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Cookie cutter crafts?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've heard this term used a lot lately, I'm not competely sure what it means. I'm assuming it's art projects that all look the same, but is there more to it?
post #2 of 6
yeah, it's when you walk into a school and all of the crafts on the wall look exactly the same. it's a big indicator that free thinking might not be tolerated. i'm not sure if there's more to it, but my mother, the pre-school teacher, told me to run from a school with 'cookie cutter' crafts.
post #3 of 6
It also means the school spent a lot of money on a die cut machine that will cut out shapes from paper like a cookie cutter on speed. Then, the kids make projects will all these identical paper flowers, dogs, trees, etc.

Boooooooring.
post #4 of 6
Not to hijack...

But in Kindergarten I got an "F" on a project because we were all supposed to be coloring in a picture, and I colored the sun pink and I drew apples on the oak tree.

Then in third grade the teacher refused to display my ceramic fish (we were all assigned to make ceramic fish) in the display case in the hall because I decided to name it "trash can fish."
"What kind of fish are you making?"
"It's a trash can fish!"
"Don't make a trash can fish. Something else."
"OK."
(a few minutes later)
"So, what kind of fish did you make?"
"It's a trash can fish!!!"
"NO, DON'T MAKE A TRASH CAN FISH!"

And that's how it all went down...:LOL Poor little trash can fish.

Now back to the thread...

What I wonder is, why do the children have to even work in the same media or same theme? Is it OK to have the class make ceramic fish as long as all the fish don't look the same (and they can have whatever names they want)? Is it OK to tell the class that in this unit, they will be exploring fiber arts, and they can make whatever they want as long as it's with fibers? What if during ceramic fish week, one student wants to make wooden toy trucks? What if during cardboard house week, a student would rather embroider?
post #5 of 6
Yup, I agree with PPs said. Montessori specifically argued against things like this, but each teacher does it differently. At my daughter's school (next year) they have watercolor painting, drawing, art-easel painting for making whatever you want, but little in the way of "make a santa claus with eyes here and cotton ball beard here." Her Montessori teacher last year started doing things like this though, which I wasn't really too happy about.

When DD was 2, we went to a children's museum where they had a craft of making a reindeer. The helper about had a caniption fit because DD wanted to put the antlers on the chin.

A book that has a really good description of cookie cutter crafts is Susan Striker's Young At Art.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info.
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