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Steenrod Kindergarten gets an art lesson

Photo by Joselyn King Author/illustrator David Parri discusses art with students in Jenn Schmidt’s kindergarten class at Steenrod Elementary School on Wednesday.

WHEELING — Sometimes art can get a little messy, but kindergarten students kind of like that.

Students at Steenrod Elementary School on Wednesday had their second visit from writer/illustrator David Parri of Wheeling, author of the book “Messy Larry.”

The students didn’t know it, but most days Parri can be found at the federal building in Wheeling serving as an assistant U.S. attorney.

He said during his first visit to the school to talk about his book, one of the students asked him “the best question.” The student inquired as to what materials Parri used to create the artwork in his book.

This prompted Parri to return to provide an art lesson for the students.

He brought with him sidewalk chalk, pastel chalk, the regular No. 2 pencils used by the students and charcoal pencils.

“And who knows what these are?” Parri asked, holding up crayons. All hands went in the air.

He next asked them if they knew what the word “compare” meant. He said he was going to have them compare the art tools to see their differences.

Stations were set up where students took turns choosing chalk, pencils and crayons to draw a rainbow.

Parri asked them after they had drawn the rainbow to take their finger and smear it. They could see the difference in the softness of the materials.

“Just be careful not to get anything on your face,” he told the students. You don’t want to be like ‘Messy Larry.'”

“Messy Larry” is about a young boy who loves art and wants to create art, but whose messiness keeps getting in the way.

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