Is Colouring a Lost Art?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by 100%Canadian, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. 100%Canadian

    100%Canadian Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 26, 2009

    I can't get over how poorly kids colour anymore. I look at maps, title pages and art assignments with scribblings that are supposed to be colourful pages and see nothing more than toddler-like attempts at colouring (I'm referring for grades 4-6 in my case). A select few colour neatly and consistently but the rest just zig zag back and forth at rapid speed and without a care in the world for what the finished product will look like. Are we such a technological society that fine motor skills like colouring have been lost? Anyone else seeing this trend?
     
  2.  
  3. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,858
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 26, 2009

    I'm not sure it's technology so much as many campuses discourage art instruction in lieu of more test-prep associated activities. I know in Kinder we really don't have the time to spend on properly refining fine motor skills when our kids are expected to do so many things academically. I've heard of schools completely outlawing coloring (or colouring) as an acceptable activity, even in the lower grades. Very sad. :(
     
  4. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2002
    Messages:
    3,274
    Likes Received:
    38

    Sep 26, 2009

    I just had a parent complain that her child was coloring. We had been doing a cut & paste type of activity. I told Mom that as her daughter gets older she will be expected to be able to neatly color in geography. My kiddos don't have a lot of fine motor skills. Just glad that my admin understands why I'm doing the fine motor activities that I'm doing. The kiddos who color or cut the worst also have the poorest handwriting!
     
  5. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    2

    Sep 26, 2009

    I think it's also because we don't have as many art classes. In my district kids don't have art until junior high or high school. We have to spend so much time on reading and math that we don't have time to do art projects in class either.
     
  6. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,731
    Likes Received:
    3

    Sep 26, 2009

    A lot of the younger grades at my school still do coloring. My kids rarely have a chance to in 3rd grade. We have so much curriculum to cover! There are a couple of things throughout the year... but sadly very, very little of it involves coloring.
     
  7. bros

    bros Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,105
    Likes Received:
    68

    Sep 26, 2009

    Well yeah, bad motor skills = bad handwriting.

    A good motor skill building activity - Put shaving cream on their desks and have them "clean" it every day by rubbing it.
     
  8. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Messages:
    3,544
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 26, 2009

    Could it also be pride of work? I've really been working with my student on this one. The first time I asked her to illustrate/color a poster, it was a disaster. We talked about how our presentations are a representation of ourselves, and she does a GREAT job now. Maybe they just want to rush through it and don't think about how it's a part of them and their work?
     
  9. goopp

    goopp Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 26, 2009

    Mine do the same thing at the beginning of the year, but when they figure out that I won't accept poorly done, rushed work and that they will have to redo the work, they get a lot better. I really think that most of it is because they want to get done "first", not because they lack fine motor skills...on the other hand, I do have several that lack the ability to cut. We do a lot of cutting and coloring in science and social studies...because I believe in hands-on activities and to help refine the fine motor skills they sometimes lack.
     
  10. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    1,634
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 26, 2009

    Mine are the same way! But its becuase they dont want to take the time to color so they would rather scribble and hurray to turn it in! Drives me crazy becuase it makes their work look soooo sloppy! They know if they want to get all the points they need to be NEAT!
     
  11. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,591
    Likes Received:
    3

    Sep 26, 2009

    This is why it is important to work on fine motor skills in ps.
     
  12. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 26, 2009

    True, but coloring books, coloring in the lines, etc. are not considered developmentally appropriate for preschool and we aren't supposed to use them.
     
  13. 100%Canadian

    100%Canadian Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 27, 2009

    I try to discourage sloppiness by telling my students that it's a reflection of their own work ethic, and say, "Think about how different the world would look if everything was messy". Even getting them to use a ruler to draw straight lines seems to be a chore for them - even when you tell them to use a ruler.

    It's not so much that we should devote some of our teaching time to the art of colouring, but encourage them to put the pride and effort into their work in day-to-day activities.
     
  14. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 27, 2009

    I agree that sometimes students will do a neater job when they know that someone else will see their work (we wrote thank you letters that we mailed out - they did a wonderful job on those!).

    I think another part of it is that some kids don't get any artistic opportunities at home either. Few of my students have pencils at home, let alone a box of crayons and a pad of paper. My goal this year for the holidays is to provide each child with a box of crayons and a pad of paper.
     
