pirates

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Here There Be Pirates

Arrrrgh!: Flag picture courtesy of Tim EschatonArrrrgh!:
Flag picture courtesy of Tim Eschaton

An artist's inspiration is an interesting thing. Fragile sometimes, it flits in and out of our thoughts and we struggle to shut out competing interests so that we can focus on its creation. Other times it's as subtle as a sledge hammer, taking over all thought until we get something splashed onto paper. Alejandro came into class today in the throes of the second type of event. We had barely chosen centers when he came to me to tell me he needed pirates - fast. His hands flew around his face as he described, mostly in Spanish, the battle he could see between sailing ships. One hand swooped in the waves as the pirate ship while the second hand fluttered up on the mast in the form of the Jolly Rodger. His third hand (first graders have those, you know...) was the wind and the action, and, probably, the musical score only he heard in his head. He pointed to the computer on my desk and politely asked for a picture, please. I smiled at his faith in Google images and his art teacher and reminded him that we'd found a great picture of a sailing ship that we added to the Idea Book in the drawing center the last time his class was with me. His eyes changed a little, and I watched him remember that ship and compare it to his mental image. His serious face was deep in thought and he nodded and headed off to find the binder with the picture of the ship.

Sure enough, a full fleet of pirate ships sailed across the drawing table by the end of the class period. My first graders aren't into delayed gratification, so most drawings have to go home TODAY, but Alejandro's sketches hit his folder. They'll sit there, percolating quietly, until he comes back to me again. In the meantime, who knows where his interests will fly - sharks and monkeys came up in conversation before pirates captured his imagination.

Arrrghh!

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