Sunday, 16 March 2014

Sleeping Beauty

One of the books I brought back with me from the Uk was Sleeping Beauty... as requested by the children before I left... (what books should I look for in England? - about the body, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, princess, how cars work, blood...)

Sleeping Beauty has been well read in the last couple of weeks... and it became apparant that we needed to extend the children's thoughts about what is a castle/palace, what is a princess etc etc.

We decided to start with the palace, as it was this I could see been drawn the most by the children... and all with towers and turrets, and I know that the Royal Palace in town does not have any towers... if I took them there would the children still define it as a palace?

So we took the underground train seven stations to the Old Town (Gamla Stan) to look at the palace. As we walked across the Old Town we observed the differences between there and the neighbourhood around the preschool - especially Stortorget (The main square) with our own square - for a start there are no old old cannonballs lodged in the walls of the building in our square outside the preschool!!!

The children were given paper to draw the palace they saw before them, after we had talked about its size and observed that it did not have towers. It was not quite what they had expected... but it was still a palace... I found it interesting that one of the children still drew her palace with towers--- others had expressed that they could not draw a palace, but when we talked about the shape of the palace in front of us, they soon discovered that they could, indeed, draw a palace. The children were given time with the camera to document their work and their experience.

We were lucky enough to witness a horse and carriage go by us, clip-clopping on the cobbles. Then went over to ask questions to the guard... why was he there, why did he have a sword, a helmet and did sleeping beauty actually live there?
We then went on to see the statue of St George and the Dragon, as well as the princess.

In the afternoon the children were given the opportunity to look at palaces and castles via google... there were so many different shapes, size, colours and locations... the children chose paper and pens and also documented their own work. Others painted - with a sleeping beauty theme - royal gold, red and white to create roses, green leaves and black thorns - to create the catsle and the bush of thorns and roses that went around the castle for a hundred years. Again the children documenting their own work. The Together Painting had been inspired by sleeping beauty - and as usual images and patterns appeared and disappeared under layers of creativity and exploration.

The day ended with sleeping beauty role-play - while listening to the music from the ballet Sleeping Beauty... there was dance, there was a variety of characters... the princess, the thirteenth fairy, creating somewhere soft to sleep, developing and exploring costumes, creating a tower area... and the role-play was loosely based on Sleeping Beauty... the more I withdrew from the play and became observer the more daily life crept into the role-play - washing the clothes, and relocating the bed again and again and again.

It was a fabulous day of Sleeping Beauty exploration. It was exhausting too - but in a good sort of way.

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