  15. fast chalk

    fast chalk Comrade

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    416
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 27, 2009

    It happens the same in my class, they do not care about colouring, they just draw and begin colouring BUT they NEVER finish, I do not like it at all so I constantly write down PLEASE, FINISH COLOURING IT!!
    On top of this, I insist everyday on neatness
     
  16. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,591
    Likes Received:
    3

    Sep 27, 2009

    I did not say to use coloring sheets, I said to work on fine motor skills. I am very anti-coloring sheets. Developing the muscles in the fingers helps a child control coloring and writing. Activities which strenthen the muscles might include:
    playdough
    legos
    clothes pins
    Lite Brites
    Turning pages in a book
    fingerpainting
    etc. anything that uses the fingers
     
  17. bros

    bros Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,105
    Likes Received:
    68

    Sep 27, 2009

    Picking bingo chips out of play-doh was an activity I did in occupational therapy to help my hand strength.
     
  18. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 27, 2009

    Cool idea - I hadn't thought of that one.
     
  19. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 27, 2009

    Sorry - I misunderstood. Of course most of us do these and many, many more activities. I have a theory children are using their thumbs so much with video games that their other fingers are not getting the workout they need. I was surprised this year how many of my kids couldn't do clothespins so I am doing even more fine motor than I usually do.
     
  20. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    610
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 28, 2009

    :soapbox:


    And that is why you should all fight for your art education program! We don't just make cutesy projects! There is a lot behind what we do. Parents, Districts, Admin Big Wigs that haven't been in a classroom in forever and society just don't understand the importance of the arts, even the ability to color something in and make it neat.

    I really wish there was legislation in place in all the states that made the arts required at the elementary level at least once per week with an ART TEACHER. No slam on my classroom teacher friends....but there is a reason we are trained in Art Education. :D
     
  21. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,858
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 28, 2009


    Amen! It's so important to teach kids to use that creative outlet. We haven't had an art teacher in years and it's frowned upon to do in the classroom-so where do they hone that creativity? Also some kids do poorly academically and just shine when it comes to art.

    With the fine motor skills - unfortunately we get kids in Kinder who didn't attend preschool or Pre-K - so it's up to us and with all the academics required of them today it's hard to justify-it's not one of our objectives, if you can believe that.
     
  22. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2002
    Messages:
    3,274
    Likes Received:
    38

    Sep 28, 2009

    Using tweezers to pick something out of the sandbox is another idea.
     
  23. bros

    bros Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,105
    Likes Received:
    68

    Sep 28, 2009

    Basically take the playdoh, have the students flatten it, have them insert x number of bingo chips (for me it was 10-20), then have them roll it back up into a ball and have them pry it apart and get all of the chips out.

    It doubles as hand strength and counting :p
     
  24. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,008
    Likes Received:
    169

    Sep 28, 2009

    Agreed. Before this past year, I would have been rather dismissive of art education particularly at the elementary level (artists, after all, don't get there through education, they get there through inordinate hours of practice and/or vision. At least, that's the idea.). However, my kids' current art teacher is good -- really good -- and has shown the depth and benefit of a high-quality art education. Essentially, I would have been dismissive because until last year, I'd never seen it done right.
     
  25. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    610
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 28, 2009


    That is the hard part art ed people face. Just like any profession, there are people who shouldn't be doing it and it makes the rest of us look bad. And while a mere fraction of students I teach will end up practicing professional artist, I'm not just teaching them art. It's like a kid playing basketball might not be that professional, but it teaches them a lot of skills.

    It's hard to fight the uphill battle, and I wish legislation would change. If Art teachers can't even get their fellow teachers on their side, how can we face administration and society? And I'd challenge anyone to teach on a cart like I have to do! :p It's so degrading being put in the boiler room, what kind of message is that sending my students?
     
  26. Crzy_ArtTeacher

    Crzy_ArtTeacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 28, 2009

    As an art teacher I used to get very frustrated with sloppy half done work. Now I just don't accept it.

    I have an art no no posted that says NO scribbling. It is a big pet peeve of mine when students give up half way through a lesson. I tell them flat out that I know that they can do better work than this and that I won't accept less than 100% from them. I use that technique with my kids that are perpetual rushers of work, they just want to be done first.

    After I realized that it was ok of me to tell a student "I won't accept that quality of work from you", I've seen them grow and expand beyond what I thought they would.

    Sloppy work has been an issue with our school and as a whole we've tried to emphasize to the students that we have high expectations of them on many levels.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. greendream,
  2. dr.gator
Total: 708 (members: 4, guests: 683, robots: 21)
test