To dig deeper into the thread of nuts, trees, and seeds, provocations were developed that gave the children more opportunities to investigate leaves. Each of the provocations focused on different learning concepts, whether it be at the light table or in the studio.
Examining Leaves At The Light Table
At the light table, the children found a variety of leaves alongside transparencies showing the different types of leaves that were represented in the collection. Some children matched the leaves and created their own "collections" of just one type, while others sorted the leaves by their attributes, including size, color and shape. The addition of magnifying glasses encouraged children to observe the leaves even more carefully.
Tracing Leaf Projections In the Studio
In the studio, the children examined leaves from a different perspective, with attentive eyes, paying attention to the intricate details of each leaf projection while tracing. Capturing the leaves with such detail required persistence on the part of each child. To support developing strength in the small muscles of the hands needed for precise movements such as writing, drawing, cutting and painting, the children first traced the perimeter of each leaf with larger sharpie and then moved onto the smaller details within each leaf, tracing with finer, felt-tip pens. As the children conversed with one another during tracing, they talked about not only the types of leaves that they had chosen, but also the parts of their leaves, showing an understanding of domain specific vocabulary.
Charlton first looked at the Gingko leaf and then opted for another type: I want to change the leaf. The maple leaf. My favorite leaf.
Seon: Let me look closer, because I can’t see the little bits. Oooh…It looks like the gingko leaf. I drew the lines of the Ginkgo leaf..the veins...When we draw the leaf, we can see what kind of leaf it is.
Bringing Life to Our Tracings with Watercolors
We returned to our tracing another day and used an additional material to add to our work, watercolors. While using watercolors at the easel, some children began to notice how the force of gravity worked on the paint and others noticed how colors could blend or "be neighbors" not touching as we had talked about earlier.
Ava: I painted with this color and all these things. I traced leaves.
Cal noticing a drip going down the paper: It’s like a stream of water going all the way down. It’s going dripping down. It gonna go all the way down.
Bailee and Ford painted their leaves at the ease side by side. They both began painting by filling in the segments of the leaves between the veins in their tracings. While Bailee focused on keeping her colors from touching, Ford blended the edges.
Elsewhere in the Rainey Room
The creativity isn't confined to the studio. The children been creating intricate designs and amazing structures in the construction area.
Charlton: My house.
Louisa: My horse farm. My special farm.
Isabelle's design which she made using string as an outline first, then lining up "butter stick" blocks inside the circle.
In the outdoor classroom, working together to move larger building materials has been a big part of our days as well this week.