Friday, 8 August 2014

Raw planning...

The term is starting and I am collecting ideas as to how this term could evolve, using my knowledge of the children and their interests as well as observing the children in their play now...

We will be celebrating the International fairy tea Party again this year... and it starting to look like the whole preschool will be joining in the fun... not all the teachers are back from the summer yet... so we will have to see if all groups think that this will be meaningful for their children...

Vinden seem raring to go... at least the ones that have returned... fairies and magic powers... so I have been thinking about what could we do along these lines...

AND I am going to share those first initial thoughts with you before they are sorted, properly discussed with my Vinden colleagues so that we can fine tune a bit more... and of course I have tried to collect far too many ideas so that I can go with the rhythm of the children - go in their direction, listen to even more ideas - as well as challenging them with some of these ideas that I know will support them in their social development...


Fairies - to dream of how one looks. Philosophical dialogue about what is  a fairy and how does it look like (use the dialogues from last year to see if the children have changed their minds about what is a fairy etc or not). What does a fairy do? Is it good or bad? Who is invited to the fairy party - beautiful fairies, ugly fairies, angry looking fairies, sad fairies etc etc (have a wide selection of fairy photos and figures) does how the fairies look impact how they behave or should be treated?
Art - representing fairies in art, what mediums can be used - visit Modern Art Museum and National Art Museum for fairy inspiration (also magic power inspiration)
Music - what does fairy music sound like? Can children find fairy music with their families and bring/send in for us to listen? Will families choose the same music, same type of music or will it all be very different genres? Can we create fairy music of our own?
Movement - can we move like a fairy, dance to the music, fly?
Values and norms - Do fairies have rules? What rules? Do fairies treat other fairies badly - or are they always kind - are fairies ever naughty? Is there fairy police, fairy prison? Is there a fairy king/queen - what do they do?
Do fairies fall in love, have families, have babies like us - or do they come from magic... seeds, flowers something else?
Are there different kinds of fairies? Do some fairies have more worth than other fairies - why? If there were two fairy lands that did not get on with each other how could we help them solve their conflicts/ get on with each other (need to create a story for this)
Magic powers - if you had a magic power, what would that be? Why? How would you use it? (maybe ask individually first and then as a group... do they change their mind when they hear the powers that other's choose?)
reseach and play our way through the various powers (ice-power has been well used... we could do lots of ice-experiments)
Are there any bad powers? Can good powers be used badly?
Use films to explore themes/ideas better... small snippets rather than a whole film.
If your power made you different from everyone else and people were scared of your power (like Elsa in Frozen) how would you feel if you were forced to hide your power?
How do your learn to control your power... do you have to fo to magic school? Does there need to be rules as to how the magic powers can be used? Why?
Who would decide those rules? Why? What would the rules be?
Are there any natural powers/powers in nature? Do we possess any powers right now? Do any of the teachers have powers? What are they. Do any parents or other adults have powers? (courage, love - will these pop up as ideas)
Will there be a discussion about magic powers and super powers - are they the same thing or not?
Look for songs connected to fairies and magic powers. Does a magic power have a sound?
If you wanted a magic power where do you get one from? Can we build a machine that makes magic powers?
How much will the children connect to films and stories... how much will be their own fantasy. Will the children all choose the same power - is it OK for them to do that? Or can only one person have a type of power... can we experiment with having the same number of powers as children and they all have to choose one of them... what happens if there are powers no-one wants - or that everyone wants... how will this be resolved? What would happen if on 2-3 children were allowed to have magic powers... which three would they choose, and why?
Literacy - write our own fairy story/magic power story together. Illustrate it. Can we make a film from it? which books connect with fairies, magic, magic powers. How can we connect the stories to gender awareness and critical thinking so we are presenting the children with many different perspectives - old, young, boys, girls, all cultures etc etc etc
Ethnographical musem might be a good place to explore magical powers around the world. Will the masks etc influence/inspire the children's thinking and their activity in the atelier and other areas of play?
Teamwork... continue with the idea of Together paintings and doing things together - the big body prints made at summer preschool could be a good start to see how we can make the art more magical... more fairy like?
Construction - can we construct a fairy town/house. Can you construct a magic power (magic wand??) Can we build a machine that makes magic powers?
Light - there is magic in light... to continue our light play with the new perspective of exploring its magic, rather than using it to conquer fears of the dark - maybe we could put on a little light show for the children to inspire them to use light in a new way. I-pad?
Shadow theatre - make a fairy story for this
Magic powers from around the world, magical creatures

Well, that is it for now... a first initial idea gathering based on the children wanting to explore rules and challen
ging the idea of why do adults make so many decisions... and also the children's interest in the film Frozen and the magic powers involved there, this would be a great base to explore inclusion and exclusion too - and all the empathy exploration required to do that.

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