Seon's 4th Birthday Celebration
When the birthday committee convened to begin talking about how we could celebrate Seon’s birthday the children had a lot of ideas. Seon often shares about her love of outer space as well, so it was no surprise that the conversation eventually turned to that topic. Karen posed a question: "Seon’s birthday is coming up so we are going to work together on her birthday committee. The first thing that we need to do is to find out what she’s interested in. Let’s think about questions that we could ask her." The children were deep in thought, possibly thinking about previous birthday committees.
Rawls: A fishing rod, because it was my birthday.
Ava: Dinosaurs for Ellie.
Rawls: For Seon, A Barbie dream doll. A Barbie House.
Seon: I like science.
Fay: Coco (her sister) does science sometimes at school.
Seon: I have a special books at home. So many...books. So many kinds of things. I got science books.
Ava: How about we make a book with glue attached? It would be a bookcase. It could hold her books.
Seon: I got space in my books.
Ava: (laughs) There’s no space in books! Nothing about space!
Seon: No, sometimes space is in a book. Planets are too many. We need to think about it.
Ava: Seon, what’s your favorite planet?
Seon: Saturn, Earth and Mars because they’re so cool, because the Mars Rover is on my shirt too. Earth because I live there.
Karen: Now, if we are going to make a planet, what are some materials that we would need?
Seon: Yes. They will need some things that are round.
Ava: We might need something green and squishy.
Fay: The round goes around a ball and a donut hole in the middle and they put stuff
over the top.
Weaving the Water and The Land
The birthday committee gathered in the atelier to revisit Seon’s interview and to begin the work on her gift. Ava, Fay and Rawls recalled that Seon has an interest in planets.
Fay: Oh, a globe!
Ava picked up a piece of ribbon: How about these materials?
All different ribbons.
Showing patience and great perseverance, the children of the birthday committee problem-solved collaboratively as they worked to weave ribbon into a chicken wire frame. Sometimes they needed to cut the ribbon to make it fit. Other times they needed to fold it or tuck it in and then pull it back through the chicken wire.
Ava: Sometimes. It goes into not the right place, but then you got to try again.
Fay: It’s maybe a magic ribbon (because it’s talking). I see some more (loose ends) here.
Ava: It needs a little tuck here.
Rawls cut the ribbon to the length that he wanted: Too long. Clip, clip, cut, cut.
Fay chose a blue ribbon and began stuffing the ribbon through the chicken wire holes: I think we need to tuck it (loose end of ribbon) in.
Rawls: We need to do teamwork. We do it, build it all together. Teamwork makes the dream work. Can you (Ava) help me scissor (cut) it?
As they worked, the members of the birthday committee stopped to observe their creation, then returned to it, making adjustments and additions; analyzing their progress as they went and thinking critically about their next steps. They wanted their "globe" for Seon to look just like the one in the Rainey Room.
Ava: Need lots more green.
Fay pointed to the globe and then looked back: A lot of blue (on the globe) and only a little bit of green.
Ava: I think we’re almost done, so I’ll take this little one. I don’t think this one will tuck in very much more. This one is just flopping. (The ribbon) It's saying “don’t put me in.”
Adding Another Dimension to the Globe
After sufficiently weaving blue and green ribbons into chicken wire, the children used hot glue to attach more materials to Seon's globe. The collection of materials were varied.
Karen: What could the green on the globe be?
Ava: Trees. Tree and leaves.
Fay: Grass. But, blue is water. The ocean water.
Rawls pick up a blue tile: This will be the see water.
Rawls: You mean those have glue in them?
Ava: We need to wait for the glue to stick. 5 days.
Fay: It’s not sticking because some of the glue dried, so I have to put more (glue). It dried quickly.
Karen: What do you think Seon will think about her globe gift?
Rawls looked at the gift and then pointed to the globe on the table: I think she will think it is similar to this globe.
Seon's Birthday Celebration
For Seon's Birthday celebration, the children were treated to one of Seon's favorite treats, crunchy Korean honey twists and pears. Her mom, Jinmyung, shared one of Seon's favorite storybooks, Tiny T-Rex and the Impossible Hug, a tale that is much beloved by all the children. After the children sang "If It's Your Birthday and You Know It," Seon circled the birthday candle 4 times to signify her 4 turns around the sun. The celebration concluded when Ava, Fay and Rawls presented Seon with her gift, her very own planet Earth.
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