Thursday, April 7th
A Committee for Frannie's Birthday
One of our main focuses this week in the Rainey Room has been participating in birthday committee work for our friend, Frances.
Frannie will soon celebrate her 4th birthday!
Her committee members are Bea, Daniel, and Luke who all excitedly accepted the responsibility of creating a very special and uniquely personalized birthday portrait for their friend.
As is always our first step in beginning birthday work, Frances was interviewed by the class on Monday in an effort to gain a better understanding of her personal preferences and interests. Information provided by the birthday child has a very strong impact on the committee's decision making process as it is extremely important to the children that they create a gift that is representative of their friends likes, favorite things, and ultimately their individual personality!
Here are some "highlights" from Frances's interview on Monday:
Nice green T. rexes
I like dinosaurs. - Frannie
I heard her say dinosaurs! Frannie, I like dinosaurs too. They made me a T. rex! - Wilder
Frannie I’m gonna go to your birthday. - Luke
I’m gonna have a dinosaur piñata. - Frannie
I like T. rex. - Daniel
Frannie, do you have a favorite dinosaur? - Sam
T. rexes. They’re so green like Louise's house at her school. House Juana. And I’m gonna be in House Juanna too. - Frannie
I like T. rexes green too. - Wilder
Well what is your favorite color, Frannie? -Bea
Green. I love green. Well actually my favorite color is blue. - Frannie
Maybe the background could be blue because it could be daytime and the dinosaurs are awake. - Bea
Yeah. And more green T. rexes. - Frannie
Frannie, do you want them to fight? - Luke
No… - Frannie
Are they gonna be mean dinosaurs or nice? - Lily
Nice. - Frannie
Frannie, if you want the T. rex to be green and then you want trees in the background because dinosaurs need to eat trees? - Bea
But T. rexes eat meat, not trees. - Wilder
Would you like it to be night or day? - Bea
Day. - Frannie
Where would you want the dinosaurs to live? - Cate
In the forest. - Frannie
A cowgirl dress
Frannie, would you like to be wearing anything special in your portrait? - Sam
A cowgirl dress. - Frannie
Do you have a cowgirl dress? - Ines
No… - Frannie
Whats a cowgirl dress? - Sam
It’s when there’s a cow on a dress? - Remy
Is it a cowboy dress? - Lily
No, a cowgirl dress. - Frannie
After the large group interview during morning meeting, the birthday committee then typically meets again in a smaller group setting to reflect on and discuss the information from the interview. During this small group committee discussion, children often devise their plan for the birthday work and decide what materials they might use.
Bea, Daniel, and Luke all seemed to enjoy the idea of creating T. rexes that might take on the form of characters that Frannie would like:
And then Santa is coming. A T. rex santa! We can surprise her. - Luke
The baby dinosaur should be wearing a dress because it’s a girl. - Bea
And one is a transformer dinosaur. - Daniel
Frannie might like unicorns. A unicorn dinosaur. - Daniel
Or a princess dinosaur. Or queens. - Bea
They then decided what materials might work best to create the T. rexes:
Out of paper. - Bea
And drawing. - Luke
Then you cut it out of the paper. - Daniel
Like we did for Lily’s birthday. - Bea
No, for Jade. Remember? I was like scared of that dinosaur. - Luke
Is that a wolf up there? - Luke
*Luke notices clay animal sculptures on high shelf in the atelier*
*Bea, Daniel, and Luke all take notice of the different sculptures and converse about them*
We can make the dinosaur out of clay! We can make Frannie and all of the dinosaurs out of clay. And the clothes can be made out of fabric and maybe squished in the clay. - Bea
What do you all think of that idea to make these dinosaurs out of clay? I don’t think anyone’s portrait has been made with clay yet. - Sam
But it’s very hard to make a T. rex. - Daniel
But we also made bowls out of clay. - Bea
How do we get Frannie in the picture? - Sam
With clay. - Bea
Oh, you could make Frannie out of clay too? - Sam
And we can pretend the T. rex is green and Frannie is green. - Daniel
Can we change the color of clay? - Sam
Yeah, with paint. - Bea
I think you’re remembering the underglazes we’ve used before. - Sam
Inspired by the clay work in the atelier as well as recent clay rat sculptures made by the Tucker class, it was decided that Frannie's interests in T. rexes would be represented in clay!
The Brown Room, who is currently researching dinosaurs as a topic of interest, was kind enough to loan us some T. rex materials to support the committee work.
After beginning their sculpture work on Monday, the committee members came to a realization that sculpting is quite challenging!
On Tuesday, the committee shared their ideas with other children and requested some additional support in hopes of achieving their goal of creating multiple T. rex sculptures to be included in the birthday portrait for Frannie.
Remy, Lily, and Jade joined in the collaborative effort.
We utilized a misty backwards day to support our work!
Water and clay often pair well together as water can help soften the material, support the adherence of multiple clay pieces, prevents the clay from becoming too dry and cracking, and it gives the clay a wonderfully smooth texture.
The occasional rain drops ended up being a welcome addition to the children's sculpture work.
Using clay tools, texture and details were added to the sculptures.
Some details included facial features as well as dinosaur skin texture including "scales".
T. rex by Daniel
T. rex by Lily
T. rex by Remy
T. rex by Jade
T. rexes by Luke
Frances by Bea
Background: A Forest
Using a combination of markers and oil pastels, the committee explored sketching and blending techniques to created a beautiful forest background.
The setting also includes a volcano because, "there was volcanoes when there was dinosaurs" (Bea).
This forest is looking good. - Daniel
Arranging the portraiture space.
Enhancing our sculptures with color and clothing ...
As discussed in the first brainstorming meeting, the committee members recalled their idea to have the T. rexes take on different "characters" or portray different personalities (ie. Santa, a queen, etc.).
And the clothes can be made out of fabric and maybe squished in the clay. - Bea
The committee browsed through a wide variety of fabric and selected pieces to create different outfits for the clay dinosaur sculptures.
speaking of outfits...
Frannie provided her own "cowgirl" outfit to wear in her portrait!
Bea was inspired by this outfit when choosing which underglaze colors to use when embellishing her clay Frannie sculpture.
We are very excited to celebrate you tomorrow, Frannie!
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