"It’s time to show my work.
The mall is silent, except for Thelma the macaw, who is practicing her new phrase: 'Uh-Oh!'
Julia is finishing her homework. George is sweeping outside. Mack has gone home for the night.
I grab Not-Tag and carefully pull out the folded papers. So many paintings! Page after page. Piece after piece of my giant puzzle.
I pound on my glass and Julia glances over.
Fingers trembling. I hold up one of my paintings. It’s brown and green, a corner piece.
I display another picture, and then another and another and another, each one a tiny part of the whole.
Julia looks confused. 'But...what is it?' she asks. She shrugs. 'It doesn’t matter. It’s pretty just as it is.'
'Uh-oh,' says Thelma.
No, I think. No.
It does matter."
I want you to do an activity so that you can understand just how difficult it would be for Julia to understand Ivan’s message.
First you will paint a picture. Don’t get too attached to your painting, because I am going to cut it up into a bunch of pieces.
After your picture has dried, I am going to cut it up and put it in a bag. You will each take a bag containing “puzzle” pieces that are not yours, then you will try to put the pieces together and figure out what someone else was trying to show you. As difficult as this is, imagine how much harder this would have been for Julia to figure out-not knowing that she was being given pictures that were part of a whole that needed to be put together.
After completing the activity write about what it was like trying to put the pieces together. Include any thoughts that you might have on how Ivan’s plan could have been different to make it easier for Julia to figure out what he was trying to tell her. Do you think she will be able to figure it out?