As you know, animals have been a conversation among the children in the Brown Room lately (all year?). Elephants, zebras, giraffes, and lions have been a focus. With this in mind, we have been asking ourselves, what is it they know about these animals; what do they want to know?; how can we experience these animals?; what are they thinking about when they are talking about them?; and more. These questions led us to wonder about how we could bring these animals into the classroom, beyond our wooden/plastic animals, and since inviting an actual elephant/giraffe/lion/zebra into the classroom is not possible (or is it?), we chose projection.
We've invited the children into experiences with the projection before, and to be honest, the large images did not seem to hold their attention. Each instance (as noted in their conversation below) had exciting, rich, engaging moments, but the focus always seemed to be on other materials involved (e.g. wooden animals, blocks, etc.). Our conversation at today's morning meeting made it very clear that they were engaging with the projection, and they formulated clear memories about it. It was a great reminder to never underestimate what children are experiencing, hearing, internalizing, and processing.
"Do you remember anything we've shown on this white screen?" - Elyse and Melanie
"A deer." - Maxon
"An elephant." - Janie
"Pictures from outside." - Lochie **the first experience when we projected the photos he had taken of the sky**
"Oh, a book. That book." - Giacomo **we projected two or three images from Head to Toe**
"Oh, Head to Toe?" - Melanie
"A bear." - Maxon **during the first experience, Mason compared his bear to the bear's shadow**
"A lion." - Cedar
"My lion." - Janie
Yesterday, the children interacted both with the projection and other materials. The projection sparked many comments about what the elephants were doing, the body parts, and other animals that make appearances. There was dramatic play with elephant skin, trunks, and quite a few lions. Some of the children also built more animal houses to the side. **more to come about this later**
"Could we use the light table materials for an elephant?" - Elyse
"Maybe, we can try." - Audrey
"What could it be?" - Elyse
"Ear." - Audrey
"I have two ears." - Audrey
"But maybe him have big ear." - Audrey
"I need a long trunk. I'm gonna make a really long trunk." - Audrey
"I make an elephant in the water." - Audrey
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