Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Magic of a Seashell

My partner had brought in some old pasta and found some neat ones that looked like seashells. We had discussed how some of the children might really enjoy them and we were excited to see what they would do! As a child who has been captured by seashells this year entered the classroom, I told her that Tracy had put special noodles at art that we thought she might like to explore.

She went over to art, looked at the noodles for a second and said enthusiastically, “I’m going to art today!” This child is captured through art experiences. She frequently is found working in the art area with different mediums such as pastels and oil paint.

I began working with another child, and when I looked back, she had represented her favourite seashell using the noodles. Earlier in the year she had sketched this same shell with pastels, and had used it many times to explore.

I gave her a piece of black felt, which made her work stand out for how beautiful it truly was. I invited her to explore more shells, and see what else she could create. Tracy and I were both so excited and had so many ideas of where this could go - this was a big learning step for both of us. It was more challenging than you expect to simply sit back, observe and guide her thinking. Letting her come up with the ideas and make decisions with her art, which always turns out better than what we were thinking in our heads anyways!

She decided to glue the shells on, so we used a hot glue gun together to ensure they would stay on the felt. That afternoon, she got out her work again independently. I sat with her and asked “what do you think you should do next?” Tracy and I both hoped she would want to paint the shells, but again holding back she came up with the idea without our input. As she thought for a moment, her eyes lit up, “I could paint the noodles to match the shells!”

She slowly worked on her first shell examining what colours blended, trying her best to represent the shell. Again, the child sat at the table for nearly an hour, focusing on each detail of each shell as she painted. When she was done she asked, “We can hang this up in the classroom right?! Then everyone can see!”


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