Thursday, 2 October 2014

Rainbow Power...

On Wednesdays we work in two small groups...to see how the children want to play their ideas discussed during the philosophical dialogues on Tuesdays... this is done for several reasons
  1. not all children communicate their ideas though verbal language... play allows another way to communicate ideas, and deepen understanding
  2.  it allows the children to reflect another time on their ideas... a meta-dialogue, in smaller groups.
  3. the children have expressed a desire to "decide" - so we wanted to make their decision making more visible to them (before we took their ideas and realised them, and though documentation we shared their particiaption and influence... this was obviously not enough)
  4. we want the children to be able to make decisions together... to realise that making decisions is not just about doing what you want, but listening to everyone's needs and doing what is best for the group (one of the reasons why it is important to have small groups)
This Wednesday we had several children who were either sick or having a day off... and as we started the day we were just seven children - not enough to divide into our two usual groups of 6, as all the missing children were from one of the groups...

So we started our discussion... (I had planted a seed the day before that they might want to do something from the Rainbow Fairy book series, as it was obvious that although the children think a lot about good and bad, they did not find it very interesting to talk about, but they are totally engrossed in the Rainbow Fairy books at the moment - this seed was to give them the option that they had the power to change their minds, or to redirect the planning)

The children did not want to "play" bad powers... we talked about the previous day's philosophy session, but there was still little interest. There were several children that asked.. "when is the dialogue over?" - Which was very intriguing... are we doing the right thing getting the children to talk about and make dicesions this way... is it boring? Is it beyond their capabilities...? We reminded them that the dialogue was over as soon as they had decided what we were going to do... calm came agin over the group... the children were in power over how long the dialogue lasted...

Rainbow power as a theme was decided... but I pushed a little more... but how are we going to explore rainbow power...
one child said "puh-shushhhh" and waved her arms... we can make magic...
OK, shall we all say "puh.shusshhh" all morning... the children did this for a few minutes, laughing and joking... and then reflected that maybe something more should be offered as an activity..
Another child said
"We should paint a rainbow.... and when it has dried we should play on it"
ALL of the children nodded in agreement (this is a first for the whole group to agree so excitedly to another child's idea)...
I repeated the idea and suggested that while the rainbow was drying we could go the rainbow houses (the art constellation made out of reflective glass) and blow rainbow bubbles... the children were all in agreement...

There was time to use the toilet and wash hands after our sandwiches that we had eaten during our dialogue... and another child had joined us too... we were now eight children... making a rainbow was now not QUITE as easy as we no longer had one child per colour...

In this handwashing toilet time the plan of what to do was formed... I mean I was not exactly prepared to paint a rainbow... how could this be done in a fun, meaningful and playful way?

This is where the idea for  a huge rainbow painted with feet came into mind... how to make THAT work... a quick dialogue with colleagues... ideas bouncing back and forth... and a line of paint in an arch which the children could balance and squish with their feet was hatched...

We taped a HUGE piece of paper to the floor... with the idea that it lead into the shower so that feet could be washed...


The children took turns to walk a colour... the first orange colour was done with such wide steps that it made it possible for a second child to walk the orange line, and thus the problem of eight children and seven colours was resolved.

The children cheered each other on. It was truly a magical rainbow power moment.

video


from the paitning to the shower... we are lucky to have a shower connected to our atelier. I made a print from the tray which was the stepping stone into the shower...


Afterwards we went to the local art installation and played in the rainbow light... which I think I have more of a fascination for than the children (I am starting to really collect photos from the place... and of course this place is BEST when the sun shines... so we were really lucky with the weather)





Blowing bubbles and seeing the rainbow colours was also magical... about half of the children gave up blowing bubbles after a short time, preferring to chase and pop the bubbles that others blew... as part of a game.

bubble rainbow...


Today the children have played on the rainbow... and in the afternoon (when I was not with them) they put on the overhead and created rainbows on the wall as well as the floor.... wish I had been there to see that first rainbow excitement...
I placed the rainbow in the floor of the room with the overhead so that there could be that magical option of rainbow power... so glad it worked.... and I hope to be able to capture some of that magic tomorrow.


2 comments: