|Koshi's woodblock print|
"Mama! I have to get one of these for school! Hayaku, kaite! (hurry--fill it out!)" These. One of these...what? Hmmm....another case. He has two other similar cases--second grade was a case with paints, a palette, and brushes (not Prang, either--they use acrylic paints in a tube from kindergarten). Third grade was the calligraphy set--brush pens, ink, weights, inkbox, a roll-up mat. I was ridiculously jealous of my own son for getting to have something that cool for school in the third grade. Iiiiii naaaa....
Thanks, Koshi. I could see that they were tools, but I couldn't get from his explanation ("They're for art!") what exactly they were going to be doing with those.... hmmmm.....what *are* those? Exactly?
No matter--I figured I'd find out eventually. Parent-teacher conferences were coming up in December, and they always have out the things the kids had been making in art class.
And then he brought this home:
Wow! So *that's* what those weird-looking tools were for--making a woodblock print! I don't ever remember getting to make anything that cool in elementary school art class (iiii naaaa....). Or anything that difficult, either, for that matter.
...a closer look
|...the dorsal striping...|
Can you see the red and blue paint staining the carved-out areas? All the fourth graders made prints, several, in fact, in different colors from their carved wooden plates. They were all displayed in the hall when I went for parent-teacher conferences:
All the prints were very detailed, and the kids had clearly worked hard on them.
A brief moment of sickening parental gloating:
(I thought Koshi's was the best one.)
Sorry. All done ;-))
Here's a closer look at those tools.
Yeah--that's exactly what I thought.
Those are *sharp*.
And every kid in the fourth grade has a set like that.
That's a lot of sharp.
They trust kids in Japan. They trust kids, because they know the children have been carefully taught how to be careful.
I noticed it before my kids were born, while teaching English in various language schools. All the jr. high and high school students I taught usually had a cutter knife in their pencil case. They used the cutter knives to trim down handouts so they could be glued into their notebooks, among other uses. I was always fascinated by how carefully every student I saw used their cutter knife. Remove cap and set aside. Push the blade out one or two notches--no more than necessary. Cut. Cut. Cut. Slide blade back. Replace cap. Put away in pencil case. *Then* glue the paper in the notebook (or whatever else). Under no circumstances do I ever recall seeing a cutter knife carelessly left out on a desk, certainly not left open out on a desk.
This was astounding to me until I had kids of my own, and *really* began to watch how the Japanese teach and interact with children. I can think of a number of examples off the top of my head, but I know that as soon as I hit "Publish", I'll think of ten other better ones. So since this post is getting a bit long...
...To Be Continued.... ;-))
|Koshi's favorite print|