As with all our birthday committees, we began the process with an interview of the birthday child during our morning meeting...
Bea: What is her favorite colors?
Wilder: What’s your favorite color and what’s your favorite animal?
Daniel: I know her favorite color is blue!
Bea: Jade, is your favorite color blue?
Jade shaking her head.
Luke: I thought it was.
Daniel: Pink? Purple?
Bea: Was it black?
Jade shaking her head
Sam: That’s a great guess, Bea, because I remember in the very beginning of the year Jade did tell that she liked the color black but maybe she changed her mind. Jade, do you have a favorite color?
Finlay: What’s your favorite thing to do at home?
Jade: I don’t have a favorite thing to do at home.
Luke: Just play?
Ines: I remember this morning you told me that you have new things at home that you are excited to play with at home. Do you want to tell us more about them?
Jade: I will play with them tomorrow.
Luke: Her have a grocery store.
Jade: I have dinosaurs.
Sam: Do you have a favorite type of dinosaur?
Jade, nodding: A brontosaurus.
Daniel: A brontosaurus is the biggest animal, bigger than a T-Rex. His back is not very long but his neck is longer than the T-Rex’s neck.
Jade: I like to play with them.
Bea: If we could paint a one or we could draw one. Of a dinosaur.
Finlay: Maybe we could at the light table we could make a dinosaur.
Sam: Jade shook her head yes maybe that’s a good idea. What color would you like a brontosaurus to be if you could pick a color?
Daniel: They’re supposed to be blue.
Luke: Grey! Grey, grey, grey.
Finlay: So we can make a brown one.
Wilder: My uncle that is already at my house is really good at drawing and I think my uncle can even draw a brontosaurus for you.
Bea: But we could also make glue one. A glue one.
Sam: Do you have an area you like to spend time in
in the classroom?
Ines: What do you like to do in the construction area?
Jade: Building. Build a house. A house for animals.
Bea: Like for your favorite animal.
Daniel: A house for animals is made out of wood.
Jade: A shark!
Finlay: I have a idea! We could build a swimming pool in the house and it can swim around and they can have a house in the house which is a swimming pool.
Daniel: We can cut it out of the paper
The birthday committee, Hugh, Remy and Luke, reflected on the information we had just gathered during our morning meeting conversation with Jade in order to make a plan for our birthday committee work in the upcoming days.
Hugh: Sharks and dinosaurs… we can make a picture of a land with a sea, like a beach.
Remy: With a shark inside the ocean.
Hugh: And a dinosaur out of the ocean. You know there can be dinosaurs actually in the ocean, that live in the ocean?
Ines: Do brontosauruses live on land or in the water?
Luke: In the water. Some of them.
Hugh: Well, they drink from the water. They stand in the water sometimes.
We used the computer and google as a research tool to gather more information about brontosauruses. While looking at images we made the following observations and connections to personal past experiences;
Luke: They have long long long necks and tail.
Hugh: That’s a gigantic one.
Luke, pointing to the image of a dinosaur skeleton: Them can be different sizes. That looks like a silly mouth. It looks like a big mouth. I see the bone!
Ines: Yes, that’s an image of a skeleton of a brontosaurus.
Hugh: That’s a fossil actually.
Luke: Maybe we can go there.
Ines: It looks like it’s in a museum.
Hugh: I went to a museum with my daddy before.
Remy: I went to a museum, but it was fancy.
Hugh: I went to a museum before with my dad and we saw a lot of cool dinosaur skeletons but you know, the butterflies one, that Elle have gone to in this classroom. We went to that one and the butterfly thing was closed, we couldn’t go in it. But there were very cool dinosaur bones.
Ines: Do you think Jade would be interested in this as well? Should we ask her?
Luke: I’m gonna ask her now.
We invited Jade to join us in the middle room and asked her; We were looking at images of brontosauruses and we also found this image of a brontosaurus skeleton. We were wondering which kind do you like?
Jade: The skeleton. I like the bones on it.
Luke: I know that already.
Hugh: Because they’re cool.
Luke: Thank you Jade! Now, go back!
