Prison Writing Surprises

Last night I was at the prison and because of a mistake I made, learned something really cool! I love when that happens.

Throughout this course, the inmates have been writing books for their children. Some have much longer books, and others, picture books. They’ve been very worried about how on earth they were going to illustrate the books. As in any class, I heard, “I can’t draw!” So I told them what I always tell people when they say that, “Phttt!” In other words, don’t worry about it!

My mistake was that I neglected to bring in all my drawing detritus including tracing paper and all the magazine photos I’d torn out, and the overhead transparencies that would allow me to show everyone how they were going to learn to see (click on the title above and you’ll go to a movie called Learning To See on my site and you’ll understand the process by which I teach this).

Anyway, we McGyvered a solution! We emptied plastic sleeves  from a notebook and got some markers. We found a magazine from which I tore the right sized photos, and slipped them into the sleeves. I showed everyone how to trace just the outlines of the faces, and then, by accident, turned the sleeve over and as it rested on a piece of white paper, the image transferred, creating an incredibly cool mirror image!

And now I have a new tool to use in my school visit arsenal!

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