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January 10, 2011

 After noticing that a handful students were “stuck in a rut,” drawing the same subject, rushing, or using a select few colors, I wondered if changing the materials available to them would provoke a different kind of work or a different way of working. I decided to cut standard size printer paper in half.  Then I cut it in half again.

Working with these small papers, I noticed that students were spending more time on their drawings than they had with paper four-times its size.  Pictures were more detailed, and many students filled in the entire paper, which only happened occasionally with the bigger size.  Could something as simple as changing the paper size transform the way students work?

This got me thinking in a different way.  Sometimes when we talk about giving children quality materials, I assumed that the more space they have the better.  For students who plan to spend a long time on detailed work that uses every centimeter of paper, are we doing them a disservice by presenting them with large paper?  For children who are exposed to quality art through books and galleries, can we make their goals more achievable by presenting them with smaller paper?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Neil permalink
    January 14, 2011 1:27 am

    sometimes i think it’s just a matter of perspective….kids are really small….that’s why they like legos more than building blocks

  2. January 18, 2011 4:39 am

    Metaphor for life:
    A small change can make a big difference.

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