Cartooning is more than just creating overdrawn caricatures, and the fifth grade students of Matthews Elementary School caught a glimpse into that world this past week. The lesson was to draw cartoons of themselves included with adjectives that best described them, while simultaneously bringing out their creativity. The fifth graders were encouraged to exaggerate their favorite feature on their face and then, using lines to create spaces in the background, fill in the spaces with adjectives that best describe themselves like “kind” or “funny” or “smart.”
All of the students that I was able to talk to were extremely enthusiastic about their work. Perhaps the only downfall was that most of them were intent on making their cartoon drawings “perfect;” however, this gave us the chance to show the real reason that we decided to do this activity: to boost self-confidence and cultivate creativity that was not necessarily realistic. By the end of the session, the students seemed to be grasping the concept that cartoons don’t have to look real; in fact, often they don’t and shouldn’t.
When the time came around at the end of class to present their work, it was amazing to witness the shyer students getting out of their comfort zone and presenting their cartoons to their fellow classmates. They were proud, and it was heartwarming to watch.