Process Art & Creative Interpretations
There is a myriad of articles and study findings out there that support the claim that art is a way to encourage reflection, innovation and creativity. In this sense, when kids are encouraged to express themselves in creating artworks they develop a sense of accomplishment as well as a sense of pride in their own forays into new territory. John Hopkins School of Education and Americans For the Arts have been especially active in pursuing such line of inquiry.
Yet, when it comes to young children it is often easy to dismiss their creations as simple arts&crafts projects. To this purpose, it is important to be aware of the difference between "Arts" and "Crafts." Crafts involve children following directions to reproduce an adult’s idea and require no original thinking. They are meant to be useful, practical or educational. Arts, on the other hand, especially Process Art allows children to experiment with their own ideas and art materials with no known outcome in order to help them think openly, create new meaning, be more tolerant of others’ differences and have the courage to take creative risks.
Slowly but surely, I am very enthusiastically building a Gallery of images with young readers engaging with Here Comes Ingo in a way that while serving a useful & educational purpose (inference/attention to detail/prediction/story line) as well as practical (dexterity) it emphasizes the indisputable sense of agency allocated to the children via drawing, painting, writing ON the page... as it is exemplified by a selection of "Ingo" drawings made by second graders as part of their thank you notes.