Friday, March 5, 2010

Just what are we teaching the children?!?

Yesterday, my wife, Therese asked me to help her first grade class put together a booklet that celebrates "Artists Week." The idea was to allow the students to write about their hopes and dreams, which is an awesome task for a first grader, but then, the assignment was to illustrate what they wrote. Well, confusion reigned, and boy, did we get wet!!! As you can imagine, no one knew what draw or how to draw it. The little boys were the worse, because I mentioned drawing ball games for things they like to do. Naturally, football and the Saints became the premier image to draw. Most of the girls in the class drew and colored birds, butterflies, flowers, houses, and self portraits with little help. But a couple of the guys just couldn't or wouldn't draw anything. I had to show some of them how to draw a football spinning, a football player and the Saint's logo, which is a fleur-de-lis. Well, we started to see some strange looking fleur-de-lis, so I attempted to help out one of the guys and as I lightly sketched the logo, I told the student that the word "fleur" was french for flower and that the image is of three lilies tied together. Then he asked me, "Mr. Bensen, what's a lis?" I had to come up with a real, believable answer so I said with much conviction, "It means life. Fleur-de-lis means flower of life!" "Yeh, that's it," I told myself.

Indeed, just what are we teaching the children!

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