These are the documentation pieces of mixed ages 3 and 4 year old in a Pre-K classroom.
Children experiment with different tools to paint with primary colors. The versatile tools allowed their creativity to blossom while their environment guided them into what was available to them.
In the quest to understand how secondary colors are made, children used their inquiry and background knowledge to work in a backward design scenario in order to verify their theories.
"Children need the freedom to appreciate the infinite resources of their hands, their eyes, and their ears, the resources of FORMS, MATERIALS, SOUNDS, and COLOURS”
In the development of this interface, a research study found three mechanisms as the by-product of coloring mandalas: distraction, structuring and centering. These bring therapeutic moments where children can maintain their attention in a state of self-awareness and control.
INQUIRY INTO LIGHT
In the use of this tool, children have the opportunity to explore and understand through their curiosity and manipulation of the projector, that light uses a device (the mirror) that moves the shapes onto the wall. The children enjoy using animals to tell stories as they build environments.
Following the children’s inquiry about how to make color gray, we introduced the children to color black as they noticed that these two are the opposite of each other and we need a dark canvas for the white to be noticed.
When children become risk-takers and have the initiative to transcend a project, there is agency and student-led action. Other children follow and we have a group of individuals working towards a common goal. Dialogue, negotiation, kindness, and patience suddenly envolve into perspective, and we have a social process which culminates in beautiful artwork.
PAINTING WITH NATURE
When the environment becomes a third teacher, the playground is brought into the Atelier, and agency drives children's discoveries and experiential learning that happens in collective and kind ways.
When one of our parents brought two huge pumpkins from his farm, we decided to extend an invitation for the children to explore this squash plant. An observational drawing was provoked following different ways to paint it and represent its texture.
After discovering the characteristics of pumpkins, and watching the changing leaves in the playground, the children were able to make their environment a new atelier, or as Malaguzzi would say, "their third teacher". Children culminated this extense experiential learning process by building their own Autumn environment represented in collage and mixed media.
IMAGINATION IN GREEN
Children make stories as they use the items around them. Their imagination is the comfort zone that allows space and wonders for their personal interests. Children use colors usually to illustrate, experience the magic of print, and sometimes to create magic potions or soups that can turn into something else.
A leaf and a stick become tools to invent a toy in the playground. The creation was taken back into the Atelier to develop a backward design, and intuitively explore measurement while illustrating a 2-dimensional expression of this new playful device.
Early literacy starts with read alouds that connect to the children's experiences as they start to develop connections to self, the world, and other texts. This starts to foster empathy and imagination while children find a strong bond to the characters based on their personal interests. In this story, the child has a strong passion for elephants and he was able to take this into different languages.
Observational drawings are a versatile technique empowering children to develop confidence in the way print works on paper while fostering agency in what they choose to represent.
A child finds his own style as he explores print, simultaneously with other languages to show representations of his big interests: airplanes, engineering, and sea animals. In the work the child does, we are able to see the pattern in stroke and form.
After exploring the way the projector works and different things are viewed onto the wall, a child strives to project his drawings using the projector as media. In this quest, he is able to discover other resources needed, in order to see the environment he is creating for the animals that are part of different collective stories that happen daily.
FROM 2D TO 3D WORK
In the exploration of color blue with paint and collage, one child decides to challenge himself and turn 2-dimensional panting into a literacy 3-dimensional structure that will represent him in all dimensions. This was a powerful experiential moment where a child intuitively found another language to express his way of thinking.