3-12, Art, Creative Thinking, depression, mental illness

How to Have a Screaming Great Time

One of the more enlightening activities I’ve done with my students in the past is to have them brainstorm things that “make them scream” whether from fear or exasperation, and use those words and phrases to reproduce the Edvard Munch masterpiece, “The Scream.” You can read in this post how I learned a valuable lesson about making assumptions one year when we did this. For our products, we used iPads, WordFoto, and the Green Screen app by DoInk. There are other ways to do Green Screen on different devices, but I haven’t found something as good as the WordFoto app, which is a paid app only on iOS. However, the absolute genius on projects like this is Tricia Fuglestad (@TriciaFuglestad), who has done quite a few Scream projects with her art students. You can get a preview of one of them here, or purchase one of her TPT packs that compile the ideas and instructions that she has created over the years (see the top of her haunted blog post for links to those).

Here is an excellent lesson on how to analyze “The Scream.” This video gives a short history, and directions for making your own Scream painting. I also like these instructions for creating a yarn version.

As it was World Mental Health Day on October 10th, and that is a topic near and dear to my heart, I also want to include a link to this article about the artist and his own struggles with insecurity and depression. Also, here is a list of children’s books that deal with fears and phobias.

I’ll be adding this to my Halloween/October Wakelet collection. You can check out the rest of those resources here!

Read this post to learn more about this pic!

depression, mental illness

Introducing, “Great Minds Don’t Think Alike!”

Many people reached out to me when I published, “The Elephant in Our Schools.”  Almost all of them had stories to share of experiences with the stigma that accompanies anything related to mental illness.  It saddened me to hear from so many people who feel alone and unsupported as they try to navigate this unfamiliar landscape.

I used to write an anonymous personal blog that shared some of my stories, but it has been dormant for a couple of years.  The other day, someone commented on one of my old posts, and I realized that there is no reason that these stories should be anonymous – that it only contributes to the idea that we should be ashamed of this illness.

Yet, I know that the people who subscribe to this blog, Engage Their Minds, didn’t sign up to read stories about depression.  So, I’ve decided to give this blog a sister, “Great Minds Don’t Think Alike.”  This new blog will share stories of depression, some new and some old, offer resources for those who seek them, and encourage everyone to be more understanding and less judgmental of themselves and others.  You might eventually read a few stories about Wonderbutt, my depressed bulldog sidekick, and his nemesis, Wigglebutt, who refuses to accept any emotion less intense than perpetual ecstatic happiness.

One effect of my depression is that I often feel burdened by all of the horribleness in the world and feel worse that I do nothing about it.  I saw a tweet the other day suggesting we choose just one cause to champion in the new year.  This is my cause. Please join me in making mental health a priority and eradicating the stigma of mental illness.

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