Left or Right?

Have you seen the new Mercedes-Benz advertisements?  They are right up and art teacher’s alley and I think they are pretty genius, (even though I am a Volkswagen girl).  These ads evoke thought and creativity through exploring the right and left brain through painting (shown below), music and other disciplines. Click here to see them all.

When I teach Betty Edward’s drawing exercises to 5th grade students I talk with them about Right and Left brain. These ads would be a great way for me to introduce them to the concepts in a fun and visual way. I talk to the students about how much of our school day is spent exercising our left brains… but when do we practice and exercise our right? In art class!  When they say “this is hard!” I remind them- How can you get good at something without practice? Don’t’ forget…

We need to practice being creative.

Practice seeing the world in a new way.

Practice getting out of our logic and into our dreams.

At least for 45 minutes a week.

What if you did more, I ask them? What if you gave as much energy, practice and effort to your right side as you do your left? What could you accomplish? Where would you be? What might you discover you are great at?

I always joke that I am the perfect middle between right and left brain. My left brain keeps me grounded, organized and logical in situations. My right brain knows what lies deep within. It knows my passion and drive and it knows the creative ideas that just pop into my head without even trying.  It’s so fascinating and if students could only tap into their strengths and embrace them, think of what they could accomplish.

Are you left, right or somewhere in between?

How can this help our students to better understand themselves?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is AOEU’s Founder and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.

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