... because of course the birthday committee wants to keep their work a secret to surprise Jade :)
After Jade expressed her interest in skeletons and bones, we decided to create a brontosaurus skeleton for her birthday portrait. How can we create a dinosaur skeleton?
Remy: I know what, black paper and put white crayon. That’s how you make a skeleton. Because white works on black paper.
Luke: I have a good idea. Maybe we can draw a color and then put bones inside.
Ines: Where would we get the bones from?
Luke: Maybe from a brontosaurus outside.
Ines: Can we easily find a brontosaurus outside?
Hugh: No. And only really archseptors (Archeologists) and scientists can find bones. Nobody else can find bones. I have an idea. We could get white paper and brown to look like, and then we could get brown crayons and draw a fossil of a dinosaur so it looks like it’s actually in a museum. They turn brown because they've been in the ground for so long.
Connecting Jade's interest in creating houses in construction area with our idea of a skeleton of her favorite dinosaur, we decided to build a museum with large blocks to fit the skeleton and Jade.
Ines: Where would Jade be in the photo?
Hugh: Inside the structure. (Inside the museum) But how would we make a museum?
Remy: Build one from construction area.
Hugh: But how? That’s what I’m saying, like how? Because the construction area blocks are so small, so you can’t fit inside it.
We searched for other options and found large wooden building blocks in the middle room, which we will bring into the Rainey Room for our construction project later this week.
a dusty brontosaurus skeleton
The idea of a brontosaurus skeleton brought up questions about bones in general, how do they connect, what kind of bones are there, ... So we decided to begin our work by investigating Jen's special collection of bones, which she had found in a park close to her home over the years. Investigations, especially in small group settings, provide a great opportunity for children to learn visually, auditorily, kinesthetically, and socially. Exploring the properties and characteristics of the different bones together in a small group provokes further questions and provides an opportunity for the children to develop and test their questions and hypothesis as well as to reflect on their findings and ideas.
One way we investigate is through documenting our observations. Intentional drawing deepens our relationship with the object and strengthens our focus and attention to detail. We drew a variety of bones we thought we could use to create our brontosaurus skeleton.
I cut a tailbone! - Luke
*Remy places her drawing of a "rib bone" on the back of the dinosaur*
On the side because your ribs are on the side. - Remy
*Hugh draws short lines between the different kinds of bones*
It's supposed to connect the bones. - Hugh
It looks good! Like a neck!
- Luke complimenting Hugh's placement of the vertebrae drawing
We decided to use oil pastels to color the dinosaur skeleton because of its blending qualities that create a smooth and slightly "dusty" appearance.
So it looks dusty and stuff because dinosaur bones are dusty actually. It looks like it's still in the ground and it's still changing color. And also leave on the little sprinkles so it looks dusty. - Hugh
a shark in the deep ocean
I think yellow and blue could make a shark color. - Remy
We need another spring (squirting paint directly onto the surface) in this ocean. Our ocean is gonna be turqouish pretty. - Hugh
Where will the shark be?
Do it on the black part because that's the deep part. And this is the shallow part (opposite end). Sharks live in the deep part. - Hugh
Since we needed two identical fabric pieces, we first created a paper stencil by drawing a shark and then cutting it out. We traced the stencil two times on the piece of fabric. After cutting out the two pieces we placed the matching pieces on top of each other before sewing the edges together.
Wow! A cool shark! - Remy
To be able to add the filling material, we left a two inch opening, which we closed up after we were filled out the shape. It is important to not overfill the shark "because it will break!" - Luke, pointing to the stitches.
This just feels like snow. - Hugh
And this does look like real stuffing. - Remy
This feels like stuffing for blue bear (his lovie). It's so soft. Blue bear's stuffing is just like this. Is this actually stuffing, real stuffing? - Hugh
Once we decided on our final choice (image on the right) we adjusted the temperature as well as the saturation of the image.
"I like it hot. No, actually cold because look, the ocean is blue and the sides are blue and the floor is blue, so that's what I like about it. (Jade would like) The same thing!" - Hugh
*adjusting the temperature to cold, in order to enhance the blue tones in the photo
We also adjusted the saturation of the image to bring more focus to the brown colors of the dinosaur skeleton.