Published at Saturday, 11 May 2019. Color by Number. By Sidonia Gomez.
Coloring Books And Worksheets: What’s The Value Of ’Staying In The Lines’? Crayons, of course. Scented markers. Colored pencils, resharpened. And coloring books by the jillions. Why do people like coloring so much? For grown-ups, I can totally get the nostalgia — and the simple pleasure of creating something. But here at NPR Ed, we’re all about kids and learning. And so, as parents head to the store this summer with their back-to-school lists, we thought this question was worth a serious look: Do coloring books have any educational value? Do they squash creativity like a bug or, as some sites suggest, promote the development of fine motor skills? I’ve seen my daughter bring home worksheets from elementary school, asking her to color in this or that picture after answering a math or word problem. And, I’ve wondered as I watched her complete these assignments, ”Isn’t this busywork?”. I’ve always thought coloring books are, educationally speaking, bad news. That ”staying in the lines” isn’t really the kind of independent and creative thinking we want to nurture. Am I right? So, as part of our Tools of the Trade series, here’s a look at kids and coloring books and whether they have any place in the classroom.
Who Should Be Credited with the Creation of Paint-by-Number: Michelangelo or Leonardo DA Vinci? Some people dismiss paint-by-number as an elementary, formulaic painting system. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it’s worth mentioning that Leonardo DA Vinci is rumored to have created the first painting-by-number system. In his book Math and the Mona Lisa: The Art and Science of Leonardo DA Vinci, Bülent Atalay wrote, “Painting by number may not be as egregious a pursuit as one might imagine. Leonardo himself invented a form of it, assigning assistants to paint areas on a work that he had already sketched out and numbered.” Other sources suggest that Michelangelo should be credited with the invention of the painting system. Either way, paint-by-number had anything but humble beginnings.
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