Teacher Rolin gave every student a piece of paper and a box of crayons. She said, “Today we will be drawing an apple tree.” Everyone was very excited, opened their boxes of crayons and began drawing.
After about twenty minutes, Teacher Rolin began to admire everyone’s work. Oxford drew a tall, thin apple tree with many yellow apples. Victor’s tree was short and stout, with huge apples, almost ready to fall to the ground. Jimmy laughed and said, “Your apple tree is so strange!” Victor was very proud of it and said “In my mind, this is what an apple tree should look like, where everyone can easily pick an apple.”
Teacher Rolin, smiling, walked to Junior’s desk and saw that he’d drawn nothing but a tree house, with a roof made of many colors of apples. Oxford’s apple tree was even more different. His was wearing metal armor, like you might see in a science-fiction story. Teacher Rolin was very happy and said, “Everyone has such great imagination!”
But when Teacher Rolin went to see Iris and Andrew, she discovered two identical trees – brown trunks, green leaves and purple apples. Teacher Rolin asked, “Is this how you imagine apple trees to look?”
Andrew said nothing. Iris lowered her head and said, “I thought Andrew’s was beautiful, and I wanted mine to be beautiful too, so I copied his…”
Teacher Rolin said softly, “The purpose of art class is creativity. There’s no good or bad creativity here. If you draw the exact same thing as Andrew, then this class is meaningless. The most important thing is that you yourself created something.”
Iris thought a moment, picked up her crayons, and drew a new tree, with a twisted trunk and pink fruit. Everyone was very surprised at Iris’ creativity, and told her how beautiful her tree was.
Recently, though, Junior’s family had planted a new garden. What would happen there? We’ll find out next week.