Today was all about skin colour and hair colour...
The children looked carefully in the mirror at the colour of their skin... we looked to see if we were all the same colour or not... and we worked out that we all had our own special skin colour unique to ourselves. They ALL though felt that orange was the colour that they needed to start with... this surprised me a great deal - and I wondered if they would all turn out like carrots... but bit by bit the skin colours took their shade... with white, yellow, brown and red being added in different amounts until everyone was satisfied. They kept checking in the mirror, and even paiting a little on themselves to see if the shade was right..
The they got busy painting the skin areas of their portraits... different techniques, different amounts of focus and different amounts of verbal support needed. The child that had been so reluctant at first and that I had helped by drawing his portrait in the beginning has proved I made the right decision... (one does get a little nervous) he has thoroughly enjoyed the painting process and is not the slightest bit ashamed of sharing the fact that he did not draw the outline... he has taken a great deal of care in filling in the colour.
Compared with last year there is a huge difference between doing this activity with two children and seven children... there is not the same time and patience to enter the same depth of dialogue around the similarities and differences of skin colour... but there was still the opportunity for this group of seven to explore these ideas.
it is so fascinating to take the time to listen and hear how the children see and view what they are doing... since we were working individually, yet together the children had not seen the togetherness until pointed out... they had been so focussed on their individual efforts.
The individual and the group... that is what preschool is all about... This painting has a whole new symbollic value for me now.