She is also struck by the way Reeny is able to interact with those around her (Paley, 23). She is extremely creative and enjoys amusing her fellow students with songs and funny stories. It was through Reeny that we get to learn of a character called Leo Lionni. Paley then later decides to make Leo Lionni a central figure in her class since the children are all aware of him. Reeny is well versed with Leo Lionni and is chosen to help the class understand and relate to Leo Lionni. The children even try out arguing virtues as well as flaws of Lionni’s conceptions and the many variant themes he elicits in these stories. The children are also encouraged to read other books and find characters to relate to which they later act out. The children find fun in trying to sketch and make posters of their favorite characters (Paley 23).
Apart from focusing on characters, Paley helps the children understand the significance of establishing formal relations and learning to diversify and fit in different situations (Paley 23). The attitude Paley develops in children helps them accept each other in class regardless of their ethnic differences (Paley 23). Through Lionni’s books, the children pick out characters like Mr. McMouse and Frederick whom they try to impersonate. Reeny for instance likes Frederick who she says likes colors just like her.
The story of the “Girl with the brown crayon” is projected to be a straightforward story showing the teacher-student relationship and how it helps intertwine different themes regarding race, identity and gender and the essentiality of creating a sense of belonging (Paley 23). She develops the character of Reeny so well that she makes the essence of school and becomes a common point of reference in a classroom set up (Paley 23). Paley is a masterly example of an excellent teacher as she is able to interact well with the children. She understands the capabilities and needs of her students and works with the knowledge ...
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