Recently I was teaching some of my fifth graders how to make a geometric stained glass window using a clear plastic frame, acrylic paint and clear Elmer’s Glue. The project had been quite challenging for some of the students. While working on their projects one of my students made the comment, “Why do we have to do art anyway? It’s not like it’s important.”

At first I wanted to be very defensive of the importance of art, then I took a step back and tried to look at the idea of art from the perspective of this student. I began by asking him if he knew who Leonardo da Vinci was. Before he could answer, I reminded him that I wasn’t asking about a Ninja Turtle.

He looked at me with a grin, then said that Leonardo was a great inventor. We both agreed with this. He then went on to tell me about some of the inventions that Leonardo da Vinci had created but how most of them were just ideas that were never built, like the helicopter.

I agreed with him. My next question was, “How did we know he had these cool ideas?”

I was met with a defiant blank stare.

I then proceeded to explain that if Leonardo didn’t have such a wonderful talent for drawing and painting what was in his imagination, we would have never seen his great ideas. Now I had his attention. I then went and asked him how did we know what George Washington looked like or dinosaurs for that matter? Without talented artists we wouldn’t have had anybody to document all of these things from our past sine they didn’t have cameras.

I then explained how everything we have, including the chair he was sitting on, the clothes he was wearing and even his cellphone had all began as a drawing or a sketch, and that drawing is art. Yes, he became a “somewhat” believer in art that day.

While there are many adults who don’t believe in the value of teaching kids about artistic mediums and the importance of creativity, they can’t argue that everything began as a sketch or a drawing. Art is a part of EVERYTHING in our lives.

What do you think? Does art matter?

Here’s another article you might enjoy:

The imagination Box- The Best Gift To Give A child