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Asking the Children to Tear Up Their Work

June 8, 2022 | Nathan Johnson

Way back in the Fall, the children experimented with color combinations in paint, creating a beautiful color combinations…

We used these masterpieces to create a beautiful color wall.  Other artists – even big kids –  have referred to all year to help them remember how to mix colors.

But we have so many left over sheets of color! What did we do with them? 

We asked them to rip them up! 

The children ripped up their beautiful paintings, making scrap piles of our beautiful colors. The children were not hesitant to rip up their work, in fact they did so gleefully!

What should we do with our scraps? We looked for inspiration — Then the children noticed that their drawings were all of flowers. Could we do the same thing with paper?

Here is the answer!

When we asked the children where in the classroom we should display their work, they were insistent that we put it up in the hallway for everyone to see. We found perfect spot — in the welcome display!

Here are some other places that flowers are popping up in our classroom…


Block gardens!

Flower mosaics!

The Trees Class is surrounding themselves with Springtime in so many ways.

Nathan Johnson

Early Childhood & Lower School Visual Art Teacher

Nathan Johnson graduated in 2004 from Lenoir-Rhyne University with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts (focusing on Illustration, Art History, and Puppetry), Theatre, and Elementary Education, followed by further time in Europe studying Art, and in Nova Scotia working with adults with developmental differences.

Happily back at his Alma mater (MSS class of 1995) Nathan has passionately committed his career to preserving the dignity and wonder of childhood. As children are more and more burdened with technology and privilege, he believes that in order for children to learn and grow, they must be given freedom within structure, choices with guidance, allowed to play, struggle, get dirty, and above all, to be taught that they are a beloved child of God.

When not in the classroom, Nathan can be found kayaking, camping, hosting a game night, wandering around New York City, making friends with strangers, and spending time with his 11 nieces and nephews.

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