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Posts Tagged ‘parent death’

Art Heals

  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.


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My little Emily is an artist. She is a fragile leaf fluttering in the wind. She blew through the classroom Monday quietly creating. I read aloud the book Emily’s Blue Period by Cathleen Daly. In this story, the character Emily is sad about her parents’ divorce. She uses art to express her feelings. That is how my Emily expressed her feelings. It was her first day back at school following the death of her mother.

I don’t want to become an expert at this, but Emily is helping me discover the best way to handle the death of a child’s parent. Be present. Be flexible. Let the child lead you to what she needs. Do not deny the death. Talk about it. Let the other students express their love. Be patient. Cry. Hope.

This is the collage project she created on her own. She gathered different papers from my box for journal decorating. She patiently used a ruler to make smaller and smaller crosses, nesting them together. The final cross is covered in black yarn glued in a swirl.

Emily needed space. She needed art. She needed freedom. I think I heard her singing.

Emily cross

I am posting my schedule for NCTE. Please join me if you are there.

NCTE Schedule:

Thursday, Nov. 20th from 4:30-6:00 PM: Elementary Section Get Together: I will receive the 2014 Donald Graves award for the teaching of writing, an amazing honor. Read about it here.

Friday, Nov. 21st from 12:30-1:45, I am presenting with colleagues from the National Writing Project: From Poetry To Picture Books To Polemics: We Write and We Teach Writing: A Story of Cross-curricular, Cross grade-level Collaboration Among National Writing Project Teachers.

Saturday, Nov. 22nd Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life dinner. I can’t wait to meet my virtual friends face to face.

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