A Birthday Committee for Luke
What color do you like? - Remy
Blue and green. - Luke
What is your favorite animal? - Bea
A dinosaur of course. T. rex and Spinosaurus. I have those two at my house. It’s a pretty big one. - Luke
What’s your baby’s favorite animal? - Wilder
Not my question! That’s not my question, right? He does like dinos... - Luke (that question is not about himself)
What kind of house do you have? - Michael
White house. - Luke
Daniel, do you have a question? - Luke
What favorite animal besides dinosaurs do you like? - Daniel
A giraffe. - Luke
Lukey, I’ve heard you say that you like T. rexes, Spinosaurus, and giraffes. Would you like any of those to be included in your birthday portrait? - Sam
Yes. And I want me to ride on that giraffe. - Luke
Why do you like dinosaurs so much? - Capers
Because when I was a baby I loved them. Because my mom teached me how to be them. To be a dino. I was going to stomp, and rawr, and move my arms and tail. I’m pretending when I was a baby. - Luke
Who else has a question? - Luke
What’s your favorite shape? - Saul
Oval. I like the shape. - Luke
Can you think of something that has the shape of an oval? - Ines
I want it to be red so it can be meat but there needs to be a bone inside.
Meat for the T. rex. So the dinosaurs can eat eat eat. - Luke
What’s your favorite season? - Cate
Warmness. Like the sun. - Luke
Summer? - Bea
Oh, like Olaf! He loves summer. - Wilder
But giants, I don’t like giants. - Luke
And I want a dragon because I love dragons. One giraffe, one t. Rex, and one dragon.
What about one Spinosaurus? - Hugh
No… not that. - Luke
What does Lukey like dragons so much? - Daniel
Because they’re my favorite colors. I like red ones and green ones. - Luke
Luke, what’s your favorite book? - Jade
My dinosaur book from Lucas. And it moves, right? - Luke
Yeah, when you do that, it chomps. - Lucas
Would you like it to be day out at summer? - Bea
Dinosaurs like to be when it’s daytime. - Luke
What is your favorite material? - Remy
Wire. - Luke
Jade, Remy, and Saul
Having heard Luke share about his interests, favorite things, and opinions about his birthday gift, the committee members can now begin their work.
The children on the birthday committee spend days working on the birthday portraiture setup.
This work involves many steps, utilizing a wide variety of materials, and requires continuous participations over a few days time. The children on the committee take the work seriously, always focusing on the birthday child as their motivation and intention behind the work.
Immediately following the birthday interview, initial ideas about how to begin the process are shared between the children on the committee.
We could use some fabric, some wire, and a little dragon made out of paper?
We might have to ask Luke some questions. - Jade
He likes ovals. - Remy
And he likes suns. - Jade
And his favorite season. Summer. - Saul
And wire. - Jade
The sun is gold. - Saul
You know the true sun is yellow. - Remy
Yellow and some yellow. - Jade
A Sun made out of Wire
Keeping this information in mind, Jade, Remy, and Saul began making their own individual wire spheres.
It was quickly decided that "smushing" all of their individual shapes together would be the most effective way to create a larger spherical design for Luke's sun.
When you attach a lot of the weak wire together, it gets bigger and bigger and bigger and starts to grow grow grow. This is my favorite kind of wire. The weak wire is what I like to use. -Saul
We could smush all the suns together. Were you thinking that we should smush some together? - Jade (to Sam)
We could do that like Jack and leave some pokes out. The pokes of the sun. - Remy
Yellow and gold colored paper strips were then woven into the sun to create the "pokes" that stick out.
Have we ever made something really big before? What did we use to make it? - Sam
Blocks. - Remy
Let’s use blocks again. They’re really strong. - Saul
I remember it was Michael’s birthday. He had his in construction area. - Jade
Have any other friends been riding something in their birthday portrait? - Sam
Wilder! - Remy (Wilder on a T.rex)
Wait, I think he said he wanted to be sitting… he said he wanted to have a giraffe and I also think he said he wanted to sit on the giraffe. - Jade
*Jade asks Luke about pose for portrait*
He said he wants to be sitting on his knees though. On the giraffe. - Jade
I remember some of you and other friends have created really big things before using paper and a projector. - Sam
Yeah, a T.rex! - Jade (referring to the birthday committee work for Wilder)
And Lily had two huge unicorns. And I saw that Frannie's had a big big picture that was colored. - Jade
(referring to other birthday portrait work)
Did you see my rainbow? - Remy (referring to her portrait background - large rainbow)
You can’t paint on blocks, so you can paint on paper and then tape it on some construction blocks. - Jade
Designing the Giraffe
Step 1: Tracing a projected image
It has hair on its back. - Remy
And on the antlers. - Jade
And the knees! The giraffe has knees. - Remy
Designing the Giraffe
Step 2: Creating a color palette
We need brown and yellow. - Jade
(discussing colors of a giraffe)
And black. - Saul
Orange is yellow and red. - Remy
I think yellow and red and blue make brown? - Remy
Saul describes how he created the color for the giraffe "skin".
I made it with lots of colors. Like grey, red, yellow. I used lots of light colors like more yellow and white to make it. - Saul
Thanks for helping, Remy. - Saul
Yeah! That’s what best friends do. - Remy
Meat for the T.rex
So the dinosaurs can eat, eat, eat. - Luke
I remember Luke saying he wanted an oval and a bone that’s red. - Jade
Do you remember why he wanted that? - Sam
For the meat. We could cut a oval and color it with some white and put red all around it? I know how to draw a bone. - Jade
We cut two circles and sew them together. - Remy
But Luke really wanted ovals. - Jade
Okay. Two ovals. - Remy
Incorporating both Luke's favorite shape (oval) and his desire to have his T.rexes eating "meat with a bone inside" in his birthday portrait, the committee used their knowledge of sewing to create two stuffed pieces of meat for Luke's dinosaur toys.
And I want a dragon because I love dragons. - Luke
How will we include the dragon in the portrait? - Sam
Flying in the sky, please!! - Remy
What should we include in the background behind the giraffe?
Trees. - Remy
They (giraffes) eat leaves. - Jade
Yeah, off trees. Apples? Apple trees. - Remy
*Jade asks Luke if he would like an apple tree in his background*
Giraffes eat pear trees. - Jade
The backdrop of our photo booth happens to be painted with magnetic chalkboard paint!
The committee took advantage of this surface and used colored chalk to design a background image for the portrait. Trees, branches, leaves, the sky, clouds, and a bird were all included in the background drawings.
And I want me to ride on that giraffe. - Luke
In order for Luke to "ride" on the giraffe in his portrait, the committee demonstrated an understanding that a two-dimensional painting would not work well for this idea. Referring to their past experiences and knowledge gained through other birthday portrait settings, the original idea to construct the giraffe out of blocks was revisited to turn the painted giraffe into a three-dimensional structure.
Let’s use blocks again. They’re really strong. - Saul
The Photo Shoot
The final step of the committee work involves reviewing all of the photographs taken during the photo shoot, choosing the "best" one that most accurately represents their friend, and making any edits to color and size that help enhance the photo.
We should take a few to see which ones would look good. - Jade
Happy 4th Birthday, Lukey!
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