“A Beautiful Oops” – A Favorite Book for Helping Kids to LOVE Making Mistakes!

Something sad happened in my classroom today. It’s happened before, so luckily … I knew what to do about it.

I was creating artwork with the children. We were doing a line study. We talked about horizontal lines, vertical lines, curved lines, and lines that curve into each other to act like playful roller coasters. We talked about different basic media–Crayons, colored pencils, markers, and paints. We shared ways our abstract art looked like something different to everyone who saw it.

Everything seemed to be going well…Until a child started crying. She didn’t like her artwork. She started hitting herself and calling herself names. I said to her (Let’s call her Ann), “Nobody hits my friend Ann…Nobody…And nobody is allowed to call my friend Ann mean names…Nobody!”

This seemed to change her mindset a little. But she was still sad.A Beautiful Oops book review via Crafting ConnectionsThen, I pulled out one of my favorite books. It’s great for grades K-6 … It’s called “A Beautiful Oops,” by Barney Saltzberg. On each page, the author features a mistake. On the following page, he turns it into something beautiful. Ripped paper becomes an alligator. A hot cocoa stain transforms into a frog. I love the words…”A smudge or a smear” … (Turn the page to see amazing art) … “Can make magic appear.”

The whole class appreciated their artwork a little more. Each child was more motivated to take risks. Thanks, so much, Ann, for your “Beautiful Oops.” Because you shared your feelings with us, I thought to read this book … And the whole class made better, more inspired artwork!

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