“I already know what her favorite color and animal. Pink is her favorite color, and flamingo is her favorite animal.” - Sylvie, 5.2 years
Is that true Reed? - Elyse
“Okay, so Sylvie was right on the animal. Pink is also my favorite color. Blue is my favorite color and purple.” - Reed, 5.0 years
Do you have a favorite kind of paper?
“Watercolor paper.” - Reed, 5.0 years
Do you like things that hang? Like our rainbow [in entryway].
“I don’t like rainbow things that hang down. I like those things that make babies go to sleep. They’re like hanging down.” - Reed
“It’s called a mobile.” - Sylvie, 5.2 years
“It has like little decorations on the bottom that sing songs. I like those thingies.” - Reed
At this point, Reed returned to the classroom and the committee began to brainstorm how to use this information.
As we always do, we sat down to draw our ideas [from memory] about the shapes, colors, and features of a flamingo.
"What's a draft?" - Audrey, 5.0 years
Throughout the classroom, and in all of our small and large group work, we have been discussing and exploring the idea of drafts/versions/prototypes. Frequently, the children express discouragement or concern when their first drawing (or creation in any language) is not what they want it to be on the first try. We want to build a culture of trying (again), exploring, learning, adding new details, or even returning to remove something we do not want in our final draft; it's all about the process.
The tray of materials that was presented for first drafts; wire and additional paper were added to the children's collection.
A new approach
For the next meeting, the atelier was set up with a few areas for working on flamingos. Adding complexity sparked additional enthusiasm and creative problem solving among the children. Each of them entered, observed the set up, and immediately made a plan for themselves.
Audrey and Jane chose drawing and watercolors as their first plan. They used photographs (as Sylvie suggested) as inspiration for their watercolor flamingos.
Sylvie chose wire, which had been part of her initial plan on the first day.
Jane quickly moved to the light table and Audrey decided to join her.
On the light table and off.
[left] Audrey, 5.0 years [right] Jane, 5.3 years
[below] Sharpie and watercolors.
Sylvie's wire flamingo (and photo she was referencing)
Putting it all together
"I thought we could make a pattern: flamingo, strip (of paper), flamingo, strip. Mobiles have like ten things on them. I think Reed is really going to love this mobile." - Sylvie, 5.2 years
"This is the best committee ever!" - Audrey, 5.0 years