Our first step was to set up the wire without the beads, sequins, and other small materials that can be threaded onto the wire. The goal was to encourage a slower process of observing and experimenting with the different gauges of wire -- which ones is more pliable? What kind of wire is it (aluminum, steel, copper, etc.)?
There were a few types of wire, different gauges, wire cutters, and pliers. We also set up the book Alexander Calder: The Paris Years . We thought that the work inside the book would provide inspiration. There are photos of wire portraits, wire animals, interesting shapes, and wire human forms.
The children quickly discovered that the pliers require a lot of strength and perseverance.
Giacomo was also the first one to compare the wire on our table to the wire in the book. He suggested that we could match the wire to the book in order to choose the shapes they wanted to make.
Nearby, Lochie began working on a chain made from 14 gauge aluminum wire. He had been exploring a chain that was on the other side of the table with some small metal machines. He sat for long periods, over the course of two days and worked to add links to his chain. His patience and fine motor strength were on display.
There was quite a bit of collaboration happening at the table. Maxon was showing Lochie how he was twisting the wire together, and Lochie was giving advice on how to use the pliers to twist it tighter.
Nora shaped her wire into a ginko leaf, and then collaborated with me and CC to figure out how to get a stem on it using the pliers.
Meanwhile, that project in the black and white area...
The original challenge was for the structure to be taller than Melanie, but Nora and Sylvie drew quite the elaborate design for their structure, and this caught Giacomo's eye and lured him away from the wire and into the black and white area to help them with their work.
Giacomo, Nora, and Maxon considering how the plan corresponds with materials in the black and white areas.
Drawing the realized structure
Night Home Research Small Group
Thank you all SO much for sending in all of the home research about night. We have received some fabulous photos and works of art. After we had some incredibly thoughtful and joyful small groups with summer memories boxes, we decided to approach home research in the same way. Just as we did with summer memories boxes, we had four children gathered with their own photographs. The goal was to have a conversation with the children's photographs, drawings, and collages spread out in front of them. We wanted them to share their thoughts about night and more specifically how they decided to capture it. They looked at each other's work, asked questions, dialogued about how the sunset creates darkness, and more. Below you will find a portion of dialogue from our first small group which included Reed, CC, Maxon, and Jack. The entire dialogue will be printed and hung with our documentation (which you'll have the chance to see very soon).
“It’s not the sunset.” - CC
“This is the sunset (can’t see the round sun), but this is not the sunset (can see the round sun).” - Reed
“It’s the sunrise.” - Jack
“No, it isn’t. It’s the sunrise coming out, like...no, it’s the sun coming down, and the sunrise rising up.” - Reed
Is this a photo of when the sun is setting or when it’s rising? - Elyse
“When it’s setting.” - Reed
Is this another sunset or the same day? - Elyse
How is the sunset related to night?
“It makes it get darker.” - Maxon
Do you guys agree with that?
“No, because the sunset is light. If the sunset was darker, it would make the sky darker. That doesn’t make sense.” - CC
“But when the light goes down. When it gets downer, the light doesn’t get more lighter. It makes it get darker.” - Maxon
“How does light make it get darker.” CC
“Because when it starts to go down, it’s not that bright. In the morning, it gets brighter.” - Maxon (moving his body and hand to demonstrate)
CC is shaking her head…
So, Maxon is saying that when the sun goes up…
“There’s more light.” - Jack
When the sun goes down…
“There’s less light. And it can also turn dusk. It’s a mix. It’s light and dark together.” - Jack
We had a debate on our hands, and soon I hope to share the video of this with you all.
Based on their conversation, I asked them to think about the progression of the sun based on their photographs and work.
Is this the order it would go in for the sun? Where is it the lightest? Where is it the darkest?
“These kind of match.” - CC looking at two of Reed’s photos
Would the sunset go before the night sky or after the night sky?
“First.” - CC and Reed
CC starts to order them.
“It goes sunset, darker, darker…” - CC
Reed starts to move her finger down the progression…
“Darker...darker...darker...darker...darker…[reaches CCs day drawing]...lighter.” - Reed
Maxon has a photo of the moon in the morning, where would it go in our progression?
“Right here!” - Reed puts it after CCs day portion of her drawing
“It would go right there [before CCs night sky] because that’s the moon, and that’s where the moon was in Maxon’s home or the car, and this is where CC drawed it at home.” - Reed
If this is night sky, and this is the night sky, would we keep it in between?
“No, because this has to be the night sky right here. Then it’s morning.” - Reed
“Morning, it can go right here because morning and morning.” - CC
“Yeah! Morning and morning.” - Reed ( puts it after CCs day/morning drawing)
The progression as they agreed upon at the end of our conversation.