We do not always know the direction a new project will take, and (if?) when and how it will end. Some projects last a few hours or days, while others may meander in and out of our classroom for months on end. They often take many wonderfully surprising and unexpected twists and turns as theories are formed, and tested, thought upon, which leads to new thoughts and ideas. And new paths to explore…
We give the children space and time to see what ideas emerge… what sparks of interest come, while gently accompanying and guiding when necessary. For several months, we had been exploring emotions with the children; what what influences our emotios, how we can recognizethem in ourselves and others, and even pondering if we can experience more than one emotion at the same time.
However, the changing of seasons and the emergence of spring after a long, cold winter led to us spending more and more time outside being inspired by all of the emerging colors, sounds and experiences. And our classroom has come alive while we explore all of these changes! Our Bruno Munari-inspired tree is covered with blossoms and insects who have emerged with the warmer weather… a colorful bee-garden continues to evolve and become more complex as we delve deeper into the world of some of our favorite and most beloved pollinators.
One day, E and N use oil pastels to color tiny paper rectangles. Each rectangle, they explain, is a different emotion.
Fâchée! Je suis fâchée! Car ma soeur est allée à l’école avant moi.
L’amour de maman.
Je suis triste à cause de ma soeur… et aussi car je veux ma lolette.
Mais j’ai plus besoin.
Looking at these squares, and the strong emotions they contain, remind us of the artist, Mark Rothko who also used paintings to convey our most basic emotions.
We invite the children to experiment with color and rectangular shapes on the paper.
We observe that Rothko’s rectangles have blurry edges, like they are floating clouds. We add to our paintings to have softer edges… to be more dreamlike.
We also observe that Rothko’s paintings were big! So big that they invited to viewer to seem to enter into his paintings. One afternoon, we work in the atelier experimenting with connecting really big paintings to really big emotions that we could feel.
We use monotyping to continue experimenting with colors and shapes…