In the Words of a Child, an Art Masterpiece

The children have started painting in earnest, and studying both art and techniques.  All this work and joy is in preparation for our annual Art Show.  Much more on that to come.

I want to share a funny story this week.  In the mind and eyes of a child:

Alex:  “Can I see that painting again?”

Me:  “Which one?”

Alex:  “The yeller that was lost.”

The yeller that was lost?

Of course!  “The Scream”,  by Edvard Munch.  The figure is screaming, or yelling.  And, we had talked about how it was lost or stolen, and finally found.

Alex remembered.  He loved the intrigue of the art subject, and he really wanted to paint those swirls.

He is doing an excellent job, having returned to his work three times so far.

I’ll forever call that masterpiece “The yeller that was lost.”


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
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80 Responses to In the Words of a Child, an Art Masterpiece

  1. willedare says:

    This story + snapshot is delightful. Your posts — and your students, and your teaching — are the best! Thank you for teaching and sharing these moments with the rest of us.

  2. srbottch says:

    Terrific that your students are getting exposed to art and language, Jennie. You continue to impress me with your teaching approach.

  3. I love that title for ‘The Scream’, makes perfect sense. Can’t wait to see the finished paintings!

  4. delphini510 says:

    Such an inspiring and lifting story. The boy’s title is great. Hope you post his finished work.

  5. beetleypete says:

    A perfect description of The Scream, from a child’s viewpoint. I always found that painting rather disturbing, but Alex has taken that away, with his simple logic.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  6. GP Cox says:

    I heard one time that this was painted to represent the vast distance that the sound of the massive Krakatoa volcano explosion. Do you know if this is true?

    • Jennie says:

      I don’t think this is true. I read in different sources that he was walking with friend(s) at sunset, exhausted, and suddenly the sky turned blood red. He felt that a scream was passing through nature.

  7. Sue Vincent says:

    Love it, Jennie… I doubt I will forget that name now either 🙂

  8. Ha ha! What a great name! Leave it to children to take a classic and put such a wonderful spin on it. 💖

  9. Darlene says:

    How precious! I love his name for it. Art is subjective and in the mind of the beholder. I look forward to his finished product.

  10. Opher says:

    They do have a way with words, don’t they?

  11. kentaurie says:

    Thank you Jennie for sharing. I am always fascinating by young children. Their minds are taking in and organizing their senses and information. I am also an Early Childhood tutor . Your passion for Early Childhood is enduring and inspiring. Alex is an artist who is liable to be a great scientist.

  12. kentaurie says:

    Amen, Jennie. Alex is a thinker and artistic analyst. I am always fascinating by the ECE kids which whom I work. Thank you for sharing Alex’s story.

    • Jennie says:

      Amen, indeed. Young children have wonderful minds. They just need inspiration and tools and encouragement. I am the proponent of reading aloud. Makes the biggest difference. Thank you!

  13. Luanne says:

    What a charming story!

  14. Jennie, you are so lucky to experience the innocence, exuberance, and the wonderful thoughts of young children every day. It must be very satisfying to be a part of helping young minds grow. I look forward to seeing some of the artwork.

  15. John Fioravanti says:

    It’s amazing what catches a kid’s imagination. Great story, Jennie!

  16. The yeller that was lost. I love it.

  17. Tee-hee! That’s adorable, Jennie. Thanks for sharing, and happy painting!

  18. wilsonagaba says:

    Beautiful art!!!

  19. Wonderful story! I love his title.

  20. Dan Antion says:

    I love the new name for that painting.

  21. It is wonderful how a painting can capture the imagination of a child, Jennie. I would love to see Alex’s final painting in due course.

  22. frenchc1955 says:

    Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
    This is a wonderful post on the imagination and perception of a child.

  23. SunnyInge says:

    Great! I read in the reader and it did not show the pic. I thought the only painting I knew that could fit was Munch´s. Love the new title!

  24. What a charming story. Children often see the world through an unfiltered lense and often make more sense than adults. Jennie, your young students, because of you, are free to tell a story as they see it. So wonderful for these children, free to develop a sense of self. Great post. 🙂

  25. “The yeller that was lost”….. that’s a good one! My daughter actually studied “The Scream” this term in art as well. Her own drawing of it was quite impressive.

  26. Looking forward to your annual art show, Jennie! 😊

  27. reocochran says:

    Aww, such a precious child’s point of view! Children “get” art right in their heart and soul. He’s doing a final job in colors and swirls!! 💙🤗

    • Jennie says:

      He is, Robin. And children really do get art right, as long as they have the tools, inspiration, and no adult influence. I love his title!!

  28. Léa says:

    Such a gift and it changes their lives. What teacher could do more…

  29. Norah says:

    And what a wonderful title it is!

  30. I was fortunate to have a lot of good teachers at exactly the right moments. I am thinking that you are that teacher for so many…Don’t ever think you will not be remembered for these little conversations on the child’s end…No doubt your influence will — like the yeller — never be so lost that you are not remembered!

    • Jennie says:

      I think I need to post your words on my computer! Thank you, KC. I do reach many, in host of different ways, and they often stop by. How many high schoolers catch up with their preschool teacher? Lucky me. And you’re right, it’s the little conversations and moments that are really big. I’m so glad you had good teachers!

  31. This is really nice 🙂

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