Saturday, July 10, 2010

Our School

Last week, Liam (from the older group) brought a large piece of cardboard to class. I asked him what we should do with it, and he said we could cut it and make things out of it. We didn't end up using it that day with our clay work, so I decided to bring it out this week to see what we could do. I also happened to have a few more large boxes lying around, so I created a simple (doorway-like) structure as a starting point for the kids.
Here, Karuna checks out the structure before the others arrive. I propped up more cardboard against the easel for additional construction and placed ribbon, yarn, tape, and recycled materials on the table.
When the kids arrived they immediately began adding more panels to the structure, as they discussed what they were building. They eventually agreed that it would be a school. I asked them if they wanted me to use my box cutter to make windows and they showed me where they should go.
They decided that the school needed things in it, so they began to bring materials from the shelf into the structure. When it got crowded with baskets and containers, they moved to the table to make decorations for the walls.

Anna found some cardboard rolls and decided to make binoculars. She wanted them to go in the window, so I helped her figure out how to hang them with yarn.

The spray bottles have been in high demand lately!

When the next group of kids arrived, they began to explore the school.
After a little bit of exploration, I offered them paint to help decorate the school.

To expand on our clay leaf printing from last week, I showed them how to make a similar leaf print with paint. The kids then experimented with this technique in their decorations for the school.

For the third class, I decided to put the yarn, tape, and other decorative items on a side table so it didn't crowd their work. I also moved the "school" to the back of the studio to give the kids a little more space around the table. When the children came in to class, they sat right down to paint and didn't even notice the structure. Instead they went to the shelf to get some of their favorite materials... cars and glue.

Once they began to take interest in the structure, I showed them what the other classes had made, and offered them a plate of paint and rollers to use on the walls.

Logan requested a spray bottle and used it to spray the plate as he mixed the paint with the roller.
Kirsten made a leaf print on the easel!
At the end of the week I moved the structure outside to the garden. Here is the finished school!
If you're curious about the squash, the binoculars are perfectly situated to do some plant observation!

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