In preparing for our Thanksgiving feast next week, we have been working on creating soup bowls and place cards to personalize our special table setting.
Last week, we introduced a variety of loose parts to explore as the first step in our place card making process. Many children are familiar with the concept of a place card because they are used during KW lunches.
When exploring the materials to create an arrangement for the individual place cards, we decided that it could be beneficial to initially explore the loose parts without an adhesive present. Therefore, children could more easily arrange, adjust, and alter without an expectation of creating something "permanent". Even though the concept of collage and creating arrangements is not unfamiliar to the class, we often feel that it is beneficial to offer "introductory explorations" when reintroducing a concept or material after a significant amount of time has passed. Although making collages often happens in our message center area, this is the first time this school year that the technique of collage has been used intentionally to create something for the classroom - place cards!
Here are some of the initial arrangements created during our exploration of the new materials.
Later, we included glue with the materials with the expectation that children would collage a personal place card. Some children used photos of their initial arrangement as inspiration for their place card work, but others chose to create something completely different based off of a new idea.
Frannie also had the intention of using her first arrangement as inspiration for her place card work, but she made an interesting observation while arranging some new materials on her base. As she rotated the entire base 180 degrees, she saw a clear image of a dog, not a person! She named her dog "Pinky" and continued to add details to the dog's face including eyes, a nose, a mouth, ears, and "rainbows" using markers and oil pastels to draw on and around the face of the dog.
As she began to use pink markers to draw around her arrangement she exclaimed, "Pinkness! I wanted it to be pinky. Pinky is it's name! Pinky's soooooo cute! I will make the collar purple."
At different points in time Frannie revisited "Pinky" and added more color and small details to her arrangement until she was satisfied with the outcome. "I need to make Pinky beautiful. Like rainbows! Pinky needs some sparkles (placing shiny beads on the "cheeks"). Now she's crystal girl!"
Hugh decided that he would create his own version of a "Thanksgiving table" as his place card arrangement.
"This is a card, like my place card, but it's an arrangement of the table. It's for the Thanksgiving table because we're eating at a table. So I'll put some bowls and some place cards. Those large pieces are just to decorate it like on the table. We usually decorate our table with like a cover. A beautiful cover to decorate the whole table (a tablecloth). And I did a 'H' for my name."
Hugh chose specific beads to both represent the "soup bowls" and the "place cards" that are placed next to the bowls. The soup bowl beads are facing up with the hole exposed (to look more like a bowl) and most of the place card beads are turned on their sides. Hugh then sorted through our bead collection to choose tiny beads that could fit inside of his soup bowl beads to represent the soup inside! The large oblong glass beads are table decorations. Hugh was extremely intentional in his sorting/classifying process while arranging his materials.
This process took a lot of focused concentration, fine motor, and sequencing skills.
Saul was inspired by other children's "face" / "self-portrait" arranging and decided that he too would like to create a place card that represented himself.
Saul observed himself in the mirror several times and concluded that he would like to represent himself by creating eyes, eyebrows, hair, a nose, a mouth (filled with food inside), and freckles. When describing his work, Saul couldn't remember the exact word for "freckle", but referenced a conversation that we had as a class about freckles, moles, and birthmarks a couple weeks prior. He said, "It's those things that your earring goes through! Behind your earring". Saul remembered that I (Sam) had explained to the children that I had freckles on different parts of my body (including my ears) and that my earring actually goes right through one of my freckles!
Here are the remaining Thanksgiving place card collages created by others.
While some are inspired by others, each is unique and speaks to the personality of the child who created the collage.
We cannot wait to see how they all look arranged at our very special Thanksgiving table setting next to our personalized soup bowls!