What’s the BIG IDEA?

“A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.” ~ Rosabeth Moss Kantor, Harvard Business School


Dear Friends and Families,

Determining the Big Idea for our collagraph was today’s focal point. Our artists, when they are not at LEAPS, are continually aiming to bring a Big Idea, a conviction or theme, to fruition in their own art. When artists or “adventurers” get a Big Idea they have to envision a path for getting there. The process of thinking it through, often laden with stumbling blocks, can lead to innovation and amazing outcomes. Kids began to articulate and bring form to their Big Ideas for their artwork today.


We started the morning reading a passage from Sarah Marquis’ Wild by Nature (St. Martin’s Press, 2014). The author, a National Geographic Explorer, imagined herself hiking across the great Gobi Desert, through Siberia to Thailand, and then to Australia, With a carefully constructed master plan and a team behind her effort, she walked 10,000 miles on her own. Her description of a close encounter with a snake set kids’ minds in motion. Ginned up, they were happy to share their own encounters with snakes. We asked them what the author’s Big Idea was. Here’s what two students said. “She wanted us to know that you can discover all kinds of animals in different places.” “She was trying to create a picture (with words!) to communicate something about the snake.”IMG_9822

After Alexis taught kids how to make a monoprint, it was time for them to record their Big Ideas in journals and then carry those concepts over to their art. Sandy and Alexis modeled how two people can put their heads together.   IMG_9844IMG_9847




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Ideas aren’t easy to come by; at least that’s what most second graders had to say. It helped to have a reading from Philip Stead’s book, Ideas all Around. Taking his dog, Wednesday for a walk, the author discovered that ideas can come out of nowhere. That was good news for all of us, because if each of us starts to notice the small stuff, pretty soon it might just become the next Big Idea!

Nancy, Alexis, Sandy and Lizzie

A tv reporter came to see LEAPS of IMAGINATION in action today!


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