Monday, June 13, 2011

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

As you might recall, Guy really likes to write stories.  Last year, he created a story about a robot who burns down a forest with a fire "that could never be put out"--a true tear-jerker--...and he dedicated the story to yours truly.  (...wait a minute!)

Anyway, Guy's passion for robots shifted to soldiers this year, thanks to his close friendship with the son of a veteran.  So, we've been getting war sequences in various forms over the last year or so from Guy.  He's been known to cut uncanny replicas of toy soldiers and tanks out of green paper and tape them all over the walls of our house, blurring the lines between art and life for all of us.

Currently, he is working on a war story in a hardcover Bare Book.  This battle scene was inspired by a WWI photo found in the book Truce by Jim Murphy that we are reading as part of our 100 Books of Summer.  

I watched Guy studying the photo for a while one day, and then he went to work recreating it and using it as the setting for his story.  He even pointed it out to me and compared his drawing to the one in Truce, so there was no doubt about his inspiration.

Guy has graduated to writing words to his stories along with the pictures, but I started to tire of telling him how to spell the same words over and over again (mostly sound effects!):  boom, woosh, pow, crashed, tree, soldier.  

So, I created a key for him to reference.  It's worked well so far, but today, I decided to add to his key, inserting words that might steer the story toward a more peaceful resolution.  I tried to be sneaky about my motives, but Guy just looked at me and said he'd use all the words, except cat.

In general, I don't like to interfere with my kids' passions too much.  Instead, I like to tap into their talents and interests to help them learn.  I'm glad Guy's interest in soldiers is helping him learn to read and write.  However, I wouldn't mind it if Guy started drawing something other than war before he heads to Kindergarten next year.  His teacher might not be as open-minded as I am about his artwork!  For now though, we are all enjoying his creative displays and love watching his imagination bloom into full-fledged stories all of his own making.


  1. Wow, this is SOOO awesome! Love the idea of expanding on something he loves. And I had to laugh about the cat...

    ;) -CK

  2. I suspect the kindergarten teacher will be used to the war drawings. They seem to go over big with my grandsons, too.


    PS. Great idea about creating a key for him.

  3. Guy is so good! I love the key reference!

    I remember my daughter drawing sharks eating people in the sea when she was about Guy's age! Now when i tell her that story she laughs so loud and tells herself "Oh gosh! what was i thinking then!" and then laugh again!! [She is cute!]

  4. The cat thing is cute. I like the reference page, too - I have to do that for my son - he loves writing stuff, but is constantly asking me to help him spell words! I don't want to discourage his learning to write, so I try to make it easy for him :) Except when he asks me how to write "faith" (in Portuguese, which is "fé"). not sure how to make a picture that means that.

    Anyway, my son is the son of a soldier, so most of our "play time" is soldier time :) He's always out "fighting bad guys" and shooting stuff (his dad has been re-qualifying with his M16, so he's been spending a lot of time on the range - and tells our son ALL about it - which our son, of course, eats right up).

    I like the war story. It will be interesting to see how it works out in the end :)

  5. Bare Books -- hurray! My son is getting a stack of them for his bday. What a wonderful thing that he has a veteran close to him to admire!

  6. Your son is so creative and the key was a great idea!

  7. What a sweet story about your son and his cute pictures. He is very talented and may some day be a great writer. Enjoy this post!
    Blessings to you!
    Googles is still having trouble with comment. I have found it works if you change your comment to pop up window. I am trying openID
    Living Waters by LeAnn

  8. This is great!
    Both of my boys love(d) to draw battle scenes. They always have a great story to narrate what is happening. Sometimes I would write it down. But now that they can write themselves, it is so much fun to read their "books".

  9. Very clever! My husband's little sister once wrote a story for her 3 or 4th grade class about how much she hated her little sister, it led to a big parent/teacher conference and my in-laws finishing their basement so the two didn't have to share a room anymore. They all laugh about it now. :)