Sorry for being a bit out of sequence: so much is happening all at once at the moment, but I want to tell you about last week's children's events.
I've adapted this activity lately, by getting everyone to draw the little mouse at the bottom of their drawings with me, step by step. That way they all get that basic foundation out of the way and can get on with the imaginative exercise of thinking up big things to pile on top of him. I've been noticing that I get caught up with one or two kids that don't have the confidence to follow my earlier instructions on drawing the mouse, which prevents me from helping the rest of the class. When I'm asked how to draw say, an elephant, or the Eiffel Tower, I like to be able to quickly show them on the flip chart. That stops me being asked the same things over and over!
First up was a Y6 group (about 10 yrs old), who did some truly amazing drawings. It makes a change to work with slightly older children, who add all sorts of interesting detail. In the afternoon, I had Y3 children (7) who were, to be honest, a bit of a handful. I continually had to stop and wait for them to be quiet, and the teachers rather left it to me! Fortunately, I've got fairly good now at dealing with 'lively' characters, principally by watching what teachers do. A lot of it is confidence.
I couldn't resist reading Rocky and the Lamb again: I just love doing the wolf voice! Plus both Class Two and Class Three: the rhyming texts make them so nice to read aloud. I got the second class drawing anacondas. One boy's snake seemed to be saying, 'moo! moo! moo! moo!'. When I asked him why, he said his snake had eaten a cow!
It was probably a mistake to read A Lark in the Ark, as this only made things worse. The book is full of flaps, and of course all the kids wanted to be chosen to open one. Again, I had to keep doing my teacherly bit: 'I'm only choosing children who are sitting quietly on their bottoms', but 2 minutes later they were all up again, doing that 'ooh, ooh' thing kids do, with their hands stretched as high as possible in the air!
And then every time we exposed another pair of animals inside a flap (goats in coats, owls in towels, gnus in shoes...) they all screamed with laughter shrill enough to burst your ears. Sometimes they deliberately compete to see who can screech the loudest and it's a bit like setting off the fire alarm!
I did make the train (phew), and this is one of the sketches I did on it. The dark line is where it goes over the middle of the sketchbook, by the way.