Secret Agent Watercolors

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โ€‹Hereโ€™s a little secret about this project that proves something we follow as a golden rule: The more creatively you teach a lesson, the more engaged & creative your students will be with the project. We start with white crayons, drawing designs all over the paper, then we paint over it with a wash of watercolors bringing the lines to life. Easy enough, right?The first time we ran through this project 3 years ago, it fell flat. โ€œOh, wax & water? Coolโ€ฆ kind ofโ€ฆโ€

Then we tried again in low whispers. โ€œGuys- we are secret agents in here. And each of us has a secret agent partner. Itโ€™s our mission to draw a SECRET MESSAGE for our secret agent partners to discover. Only use your spy pen to draw your message- and make sure itโ€™s bound to make your partner smile, theyโ€™ll be taking it home with them & will think of you every time they see it.โ€

We also tossed in: โ€œHigh five the secret agent partner next to you & give each other spy names to use for the rest of class.โ€

โ€œWho can make the most encouraging design?โ€

To disputes: โ€œWeโ€™re all a team in here- if weโ€™re spending our time arguing, how are we going to solve the mystery? Letโ€™s go, super spies.โ€

And wha-la! Wonder ensues.

Collaboration between classmates, pride in work made together, problem solving in sharing, intense focus on designing & discovering. Creativity.

And now we use this as an example with our teams. If your students arenโ€™t engaged, try again. Try a new twist, a new voice, get creative so that they can get creative.

And youโ€™ll have the most innovative secret agents ever to fill an Elementary School cafeteria.


Love Naively. Give Generously. Be Foolishly Compassionate.

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