacher wrote words as given prompts
  20. Martha Martha lives in an apartment building.
  21. Elizabeth America on the left. Liberia on the right. Elizabeth lives in apartment 511 in a high rise building. She takes an elevator to get to her apartment.
  22. Annie K. Annie lives on in a triple- decker in RI.
  23. Annie G. Annie lives on in a two story single family home.
  24. Frances Frances lives on the first floor of a two story house.
  25. Kumba Kumba lives in townhouse type apartments in a complex
  26. Essah Essah lives in a second floor apartment.
  27. Setting Four  Kumba’s spontaneous drawings brought from home in the subsequent weeks.
  28. Other Projects  Painting background for nativities – 12/2009  Cutting snowflakes – 1/2011
  29. Parallels to Children’s Work? Does their natural development mirror emergent literacy?
  30. Drawings of people by nursery school children
  31. Tadpole Figure By a pre- From a severely By a pre- school child mentally school child handicapped adult
  32. Sarah – 3.2 to 3.4 years people a cat, Tyrannosaurus rex, and a leopard
  33. Helen, 4.5 – 5.5 years
  34. Abby, Age 4
  35. Rachel, Age 7
  36. Developmental Art Development in Children
  37. Callaghan Phases of Development Callaghan, T.C. (2008) The origins and Development of Pictorial Symbol Functioning. In Children’s Understanding and Production of Pictures, Drawings, and Art: Theoretical and Empirical Approaches. Cambridge, MA: Hogrefe. P 22
  38. Donley, S.K. 1985/1987 Adapted from teacher inservice training materials for early childhood, art education, and special education workshops. #anchor2470313
  39. Rhoda Kellogg: Gestalts Kellogg, R. (1969) Analyzing children’s art. Paolo Alto, CA: National Press Books. P 109
  40. Kellog’s Scheme of the Evolution of Pictorial Work Common Sequences Kellogg, R. (1969) Analyzing children’s art. Paolo Alto, CA: National Press Books. P 273
  41. House-Tree-Person/Kinetic HTP Measure aspects of person’s personality 3 years-adult Common in art therapy Questionable validity 1948/1969
  42. Josiah, Age 4
  43. Noah, Age 6
  44. Rachel, Age 8
  45. Micah, Age 10
  46. Annie K.
  47. Frances
  48. Kumba
  49. Martha
  50. Elizabeth
  51. Essah
  52. Value of Using Art "This adapted Kinetic-House-Tree-Person for adults with developmental disabilities holds promise for providing an arts- based assessment that assesses for growth and positive changes in the individual in addition to negative or downward changes. Verbal assessments are not always appropriate due to verbal limitations within the individual who has developmental disabilities, therefore, arts therapists have at their disposal alternatives for assessing for change in functioning. Because this assessment mirrored the notes of the on-site therapists, this assessment suggests it can measure change. It also suggests that arts based interventions do, in fact, facilitate well-being and positive changes in interaction and communication." p 45 Lister & Rosales In Snow and D'Amico
  53. Value of Using Art "...there is evidence of a relationship between thought and drawing that becomes visible through the study of meaning-making processes. Drawing supports the movement from simple spontaneous concepts to more complex concepts and plays an important role in promoting higher mental functions. " Brooks, Drawing to Learn in Making Meaning p. 9
  54. Is It Cultural?
  55. Alexander Alland, 1983  240 children’s drawings  Six cultures  Bali  Ponape  Taiwan  Japan  US  France  Definite cultural variants
  56. Ponape Now Pohnpie, Micronesia Male, 4 years, 19 minutes Female, 5 years, 5 minutes First encounter with drawing  Limited exposure to art  Generally single color  Human figures rare  Nonconformity with Western norms Male, 5 years, 14 minutes
  57. Bali Male, 3.3 years, 30 minutes Female, 4.6 years, 25 minutes  Overall density  Polychromatic  No stories  Highly artistic culture Male, 2.6 years, 18 minutes
  58. Taiwan Female, 4.8 years, 10 minutes Female, 6.8 years  Long heritage of art  Filling, building, touching, details  Picture making influenced by relationship between pictorial Male, 5.2 years, 24 minutes representation and writing
  59. Japan Male, 5.6years, 27 minutes Female, 3.10 years, 14 minutes  Modern aesthetic in culture  Highly visual culture  Colorful, often single subject Female, 4.11 years, 8 minutes
  60. Alexander Alland, 1983 Conclusions: “…the two most important elements in drawing skill among young children are experience and exposure to art.” P 63 "On the basis of my data I believe that representation and symbolism are things children are consciously or unconsciously taught to do by adults and other children. This leads to the conclusion that the only safe definition of children's drawing can be 'playing with form.'" p215
  61. What we know about Liberia’s Art Dan, Mano, Kran , Kpelle tribal art  Known for their carved masks  Music and dance very important  Kissi make baskets and weave on vertical looms  Literacy rate: 25%,%20Ma no,%20Krahn,%20Kpelle/index.htm
  62. Relating this to Writing
