Introduction to this Stone Soup Art Activity

This picture is from New Zealand. Brett Penman, age 10, shows us what it feels like to play soccer when the ball is moving fast and both teams are on the run. To get across the tension, speed, and emotional feelings of being on the field playing a hard game, Brett depicts the players as big, bold, and wild. The boldness of the picture matches the boldness of the game.

Project: An Exciting Moment

Most pictures of sports show athletes from the point of view of the spectators—the people standing outside watching. For a change, make a picture, like this soccer picture, that shows what it feels like to be involved in an athletic activity at an exciting and challenging moment.

In baseball, this moment might be when you jump up to catch a fly ball; in jumprope you are doing doubles and the count is 85; in hopscotch you are on one foot reaching for a rock that is almost too far away and you are doing everything you can to keep your balance.

When making your picture, make strong shapes, show bodies stretched and distorted in unusual ways. Don’t be afraid to show the world upside down from the point of view of a person who has fallen down and is winded or from the viewpoint of a person turning cartwheels. Make your picture as exciting as the sports event you are depicting.

From the September/October 1985 issue of Stone Soup

A Soccer Game

Soccer game, by Brett Penman, 10, New Zealand


About the Author

In 1973, I was twenty years old, teaching children's art classes at my college, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and came up with the idea that the best way to encourage children to write was to introduce them to the best writing by their peers. Stone Soup grew out of that idea, and I have continued to publish Stone Soup for all these years.
I am also a culinary historian. I write about traditional foodways. My book, "The Magic of Fire," is about hearth cooking. My book, "Bread, a global history," speaks for itself. I am currently writing a bread history for a University Press. I publish articles on gardening and traditional foodways at Mother Earth News. I also publish on wild mushrooms and other food-related subjects.

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