Of course when I say Square inspiration I am not talking about the shape, but the public square outsdie the preschool. Project "Together on the Square"
There is a work of art on the wall of the supermarket that has inspired us to create our own work of art... using our wishes for what we want on the square and also love/friendship (things that are important)
We used the overhead to create the shadow... and used the shadow to draw around rather than drawing around the children... so that more detail could be seen. I drew round the children... as standing still was VERY hard and they needed support to try and keep still long enough for me to get the general shape of what they wanted to create. We had a good giggle about just how difficult it is to stand still... even the one who thought she could stand really still!!
Flowers were a must for three of the children and circus tricks was a must for the fourth. We talked about the direction of their body... and what they wanted to say with their shadow - like facing a friend to talk to them (are they going to give the flowers to each other, or to someone else... these are further questions we can ask).
The children were challenged to keep within the lines, to create a solid black shape. I knew that this was something easily within their abilities if they focussed... we got one circle outside a body, due to a lack of focus and the desire to join in the fun... so a quick action without thinking resulted not with a hole in the middle of the body but to the side. We talked about the need to focus - and the children agreed that we could focus and have fun at the same time... we just had to think a little more!!
I say "we" but it was the children doing all the painting... I got to take a step back and just listen... offering a bit of scaffolding every once in a while once the children were obviously in full control of what they were doing... the most suport they needed was with their choice of paintbrush - that they could change brush to meet the needs of the painting (details or filling in big spaces).
Those that finished quickly were able to offer help to others that needed more help to get finished (with a gentle reminder that they needed to look at the tecnhinque their friend was using and to try and keep to that technique... two used feathery strokes, while the other two used slow and solid strokes)
I found it really interesting at lunch when one of the children that had been in the blue room doing a totally different project with Ellen (building castle with big soft blocks, stools etc usuing a photo of the castle which Ellen had made and taken the day before... could they recreate the castle using only the photograph? - they have done this with their own castle, of course then they had the knowledge of how they built the first castle themselves and not just the photograph... it is always so interesting to see how we can further challenge the children in something they enjoy doing) - anyway back to the story... one child that had been in the other group saw the art that we had made and saw herself... "that is me" she said. And when I looked again, I could see what she meant... this has made me think, can I take photographs of the children's shadows and then show them... would they be able to recognise themselves by their own shadow image?
The art is not going up yet... it will be a part of the exhibition for "Förskolans Dag" (National Preschool Day) - and we are not quite finished yet!! (But I am not going to reveal more...)
I can reveal though that today I have been in touch with a landscape architect concerning the devlopment of the square and the allé (avenue) between the square and the forest... hoefully they can come over and show us plans/maps of the area... and they are interested in hearing our ideas...