Tuesday, August 6, 2013

On Painting with Verbs

I was recently listening to Andrew Pudewa's talk on Teaching Boys and Other Children Who Would Rather Make Forts All Day and I found myself laughing out loud and nodding vigorously in agreement.

Boys and girls are different.  They think differently.  They learn differently.   They create differently.

Take for example this painting:

It began simply enough.  David announced that he was going to paint a red boat.  Then he added waves (those squiggly lines at the bottom) complete with white caps and a beautiful sun up top.  I was so proud!  Look at all those lovely details!

Then things took a bit of a turn.  Apparently when my son paints, he doesn't paint in adjectives--he paints in verbs.  He paints a story.

Unfortunately for his boat, a storm rolled in and clouds covered the sun.  Then there was some lightning followed by torrential rain, and soon there was nothing left to be seen of that little boat.  He did assure me though, that the sailors on board were able to locate the treasure they were searching for right under that red "x" at the bottom of the painting, so.....that was a relief.

Is this the prettiest painting I've ever seen?  Umm.....no.....but it sure does have a lot of action hidden in it and it was so fun to watch his process unfold and listen to his story as he painted that I wouldn't dream of intervening and making suggestions to attempt to make it "better."  

If you have a little time and three dollars I would highly recommend listening to the lecture.  I learned a lot of things I had never heard before about gender differences (which is crazy since I have degrees in both Elementary Education and School Psychology), and the research he quotes seems very sound.   Also, he presents some really good information about motivating children in general that would be beneficial to parents of boys and girls alike.  And, as if that weren't enough, there's an accompanying book list geared toward boys (including resources for their parents/teachers) organized by grade level--because that's what I need in my life, more book lists.

Let me know if you listen to it or have already heard it before!  I'd love to hear your thoughts :)


  1. That looks like something I would enjoy listening to.

  2. Ooh! Thanks for the push to listen to this talk...I think I first heard about it from Sarah and then recently Elizabeth Foss. Love the story behind the picture. My son's stories usually revolve around construction vehicles. I really need and want to get them more interested in classic literature but they usually won't sit still long enough...hence the reason I want to listen to the talk. So, your boys will actually listen to Peter Pan? (I think you mentioned that cd in a previous post.)

    1. We aren't always reading classics here! I try to keep a lot of good and/or classic picture books in the house but my three year old mostly just wants me to read him animal encyclopedias :)

      The boys weren't able to listen to ME read Peter Pan to them but my oldest was really excited to listen to the audiobook...in the car....when he didn't have any other options :)

  3. (I'm so behind in my blog reading!) This is great, I love that we've already read so many of the pre-k books with our boy.

  4. I know right? It's so reassuring to see a great booklist and start checking off each one you've already hit! Mike Mulligan is on the list and it's the only book in our house that my husband doesn't mind reading repeatedly to the boys so it must be really good for boys....and men :)


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