Kids are from Mars. And I mean that in a good way.

I’ve been teaching art to young students (3-11 years old) for the past fifteen years, and almost every kid rushes enthusiastically into the art room. Is it my ample charm? The well written curriculum objectives? The reason they love art so much, I’ve concluded, is that art, for them, is about building and owning their very own worlds.

I may look at one of their paper sculptures and say, “You have deomonstrated a very good understanding of folding techniques,” but what that seven-year-old then says to me is, “This is where the guy slides in and boings off of this and then climbs over here to fight the ninjas who come through here!” I smile. “Oh, right, so then the ninjas escape down this accordian fold.” “NO, MR. ROTH. They get shot out of here!”

Actually, Mars is probably too bland a place for these busy thinkers. Whatever planet they’re from, I’d sure like to go there. But not dressed as a ninja…


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