Weaving Together Color & Emotion
At my previous school, our community read the book Color Monster by Anna Llenas as well as My Many Colored Days by Dr. Suess.
These books are such fun and accessible inroads for young kids to recognize and respect the wide range of emotions we all experience from time to time. (Plus, Anna Llenas' illustrations alone are an awesome elementary art project inspiration!)
A few helpful parents visited a local factory whose manager was so incredibly generous and donated multiple spools of ribbon... in so many glorious colors, sizes, and textures. I have gleaned special art supplies from there myself and I must say... Art teacher heaven!
Our PTA purchased plastic garden fence, and I then went about setting up the art room to accommodate a weaving factory, so to speak.
After reading the books, we discussed how colors can often relate to our various emotions and feelings. We brainstormed and discussed different feelings, besides the generic and basic "happy" and "sad".
Each child (and many adults in the building) wrote the word that he or she was feeling (or had recently felt) on a ribbon that was chosen based on the color with which they associated that feeling.
As usual, my students surprised and impressed me. The variation of words they chose... Peaceful. Nervous. Excited. Calm. Stressed. Confident. Creative. Bold. Grateful. And my favorites "Joyst Rit" [just right] and "Eggsided" [excited]. (Hmmm, maybe we should have gone over spelling...?)
Then, we wove.
And I felt all kinds of emotions and feelings weaving through me.
Inspired. Proud. Awestruck. Blessed...
to be able to share this love and respect for the written word, artistic expression, and the importance of and care for recognizing our emotions, and those of others around us.
Once again, I'm reminded of the importance of subtle things... a word, a choice of color, a specific placement in a larger whole... and of the "little" things: a book, a work of art, a conversation.
These are the things that often matter the most.