Saturday, 17 August 2013

A Reggio Approach to looking at Autumn leaves...

på svenska i blå
the image from Red Ted art that started a whole chain of thoughts...
 I was inspired by the leaf people that was posted online - the use of nature and the fact that it connects to fairies would work well for my group

 At the same time whenever I see leaves glued to paper it makes me think of the time I went to listen to Vea Vecchi and the Reggio dislike of glueing bits of "tree corpses" onto paper...

 It got me thinking... maybe art with autumn leaves should be more temporary - created and recreated and photographed to remember... (and with all the marvelous things we can do with photography right now then I do see this as quite an exciting option - the children can create some art and then photograph it themselves - and why not make art collages with the children - seeing which special effects they choose, which frames they choose and WHY - and these days there are even apps that will allow you to get the leaf people talking or come alive)

Jag var inspirerad av de bladmänniskor som delades online - användningen av naturen och det faktum att den ansluter till feer/älvor skulle fungera bra för min grupp

  Samtidigt när jag ser löv limmade på papper får det mig att tänka på den tid jag åkte för att lyssna på Vea Vecchi och Reggio som tydligen ogillade när man limmade bitar av "träd lik" på papper ...

  Det fick mig att tänka ... kanske kan konst med höstlöv vara mer tillfällig - skapas och omskapas och fotograferas för att komma ihåg ... (och med alla fantastiska saker vi kan göra med fotografering just nu ser jag detta som ganska spännande alternativ - barnen kan skapa lite konst och sedan fotografera sig själva - och varför inte göra konstkollage med barnen - se vilka specialeffekter de väljer, vilka ramar de väljer och varför, och nu finns det till och med appar som kan göra att figurerna prata eller blir nästan levande)

using a wooden plank as a background natural materials were collected and used to create with



nature art collage with the colours made extra bright (due to the red berries)

another nature art with a different frame and more images as there were more images that my children WANTED to include)

But at the same time why not challenge this idea... if there is a real reason for gluing leaves onto paper and not just because it is a typical autumn thing to do then maybe Vea Vecchi is wrong (or I have misunderstood - or she was mistranslated - as she does talk in Italian, and my Italian is VERY limited and it was translated into Swedish - which I have mastered over the years but there can still be nuances I miss)...
I am quite sure that if gluing leaves on paper is part of a process - to see what happens to the leaves that Vea Vecchi would not be quite as disapproving... my interpretation is the fact she disliked how EVERY autumn there was a need to glue leaves onto paper as an autumn project... but that the leaves were not allowed to tell their story, they were not meaningful for the children it was done as a routine instead of as an opportunity for learning...

Take the time... to listen and observe the children's interest with the leaves...
is it the sound? Then, can you make leaf music?
Is it the colours? How can you recreate autumn leaf colours?
Is it the movement? Why not make a leaf dance?
Why not paint WITH the leaves instead of paint brushes to create a autumn picture - would you do that with just one leaf or would you bind leaves to a stick to make a nature paint brush.. what would happen if you used wet leaves v dry leaves?
Build leaf forts, mazes etc
collect and throw wet leaves, dry leaves - what are the differences (especially if you collect wet leaves and play inside with them... then let the same leaves dry and play with them again... what will the children notice? the texture, the smell, how they fall or stick to things etc etc?

Have the children understood WHY the leaves are falling down? Have you taken the time to find out THEIR theories about why leaves fall down, or why they sometimes float down one by one and sometimes seem to "rain" down in masses... What else have the children observed about the change in nature during autumn?

Men samtidigt borde inte man utmana idéen? ... om det finns en genuin anledning till limning av löv på papper och inte bara för att det är en "typisk höst sak att göra" - kanske Vea Vecchi har fel (eller jag har missförstått - eller hon var misstolkad - eftersom hon pratar på italienska, och min italienska är väldigt begränsad och den översattes till svenska - som jag har behärskat under åren men det kan fortfarande vara nyanser jag saknar) ...
Jag är ganska säker på att om limning av löv på papper kan vara en del av en process - för att se vad som händer med löven - något som kanske Vea Vecchi inte skulle visa sin missnöje för... min tolkning är det faktum att hon ogillar hur varje höst det verka nödvändigt att limma löv på papper som ett höstprojekt .. detta pga att bladen inte fick berätta sin historia, de var inte meningsfulla för barnen, det var gjort som en rutin istället för som ett tillfälle att lära sig/utforska naturen ...

