When given an opportunity to do creative work, there is an unfortunate dynamic that often emerges. A group of students will respond, “We’re not artists.” Yet, when a structure exists that provides models and multiple paths for creative expression, these same students find ways to create art that is unique, thoughtful, and complex. As I wrote previously, it is important to remember the different ways that We Are All Artists (links to Edutopia).
Below are images of character sketches students created while reading The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. Among the directions I gave students was the idea that the character sketch should be strategically and creatively designed to illustrate characters and relationships. I further explained what I meant by offering examples:
If I was to create a character sketch of Gogol, one side of him could represent when he was young and the other side when he is grown. I may have the younger version kneeling down and the older version with arms spread wide.
You do not need superior drawing skills to excel on this project. Ashoke’s head could be the state of Massachusetts and his torso could be the outline of India. You could make the character out of a collage. Whatever you do, make it something that we can proudly display.
Here are some images of student creations: