Art and Literacy

Every week the Gremlin participates in a class for the Chicago Park District. This time around he is taking an art class which he talks about all week. It is a multi-media class, and he frequently does painting, clay, and beading all in one day.

Last week he had just finished his clay sculpturing, washed off, and sat down to paint when he keyed into a conversation one of the mothers was having with the rest of the table.

“My little Mave is just so advanced! She’s already learning her alphabet and can write her name.” The mother pulled out a clean sheet of paper and dipped her daughter’s brush into the paint. “Here you go Mave. Write your name! Remember? Just like we practiced!”

The mother started the M and the girl picked up on it. She scrawled out a rough approximation of M-A-V-E with an extra loop on the A and a few extra dashes on the E. The Gremlin took a sideways glance at the signature.

“That’s not an A,” the Gremlin stated. Mave looked over at him.

“Yes it is.”

“No, this is an A.” With a flourish, he reached across the painting, and marked a perfect A underneath the swirly &-type sign. “And, that’s not an E.” The rapport repeated with Mave disagreeing and the Gremlin again dipping his paintbrush and putting the correct number of horizontal dashes to the E.

He returned to his own painting for a moment.

“This is how you spell my name.” The parents at the table looked over to see A-L-E-X printed out in the corner of the page. “Okay, momma, I’m ready for a new paper.” And he went on with his painting. The other mother was silent for the rest of the class period.

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