Ta dig tid att lyssna och observera barnens intresse med höstlöven ...
är det ljudet? Då kan du göra lövmusik?
Är det färgerna? Hur kan du återskapa höstlövfärger?
Är det rörelsen? Varför inte göra en lövdans?
Varför inte måla med bladen i stället för penslar för att skapa en höstbild - skulle du göra det med bara ett löv eller skulle du binda löven till en pinne för att göra en naturpensel .. vad skulle hända om du använde våta löv eller torra löv?
Bygg lövsslott, labyrinter mm

samla och kasta blöta löv, torra löv - vad är skillnaderna (speciellt om du samlar blöta löv och leka inomhus med dem ... låt samma löv torka och leka med dem igen ... vad kommer barnen att märka? , lukten, hur de faller eller klibba fast etc etc?

Låt barnen förstå varför löven faller ner? Har du tagit dig tid att ta reda på deras teorier om varför löven faller ner, eller varför de ibland flyter ner en efter en och ibland verkar "regna" ner i massor... Vad har barnen observerat om förändringen i naturen under höst?


autumn leaves do not need to be glued onto the wall to prove that it is autumn - why not study how the leaves fall and allow the children to think about the movement of the leaves, the sound of the leaves, the smell and look of them... why not allow them to deepen their understanding of autumn through leaves by allowing the children to make their own leaves with a selection of materials... this image comes from Boulder Journey School.
sometimes the art just happens - children start collecting and creating and as teachers we just observe the process collecting thoughts and ideas about how this spontaneous play can be extended... and as quick as the art appeared so it disappears and is morphed into something new... just as one season changes into another...
So how are you going to deepen the awareness of autumn (or whatever season is coming your way) so that your children are given the time to explore it on their own terms and be supported to discover their interests...?

Så hur tänka ni fördjupa medvetenhet kring höst (eller den säsong man nu befinner sig i) så att man kan erbjuda barnen tiden att utforska det på deras eget sätt, och få stöd att upptäcka andra intresse...

links
indoor environment - Täppan - in this visit of a preschool on Södermalm there was an area on the wall with leaves and the words of the children describing them... this was a part of the language focus of the school... where the leaves became the topic for language and idea exploration...

Painting a rainforest - this is a post that shows you that leaves can be used as painting materials... and that they can be used as a shared tool... of course this could be done on a collective shared paper as well... there are many many options... this is not an autumn theme, but shows that leaves are not just about autumn either...

Herb art - another technique - hapazome - this could be done with the colours of autumn leaves, they will need to be the kind that still has moisture for best effect. in my post here I tried the technique with herbs for the sensory experience of smell.

Painting by letter - sometimes painting leaves is more about the social interactions, how do we test boundaries, what happens if we paint on someone else's areas, how do we resolve problems?

Nature Bottles - autumn treasures could be collected and put in a bottle of water... and observed over time... some could be put in other liquids and then be compared...



4 comments:

  1. I have only recently discovered your delightful, deeply thought-provoking blog. I am also, coincidently, reading Vea Vecchi's remarkable book "Art and Creativity in Reggio Emilia", so naturally your last few posts have resonated strongly with thoughts already at front of mind. The panel above from the Boulder school is such a wonderful example of a classroom built on listening to the children.

    I want to say what I most appreciate is your tone... Your postmodern approach to sharing ideas not as though you believe them intrinsically right or true, but as a state you're currently in but may not stay in. That is one of those aspects of falling on love with the inspirations from Reggio Emilia that is hardest to explain to colleagues and friends, that aspect of making OUR OWN learning visible. You do it so generously. I shall be dipping back through your posts over the next weeks in preparation for our school year to begin. Thank you for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that is the part I love about the Reggio Approach the most - that it is a shape shifter in order to suit the needs of the children you work with - and as I love delving into research it also allows me to weave those thoughts in - the ones relevant to the children's needs and the ones relevant to my understanding of the children and my role as a teacher...

      thank you so much for your feedback...

      Delete
  2. Suzanne,
    I thank you for each of your blog postings. They are beautiful, engaging, introspective, and thought provoking.
    I will continue to read and reread so that i may learn and integrate these ideas, concepts and principles into my daily life as an administrator, educator and learner.

    ReplyDelete