Friday, March 14, 2014

Elephant and Piggie

Elephant and Piggie

"What should we do today?"

"Elephant and Piggie."

"What are their names?" I asked. He's a fan of all the Mo Willems characters so I was familiar with the books, but not sure what to type in for the search.

"Gerald and Piggie. Piggie's name is just Piggie."

"Really?" I looked it up and sure enough they are, "Elephant and Piggie."

He browsed through the options for a very, very long time. Then he picked a shot from a book that had them both together with Piggie on Gerald's head, twice. "This one!"

"There is no way I'm drawing them both...twice. Pick something else, please."

He picked this one of Gerald holding a book with no cover art and Piggie sitting on top. "This one then."

He started to suggest what I could draw on the book cover and I said, "No, you can draw on the book."

That worked out perfectly because I've been looking for a way to get him involved in the drawing, something he hasn't done in a long time. I drew the setup and left the book cover empty for him to fill in. He was excited to draw, but earlier before breakfast, I had given him a big speech about having to do reading practice this morning. I couldn't back down from that, so he read for about 10 minutes before he got started.

He planned to do a shot of the three main Mo Willems characters, Pigeon, Elephant, and Piggie. I had drawn the Pigeon last year. Victor typically holds the marker so tight and presses down so hard that he's messed up a few tips by using a marker just once, so I picked out an already worn down Sharpie. I handed it to him.

He sat down and looked like a mini version of me staring at the reference, then back at the sack, then back at the reference again, drawing in short stages. He did a great job and I coached him throughout the process. I taught him how to cover up mistakes, how to decide which was the next line to draw, how to estimate distances, and how to make sure it looks "close enough." He took direction well, although he was anxious at times to keep drawing when I paused to explain a technique.

He thought the elephant looked like a girl, so he labeled him "Boy." Ha! 

Then he started adding more stuff. He added the title of the book next. I looked over his shoulder and asked, "Do you want to actually spell it right?"

He paused looking down at his words. "No," he said and continued to spell things his way. 

He added Piggie Mom at the top who was "falling from somewhere." Then he added Piggie Dad at the bottom.

I was very impressed by his work, especially with his Gerald. "Great job today!" I praised him.

"That was fun drawing and reading!" he said on our way out.

When he came home, I saw the sack in his backpack. I asked him, "What did your friends think?"

At first he lied and said, "They liked it." Then he paused for a moment and admitted that they didn't. "Some hated it. But I like it," he said. 

"Well, remember that we do these for us, not for everyone else. It's nice when they like what we do, but it's more important that we have fun and are creative, just the two of us."

We shared a warm hug and headed into the kitchen to get a snack.

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