Posted on March 30, 2017
Before spring break, the kindergartners were introduced to three different ways to build with clay as we anticipate the end of our project. Working with this medium will enable them to represent their ideas for our final inquiry project.
This week the children settled right back into their work in the classroom and in the studio. As we eased back into our project work, the children also had time to work with each other and with materials.
In our inquiry work before the break, the children were using photographs (from the inside of the house) of the first historical house they had been visiting to speculate and construct stories about the people who had lived there. During this provocation, the teachers were so impressed at how detailed and well thought out the childrenʻs ideas were. What rose to the top was this idea of "time"and "time period."
In the clip, two children add details of the reading room that are no longer exists. M remembers the window while W adds a chandelier that he saw on the floor and which he speculates was hanging from the ceiling. The two children also added details like plants. W and M's idea revolved around a broken chair they found in the house that they speculated was the children's reading room. W drew his idea about how the chair broke, while M drew his idea about how the children decided which books to read by playing the hand game rock-paper-scissors.
The children began to think with their stories about how different the people might have lived long ago. As a way to help facilitate the childrenʻs questions around history and time, the children were given homework to ask grandparents and great parents about how it was to live in the past. The children themselves generated a list of questions they felt would be important in understanding the past. These collected stories will be shared in the large group as a way to help the children build their ideas around history and the past.
This week the children made prediction drawings of what they might see inside of the second historical house they have been visiting. These drawings have again been a testament to the growth of the child as an inquirer, how their ideas are becoming more complex, how they are using past experiences to formulate new ideas, and thinking in more complex ideas as can be seen below.
In this comment L could just say we are going to see furniture but instead he explains that,
"In 1966 it was new but now in 2017 it is old." In this statement L is showing his understanding that something that is old used to be new. He even assumes a specific date, which seems logical.
"I think there's a picture of the people that was there before us. Like legendary people, it means old people. I think there's a radio that plays lovely music...no one singing -- just instruments."-p.s.
(above)You can see in this comment that the child is again toying with the idea of time with the comment about a radio that plays music without words. They have also speculated that maybe the people in the house are "legendary," suggesting that the people that lived in the house must have possessed a very interesting story that would have led to the people being "legendary."
In Preschool before we left on break, the children were introduced to some new tools and ideas within the clay medium in order to support the work we are doing now. Using clay will help the children to express their ideas around treasure.
Before our break the children had an experience with the clay knife and learned about clay slip and connecting clay together properly if we are going to fire it in the clay oven. During this experience the children had time to work freely to build this new skill.
(below the children taking clay imprints of treasures during a research trip)
Now that the children have had this experience, they are better able to now build their own ideas around treasures. During our experiences at the two spaces we have visited, the children have also been collecting imprints of the treasures they have found. Instead of taking their new-found treasures, they press them into clay. These imprints are treasures that we can remember frozen in time.
After we fired these imprints in the oven, the children and I connected them to the fence behind our preschool, begining an installation of treasures from the places we have been.
While working in the studio T said:
"We don't have to go back to these places the treasures will be on our fence so we can remember."
This week we have begun to build representation and symbols to join the imprints that we have begun installing on the fence. To create an installation of ideas of treasures from this year, the children are reviewing and choosing treasures that they came up with from our previous research trips with Kumo Moses.
(K and T creating the snails that she drew above)