Cutting, Pasting, Colouring

At school I carry around a handbag filled with glue sticks, scissors, coloured paper squares and pencils. As each year begins I tell students that it is mandatory to have these supplies but invariably there is a shortage. If I were to tell you that I am a primary school teacher you might not be surprised to know that I promote cutting, pasting and colouring but in fact I work with, amongst other levels, Year 12 students. Recently, as my Year 12's sat making colourful paper hats to put goals behind we chuckled about what the Minister of Education might think if she wandered into our room. Then the Principal appeared, and being accustomed to my ideas about creativity did not flinch. He sat asking students what they were doing and was intrigued to see that different hats represented different life goals.

I use magazines, newspapers and coloured paper to kick start all sorts of activities all the time. For example, tudents make a collage of headlines from a newspaper, filling a double page and then randomly select one headline and write a the news report that might have gone with it. We use lines from magazines to write our last message to the world, colour in characters and then write all we know about this particular person. We trace our hands to use as planners for essay writing - "thumb introduction - little finger conclusion - three main paragraphs" I tell them, my hand spread in the air.

The possibilities are endless and streams of words follow. Students who think that they have nothing to say suddenly find a way to begin. I tell them that it is like magic and they invariably agree.

Coloring Therapy is an intriguing site which supports my view. I will make use of this site when looking for mandalas, but I also use quality images of dragons, dinasaurs, small villages etc. to kick start some writing. If anyone out there feels like sending me intricate coloring in images my students and I will be ever so grateful. You can contact me at

My Year 12 students are keeping Visual Journals to record their entire year's work. Shortly we will begin creating suitcases, filled with all sorts of personal flotsam and jetsam that will promote personal narrative writing.

Colour your world

Being creative extends to brightening dark corners of your world. Stephanie Hansen really has the magic touch when it comes to filling rooms with colour. Visit her studio to see the diversity of creatively inspired art that she has on display and then buy some paint pots and begin to colour your own world.


1. Go to the Visual Journal Lounge at Soul Food and have a look at some of the really exciting things people do with cutting, pasting and colouring.
2. Try one of Soul Food's creative projects. Do search through the site because there are all sorts of things tucked in rooms within the cafe.
3. Try the Dragon Colourings and write a story that features one of the dragons.