Portraits of Character - By Eileen
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
As this school year began, we thought it important to consider the character traits and virtues that each of us brings to the community. Students were asked to reflect on one particular virtue they felt they brought to the school and why it was important. They were asked if their virtue were a color, what color would it be? Each of these portraits, done in monochrome, seeks to embody a particular virtue that helps to create a positive learning environment and a supportive community for everyone. The accompanying poetry further articulates each person’s thinking.
Throughout each school year children use a variety of art materials to express their own thoughts about a particular subject. Rather than instructing children in formal art lessons, art materials such as tempera paint, oil pastels and watercolors are carefully prepared to engage them and to welcome them to playfully investigate and explore the possibilities of each medium. At times children are prompted with an open-ended question or provocation before they begin drawing, sculpting or painting. The children are honored to have their thoughtful work shared throughout the community. I hope you take the time to scroll through the paintings and read the students' writing.
I am forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the color black.
A swan swimming in the dark of night.
Black is a dark velvet dress.
Forgiveness is apologizing when you hurt a friend.
Night is black and day is white.
Black is the sound of stars at night.
Black in the color of a licorice jelly bean.
Forgiveness if the color of a moonlit night.
I am perseverance.
My color is purple.
Purple is the color of two,
A mix of red and blue.
Purple is a cloud at sunset.
A stroke of a pencil.
A small flower petal or a baby bird.
Purple is the last color of the rainbow.
Perseverance is the sound of the ocean in motion.
A fast movement that goes on and on.
Perseverance looks like a strong breeze
That never gives up and keeps rolling on.
A small tree that grows and grows
Until it’s wide and tall.
Red is the stop sign on the corner.
Helpful is the hand sanitizer in your hands.
Red is bricks on a building.
Helpful is toothpaste in your mouth.
Red is ribbon in a bow.
Helpful is doctors fixing bones.
Red is apples on a tree.
Helpful is water filled with fish.
Honesty is the color purple.
Purple is the color of positive energy
that looks like people smiling.
Honesty is a shining light in a Broadway theater
While a show is going on.
Purple is the color of lavender
Like a flower in my garden.
Honesty smells like blooming flowers in spring.
Purple is the color of shimmering stars in a dark blue sky.
Honesty feels like a warm summer
After a dip in a cold pool.
I am flexibility.
Fuscia is the color of a pink salmon’s scales
As it swims through the stream.
Fuscia is the color of a thriving coral reef.
Flexibility is learning from your mistakes
And keeping an open mind.
Creativity is orange.
Orange is a light that breaks through problems.
It is a beacon of hope through the bars that you hold.
It lights the pathway you want to take.
Creativity opens millions of possibilities
Just waiting to be used.
Creativity is what gets through problems or dead ends.
I am helpfulness.
Helpfulness is gold.
Gold is a shining light.
Helpfulness is a torch in a black abyss.
Gold is the color of feelings deep.
Helpfulness is a light that guides you.
I am kindness.
Kindness is helping.
Kindness is friendship or a bird singing.
Kindness is giving.
Kindness is gold.
Kindness will help you;
Young, old, or a heart made of gold.
Gold is kindness.
Gold is valuable.
Gold is someone who feels the best.
Gold is helping and a crest.
Green is a tree in full bloom.
Friendliness is a vine connecting the two.
Green is a blade of grass
That stands out from everything else.
Friendliness is like a flower giving a bee pollen.
Green is a dot in a flower pot.
Friendliness is full of happiness and joy.
Courage is bright, courage is strong.
Courage is the good when the world has gone wrong.
Courage is red and a beautiful light,
Like the sun at sunrise becoming bright.
Courage is the fire that burns your soul,
Courage is the light in the darkest hole.
I am courage and courage is me.
I am consideration.
Consideration is the color blue.
Blue is gentle like water but powerful too.
Consideration is a kind and understanding virtue.
The color blue is like sky on ice.
Consideration is the squeak of mice.
Blue is the ruffle of a feather.
Consideration is a hug after bad weather.
Blue is always there, loving, living.
Consideration is there, kindness, giving.
I am joyfulness.
Joyfulness is the color yellow.
Yellow is the sun on the dragonfly’s wing,
Yellow is the rose, the first one of spring.
Joyfulness is gentle.
Joyfulness is strong.
Joyfulness is the only way to get along.
Yellow is the song that the whitest song sings
On the sunniest day of all.
I am confidence.
Confidence is the color green.
Green like the grass building up its
Confidence to grow.
Confidence is like a little bird trying to fledge.
Or a fish swimming upstream.
Green like moss on a piece of bark
Floating in the wind.
Slowly moving that green piece of bark.
I am forgiveness.
Lavender is the color of purple and white.
Lavender is sunset in the waning light.
Forgiveness is loving after hurt.
Lavender is a fancy lady’s skirt.
Forgiveness is forgetting what a friend has done.
Lavender is night after the setting sun.
Forgiveness is the sound of a singing song bird.
Lavender is the smell of a rainbow after rain.
Forgiveness is the sound of a chugging train.
Lavender is a color strong and wise.
Forgiveness is a feeling of infinite size.
Orange is a bright color;
So is generosity.
Orange is tree leaves in fall.
Orange is like the everyday number 2 pencil.
Orange is like the cat who sits on the porch
In the sunlight of morning.
Orange is like Andy’s shirt.
It is like the electricity that flows through us.
Neon orange is shiny color like a diamond
Popping out in a cave full of gold.
The shininess of it makes the color stand out.
Generosity is when I’m willing
To give something in return.
I will do that at school this year
By noticing others when they need help
I am trust.
Orange is the color of trust.
Orange is when the orange petals
Open up to the blazing sun.
While the orange leaves
Are falling next to the petals.
And trust is when your friend gives you a toy
That is made out of glass.
Your friend trusts you because you are truthful
But you might break it.
Trust feels like confidence because you have confidence
That the person will give it back to you.
Trust is orange because it is good
To trust the falling leaves.
I am trust.
Blue is the color of trust.
Blue, the sky of forging woods.
Trust is the belief friends tell the truth.
Trust is yourself telling the truth.
Blue is the color of a running river stopping fears.
Blue is the color of a forest of bluebell flowers.
Blue has the feeling of joy.
I am tolerance.
Green is the color of the breezy trees.
Green is the warm grass.
Tolerance is accepting your friends decisions.
Green is a frog hopping in the water.
Green is a lily pad on the floating water.
Tolerance is also when you don’t judge people.
I am commitment.
I am black.
Black like a strong black tiger.
I am black as night with no light.
I am truthful and loyal.
I am black like a bat or a top hat.
Commitment is determination.
Black is blank and beautiful.
Commitment is determination.
It feels hard because you can’t do anything else.
You have to finish.
Black is the color of strength.
It is a thick, hard color.
I am creativity.
Red is the color of creativity.
Red is the evening sky.
Creativity is the fresh fallen apple.
Red is the fox passing by.
Creativity is the mountains at sunrise.
Creativity is the root of all minds.