Yesterday a group of children began making wire trees with Jen and Rachael. They were asked to develop their own strategies for making a stable, three-dimensional tree, and encouraged to use any additional materials they wanted. Some children began by thinking about the roots and creating a stable base. They experimented with paper, foam, and wood, borrowing ideas from each other and taking the work in different directions. The documentation from yesterday's exploration is linked here:
Will, who has been talking a lot about growth, clipped a piece of wire, held one on top of the other, and said "My tree is growing." Today, he was excited to show Lisa his tree. When she asked if his tree was going to grow branches, he enthusiastically said, "Yes." He quickly identified copper wire for the branches, bending a length into a "V" shape and trying to secure it to the trunk. He decided that wrapping a second length of wire cold help, but chose a stiff steel wire that was thin but nearly impossibly to wrap. The structure now looked very much like a tree, which was exciting, but how could he attach the branches? After a few attempts, Lisa encouraged him to try a more malleable wire for wrapping. It worked, and Will exclaimed, "I made a tree!" Then we ran out of time. But we are on to something and will continue tomorrow. The next challenge will be how to help the tree to stand. Could the branch structure give us clues about how roots may make the tree more stable?