A few weeks ago, we invited "dinosaur experts" from Rainey Room to join us for a Q&A session in the outdoor classroom. We've been thinking about ways that we could say thank you to our experts and today, we started working on some of our thank you gifts. With each group, we started with the prompt, what could we make to say thank you to the Rainey Room dinosaur experts?
Karen: Today, we are going to be using clay. What do you notice about the clay that we’re using today?
Ellie: It’s different, because it’s different.
Ramsey: It’s brown.
Ellie: It’s brown and silky.
Ramsey: It’s even cold. It’s some little ones (looking at the big block of clay and the smaller chunks next to it).
Ragnar touched the clay and wondered, "Why is this not dry yet?"
Ford pounded the clay flat then rolled it out even more, "Hot dog!" Next he flattened the "hot dog" and then grabbed small pieces of clay from the large block and added it to his flattened piece. Ford explained, "It’s a nest for the dinosaurs."
Working with clay in the studio gives us a chance to work cooperatively with our friends.
Louisa: I make a worm. I make another worm. I make another worm. I made a big worm. I make another snake. Louisa began counting her snakes, touching each as she did: 1, 2, 3, 4,....6, 7, 8. And I make another snake.
Emma: I make a snake.
Louisa: I'm still making snakes. I want to make alot! I making snakes.
Emma: I make a lizard, too.
Karen: Emma, would you like to move over here where there is more room?
Emma: I’m using this space here.
Louisa: I’m making a ball for the snake. (Louisa rolled a ball out of the clay).
Emma: I’m making a pink snake.
Emma handed Louisa some clay: We are switching (trading)!
Emma picked up one of Louisa “snakes” and added it to the pile of clay in front of her. Louisa noticed and matter of factly commented: I don't care, I can make another snake.
Emma: I’m making a dinosaur birthday cake.
Karen: How old is the dinosaur going to be, Emma?
Emma: A baby.
Emma picked up a new block of clay from the smaller table and brought it to Ford: I just picked some new clay up for you (Ford).
As they worked alongside each other in the studio, Louisa and Ellie broke into song with the tune of "Here We Go Digging for Dinosaur Bones," which we had sung during morning meeting.
Rawls entered the studio and pulled some small pieces of clay from a bigger block on the table.
Rawls: Them for Charlton and Ford. I did some for Charlton and Ford.
We also have a chance to learn from our friends while we're working in the studio. As Rawls looked at the “snakes” that Louisa had made, he began to roll his own coils. He looked back at Louisa’s “snakes" and commented, “Those the same as mine.”
Rawls: I make 2…2…snakes out of metal and 2…2 snakes out of plastic.
Isabelle and Seon entered the studio and worked together to bring a large chunk of clay to the studio table. Seon rolled a ball of clay: Look. A ball.
Then she flattened it with her hand bit by bit: Smaller, smaller, smaller.
Footprints in the Clay
As the children worked with clay, we continued to talk about how we were going to make some gifts for our friends in Rainey Room. For their "Rainey Room gifts" Charlton, Ford and Ramsey all chose to make "dinosaur footprints."
Ramsey: I’m going to make a walkway. To our house because our walkway has some bricks. Ramsey began to poke his finger into his clay piece: Look at my footprint. A T-rex. These are all the footprints.
Charlton: I’m making dinosaur footprints. Can I get a dinosaur from dinosaur world? Charlton went to the dinosaur shelf and brought back a T-rex.
Ford: I'm making more dinosaur footprints.