Crayons can do wonders. Not just to make colorful rainbows and unicorns but as a vital tool used for communication between students and between the student and their teachers and parents. Janai Mestrovich (BS/MS, Family & Child Development, Ashland, OR) incorporates kid art into her SuperKid Power curriculum. Here are several examples from the kids (pre-K and Kindergarten) reflecting goals the kids said they were thinking about or that concerned them. in the first example, a young boy said he hoped that his dad would take him diving in the lake this summer during vacation. In the next example, a young girl, that was having balance and coordination issues, set a goal of 'not dropping things'. Another youngster wanted to grow up and train eagles so that he could have an eagle land on his arm. Yet another young girl hoped to continue to maintain feelings of joy towards her classmates as she grew older.
As part of teaching early ACEs resiliency to her students, Janai encourages strong listening and communication skills. Setting expectations with her 5 and 6 year olds that they have feelings and goals that can be articulated and shared is important. It provides feedback to the youngsters that their teacher cares enough about them to treat them with mutual respect and appreciation for making the effort to document their thoughts.