Saturday, July 2, 2016

Janet's Zentangle Zoo

I contacted the San Diego Zoo several months ago to see if they would they be interested in Zentangle classes for the Zoo.   Of course they hadn't heard of Zentangle Art Method before, so off  I went to the Education Department to demonstrate what Zentangle Method was,  The two educators found it very intriguing and I was asked to come back to teach Zentangle at the Zoo thru the summer for the kids camps.  What a wonderful experience I had today for my first Janet's Zentangle Zoo class.  Has a nice ring to it !!!

When I arrived at the Zoo and located my room to teach in, I saw the mass of difference age children going to and fro outside to their next activity; classes, presentation, animal experience, lunch, etc.  On such a warm day, the air conditioner was set, I went about setting up my document camera/projector, arranged the tables so the kids could see the screen, set out our project paper and a pen,  started my slack key instrumental quiet Hawaiian music, dimed the lights a bit and even had a couple minutes to spare and tangled myself before the kids arrived.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Zen.

When the 27,  6-7th graders arrived, the first word from many of the kids when they walked into the room was "wow"............ the prepared room was quiet, cool, soft music, nice change from the rest of organized chaos scene outside.

I was asked to keep the Zentangle project centered around animals. For today's project, I picked the largest creature at the Zoo, the mighty elephant. Each of the kids had a outline of an elephant and added string for tangling, a sharpie pen we completed their Zentangle elephant.

I normally ask before my classes starts, "who has heard of Zentangle?"  Many times the answer is zero  have heard of Zentangle..  Most folks have trouble even saying Zentangle the first time.  Today, two kids raised their hands that were familiar.  I then ask, "who has heard of the adult coloring books"?  Of course, almost all their hands go up. I said, today I'm going to teach you how to make your own coloring books with the Zentangle Art Method. Many of the Certified Zentangle Teachers had designed the adult coloring books.  Look for the CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher) after their name.  The adult coloring books are designed around drawing structured patterns just like Zentangle Method.

As I started to instruct the class and to my surprise, the three "college kids" in charge of the camp goers,  immediately sat down at a table, also started to complete the project instead of standing and observing.  Now I have 30 students.  Like I always say, any age LOVES Zentangle. 

When the Director of Education came into the class to see how this trial of Zentangle classes was going, she was quiet surprised to find the a room so quiet you could hear a pen drop, and all the kids engaged in this new found, easy-to-do art.

I'm am never surprised at each of my classes. Before class, one of the questions I ask is "who thinks art is hard?"  Just like today, most all the hands go up.  No matter what the age, during/after class I hear comments, like: 
I love this,
Thank you,  it was fun
Oh, now I can do art.
Can't wait to go home and do more
This was great.
Today, the three college kids told me they really enjoyed learning Zentangle
One adult at another class said "I'm so happy" after class
When can I take another class. 

Because of the privacy act of posting kids pictures without parents consent, I couldn't post a picture of their smiling faces after class.  I would have shown you the drawing of my elephant we completed in class, but one little boy sitting next to me asked if he could have my art work, and could I signed it for him.  How adorable. 

I told the kids now they could go home and color their animal with colored pencils and next week, if they have my class,  we will complete a peacock.  I LOVE TEACHING AT THE ZOO.

Next week, my classes will be 100+, 3-5th graders, and the second class will be 1, 2 and 3rd graders.   I can't wait to share the Zentangle art method with more kids.  Zentangle takes the "hard" out of art and best part, you relax and get into a well-being place.  Happens everytime. 

Thanks San Diego Zoo for letting me bring something new and exciting to the kids.

1 comment: