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Personal [Question]

Student w/cancer wants art at home

Started on Jan 04, 2013 by lhARTz
Last post on Feb 18, 2013

I have a student undergoing intense chemo and won't be at school the rest ofthe year. He'll be well enough about 1 week out of every 3 to do school work. The counselor asked me to come up with a curriculum that he could do at home to assist with fine motor skills and creative expression. Any advice would be great!

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  • lhARTz 01/04/2013 at 12:54pm
    I forgot to mention. He's a 4th grader, LOVES Michael Jackson, and is quite spunky. I thought about having him listen to his MJ songs and choose one to draw about, but aside from drawing, it doesn't really work his fine motor skills. I've also thought a collage would be good. Just any other ideas would help!

  • jensando 01/04/2013 at 06:03pm
    I'm the mother of a child with cancer (twice!) so I absolutely understand your concerns. Let me tell you a little about whats going on with him (as well as other childhood cancer patients). On paper they look good. Deep down, the chemo totally wears them out! He's going to try to keep up but there are so many days when he just can't do anything because he feels so awful. Most children's hospitals have child life specialists that will keep them inspired and creative, so use those days stuck in the hospital or at clinic to your advantage!

    Allow him to take pictures of his 'journey' and create a photo essay. The pictures will tell the stories of his adventures in cancer and he can write about it as well, could help with his LA skills.

    If he's sensitive about his cancer, then create assignements that don't focus on his illness. He wants to be as normal as possible. (My daughter fits this category)

    I had a student that was out for the year due to back surgery,I created a sketchbook of drawings for her to complete at home or in the hospital. He may even enjoy a 'wreck this journal'. It will allow him to really express himself and have fun at the same time. I love the journals and it could just the thing you are looking for.

    Feel free to contact me, I'd love to help!

  • judlebug81 02/02/2013 at 04:53pm
    I don't know if you have access to a video camera (most school media centers have one you can check out), but video taping some of the lessons that his fellow students would be great. Stick with the lessons that don't need a ton of supplies or mess. Radial symmetry with markers and coffee filters, bi-lateral symmetry alien faces with black and white construction paper. I have done this, and I ALWAYS send clay home to those kiddos and have them create and then I fire for them. Think of the things that are going to be fun and the most meaningful to these guys. The "curriculum" should be secondary to just letting them feel like they aren't missing all the fun stuff.

  • Hope200 02/04/2013 at 04:57pm
    When I had radiation, I started taking art therapy. There were days I had to cancel. The thing I liked most, was I got to choose what medium I wanted to work with. I could then create whatever I wanted. My therapist encouraged me to talk about parts of my artwork, but only if I wanted to. Sometimes, there were a few other patients, but mostly I was by myself. It really helped because I had a lot of anger about cancer that needed to be expressed. Creating through art - without limitations - was the best! Wide range of materials and paper with a range that could be tiny, in a journal to even as large as a room!

  • Hope200 02/04/2013 at 04:59pm
    Definately create an environment, play MJ's music, watch videos and allow the student to just create as he wishes. Also, find some music that is relaxing that he can just listen to without doing anything.

  • MrsImpey 02/06/2013 at 08:25am
    I think a sketchbook journal would be a great coudl incorperate drawing, cutting, gluing, and writing; that way you'd cover multiple types mediums and motor skills. It would be a way for him to express what's going on in his head with writing, but also do some art.

  • lhARTz 02/18/2013 at 02:32pm
    I really appreciate your help! Your ideas were great and I'll definitely use them in the future. Unfortunately, he took a turn for the worse and is limited on time. :( Now we can only pray for peace and comfort.