  63. Children Create Letters in Art "Most of the letters of the English alphabet, both capitals and lower- case forms, are made by young children as art Gestalts. In art, the letters are placed or arranged to complete a Pattern or an implied shape. In language, the letters are arranged in a certain order within words and are put into a certain left- right and top-bottom placement. As the child learns to read, he must perceive the differences between the esthetic and the linguistic positioning of letters, and as he learns to write, he must put this perception to use. Each child who has scribbled a great deal will know many of the letter Gestalts when he enters school, but he needs to learn the differences between their uses for art and for language. Otherwise, he will have serious difficulties with language.” Kellogg, 1970 p 262
  64. Charlie’s Story
  65. Not seeing letters, but shapes
  66. Elizabeth did the same thing
  67. Learning to Read and Write Art “...human artistry is viewed first and foremost as an activity of the mind, an activity that involves the use of a transformation of various kinds of symbols and systems of symbols. Individuals who wish to participate meaningfully in artistic perception must learn to decode, to "read" the various symbolic vehicles in their culture; individuals who which to participate in artistic creation must learn how to manipulate, how to "write with" the various symbolic forms present in their culture, and, finally, individuals who wish to engage fully in the artistic realm must also gain mastery of certain central artistic concepts. Just as one cannot assume that individuals will – in the absence of support - learn to read and write in their natural languages, so, too, it seems reasonable to assume that individuals can benefit from assistance in learning to "read" and "write" in the various languages of the arts.” Howard Gardner, Art Education and Human Development, p 9
  68. Working with Clay
  69. Women at the tomb (Annie G.) Jesus and Mary Magdalene (Elizabeth) A man and a woman (Essah)
  70. Women and a man (Martha) Women and the angel (Kumba)
  71. Elizabeth’s mortars and bowl
  72. Essah
  73. On it Goes
  74. Visual Literacy? Not yet. Christmas 2012 Tell the story with the stickers.
  75. Pictionary
  76. So what? And now what? What have you seen here? Have you seen this in your classroom? Is drawing a precursor to writing? How can we use clay to teach symbolism? Where do we go from here?
  77. Sources  Alland, A. (1983). Playing with Form. New York: Columbia Universtiy Press  Brooks, M. (2002). Drawing to learn. Unpublished PhD thesis. Alberta: University of Alberta, Canada Brooks, M. Drawing to Learn. In Narey, M. ed. (2009). Making Meaning: Constructing Multimodal Perspectives of Language, Literacy, and Learning through Arts-based Early Childhood Education. New York: Springer  Camnitzer, L. (2009, Feb). Art and Literacy. e-flux.  Camnitzer, L. (2009,Oct). Alphabetization, Part One: Protocal and Profieiency. http://www.e-  Freeman, N. H. (1987) Children's drawings of human figures - The Oxford Companion to Art, available, accessible, quite, real. Online:'s- drawings-human-figures.html  Gardner, H. (1990). Art Education and Human Development. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Trust  Hagood, M.H. (2000). The Use of Art in Counselling Child and Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishing  Kellogg, R. (1969). Analyzing Children's Art. Palo Alto, CA: National Press Books  Lister, S, and Rosales, A. . The Kinetic-House-Tree-Person Adapted to Adults with Developmental Disabilities. In Snow, S. and D'Amico, M. (2009). Assessment in the Creative Arts Therapies: Designing and Adapting Assessment Tools for Adults with Developmental Disabilities. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publishers  Milbrath, C. & Trautner, H.M. eds. (2008). Children's Understanding and Production of Pictures, Drawings & Art: Theoretical and Empirical Approaches. Cambridge, MA: Hogrefe  Vygotsky, L.G. (1970). Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Edited by Cole, M., John-Steiner, V. Scribner, S. & Souberman, E. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press
  78. Adult Literacy Students Draw Jean Marrapodi @jmarrapodi 401-440-61615

Editor's Notes

  1. Gesell (1948) used "drawing to investigate the child mind. When he asked three year olds to copy geometric shapes - squares, circles, triangles, crosses, diamonds - they did rather poorly. Yet the normal child of this age spontaneously draws esthetic versions of these geometric forms except for the diamond. Apparently, the mental activity involved in copy work differs from that needed for spontaneous art.“ Kellogg, p 179
  2. Basic ScribblesDiagrams and CombinesAggregatesSunsSun faces and figuresHumans with head-top markings and with arms attached to the headHumans without head-top markingsArmless humansHumans with varied torsosHumans with arms attached to the torsoRelatively complete human imagesKellogg, R. (1969). Analyzing Children’s Art. Palo Alto, CA: National Press Books p 109