Friday, January 18, 2008

Garden sketching

boloram's gadaphul
Originally uploaded by dalbhat
On Thursday, my students from Shikshamitra finally, finally, finally came to visit Mustard Seeds Library and the garden spot, Malancha. They came by bus with three teachers from our school and a teacher from the Swanirvar school in the village. It was so wonderful to host such important people in my life. After the initial settling down, kids looking at books, building train tracks, cuddling stuffed animals, we went down to the garden, and I showed them how I feed the compost heap. I showed them how we reuse the overflow of water from the tanks on the roof of our neighboring apartment building to water the garden each day and I introduced some of my favorite plants. I tried to explain how every leaf that falls, and every dead flower is recycled back into the soil. Tried to tell them why the little garden space gives me such hope.

Then each of the children found a space in the garden and concentrated on one of the plants and did their sketching activity. I also sat down to try a little sketch but my mind wandered with so much activity and the excitement of having all the kids over. I sadly had to set it down.

Right then – I remembered it. More important than the actual finished picture, the act of sketching like this, of plopping yourself down to look at something carefully and place it upon your page in some pleasing way, is such a very nice activity for learning patience, concentration and problem solving. I hope to go down and do a little myself while the garden is still in bloom and smiling with all the admiration being showered upon it lately.

We hung all the finished sketches up as an exhibition at Mustard Seeds Library for the children at Vidyasagar to add to when Sunday rolls around!


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Mary said...

how wonderful to enjoy the spring-like garden in such a healthy way. it is darkest winter here, cold but not as bad as i remember michigan. brrrrr!

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