Four inspiring creative designs by educators as part of Doodle
Many of us who teach have seen the viral online drawings creating awareness and enthusiasm for world peace and other causes. The comfort with being able to create something we believe in and share it with others online. Most of us, who get excited by the idea of having our students draw to raise awareness and offer support and encouragement, make a digital art kit for our students.
We all know that the best way to bring awareness to a cause and get students, whether younger or older, involved is through drawings. But not everyone has the ability to be a professional artist on their own, creating what can feel a little alienating for artists and people with disabilities.
Doodle 4 Education inspires and challenges teachers to create awesome digital art and poetry, using a form of interactive art they all already know well, to promote students’ (and teachers’) participation in something worthwhile. Teachers have shared how this helped to create important conversations with their students and create change where perhaps it was lacking.
Teachers shared the following books that inspired their children to dig deep, create something different, and for them, connect. Some used free digital tools like WordPress, Slack, Tumblr, and Zoho, but also went the extra mile and posted regular drawings on Pinterest and shared them on Facebook.
David Parker of Putnam West Middle School is clearly inspired by Ruby Bridges. Ruby was just the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in New Orleans. When the situation became uncomfortable for her parents, Mayor J. Kermit Bernier agreed to allow her parents to enter the building and bring their daughter into a classroom – regardless of whether or not the teachers knew that there was a child of color in the building. Ruby attended the second floor of 5500 Tulane Avenue while her classmates went to the third.
After reading Ruby’s book, Ruby’s Story, Parker told his students “everybody [can] do something positive – and do something daily that will push the world forward,” which led to them creating the following of their own: “stair climbs for a step-by-step reminder to get up if you are starting to slip.”
Emma Morgan uses her personal illustration skills to inspire her students. Morgan told us her students are inspired by several types of cartoon character characters, including Pikachu, Shrek, Kimmy Moon, Spiderman, Rick and Morty, the Sad Jeffersons, Alex P. Keaton, and Teen Titans. She enjoys teaching her students to draw the television characters and help them learn about manga. Morgan’s students view all their cartoons together to help them get to know one another as characters and share their favorite cartoons and scenes from each anime series.
Morgan teaches her students the musical concept of a dharma, a “harmony of emotions” brought by watching emotionally fulfilling television shows. Her students learn that they can relate to these characters because they have been transformed in an emotional way to become heroes and heroes come from heroes.
Educator Jeff Joseph shared his inspiration of Gandhi’s march, which was the first stage of his “dharma”. His students have read Gandhi’s book The Power of Nonviolence and created work inspired by Gandhi to combat bullying and bullying behavior among students at their school. Joseph’s students are creating their own drawings, supporting acceptance and individuality by encouraging someone to live his/her dharma through kindness and respect.
Marilyn Goody and her students used the concept of knapsack for future models of perseverance and work, to raise awareness to the potential for student interaction. Goody shares some wonderful pictures of young children learning important lessons from their models of perseverance – parents, friends, teachers, and younger siblings. The children are hopeful that someday they can, too, stand up for their rights.
Holly Kolk is using a website called Puffery, which is a collage of visual prompts used to make conversations stick in the mind. Kolk’s students use Puffery as a way to write letters to their teachers, with the hopes of encouraging them to help them achieve their goals. Kolk asks them to sketch pictures or draw words, either using Puffery’s collaborative video platform or their own, in response to the prompts. She then uses these drawings to raise awareness about opportunities students have to be heard.
Salenkina Dastur shared that her primary motivator for learning and seeking social justice has been learning from and following other activists and teachers. She had been previously inspired by the writings of John Updike and Sara Davenport, and was interested in connecting with others around this passion. Using Puffery, she wrote about Charles Ferguson and his effort to tell the story of water crisis, and shared the lessons she learned from the U.S.