This week we explored the wonderful world of color! We read “White Rabbit’s Color Book” to introduce the concept of color mixing. White rabbit also began our discussion of the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue. Children learned that we always start with these 3 colors when mixing colors. This led to a wonderful discussion of the things from nature that we could use to create each color.…”blueberries, strawberries, dandelions!” We then experimented with color to “see what happens” when we mix two colors together. Children witnessed the blue and yellow swirl together to create “GREEN!” Little Artists continued to mix their own secondary colors and even discovered what happens when we add white to a color…. “we made pink!” Children were invited to use the colors they created while painting at the easels. Big, beautiful, expressive marks filled the large pieces of paper as children used both fine and gross motor skills with large and small paintbrushes.
Our sensory bin was full of pompom balls exploding with color. The soft, fuzzy sensory aspect of the material was very inviting to both the young and older artists. Children noticed the balls were different sizes…small, medium, and large. MM and G began collecting all the “baby” balls and created a home for them with the light table blocks and colorful scarves.
We used the light table to investigate the scientific properties of light and color as drops of liquid watercolor were added to different amounts of water within glass beakers. Children watched the drops of color slowly float and swirl within the water while exclaiming, “it looks like a tornado…..it looks like a jelly fish!” Magnify glasses were provided and J said, “let’s take a closer look at the colors”
Our exploration gave way to synthesizing all we had learned about color in creating a color wheel. Children mixed, painted, cut, glued and arranged the circles to form the color wheel!
Colorful mounds of homemade play dough and a variety of tools provided opportunities for children to sculpt with color! Rolling, flattening, poking, squishing, and stacking were just a few of the ways children manipulated the dough. O began poking popsicle sticks into his flattened dough and proudly exclaimed, “I made a candy forest!!” We also had quite a feast of cookies, cupcakes, spaghetti, muffins, and even quiche! How fascinating to see such vivid imaginations come to life!
In music class this week our theme was opposites! BIG and little, LOW and high… The connection between these two extremes was introduced in the context of music. This idea is important in music, for understanding how instruments make sound (big things make low sounds, small things make high sounds). Here at The Atelier, we teach to the whole child, and this includes supporting learning in all developmental areas. Therefore, we hope to introduce a little bit of the science behind music in developmentally appropriate contexts for each age group.
On the way into the studio, we pretended to be BIG and small animals, walking like big giraffes and elephants, or maybe like little mice or ants! Around the rug, the students investigated the sounds of xylophone and metallophone bars of different sizes, to connect the sound that each makes. Questions were asked, like “Which one is the biggest? Which one makes the lowest sound?” to encourage the children to experiment. With the older kids, I removed all of the bars from the xylophones … “OOPS!” and the students were tasked with reordering the bars, and putting them back on the instruments in the correct locations. Doing this kinesthetic activity allowed them to feel the size and weight of the lower bars vs. the higher bars, and fine and gross motor skills to reassemble the instruments. Then, we played our “Hello Song” on them!
We sang lots of songs about opposites, including some original takes on traditional tunes “I can sing my opposites” (to the tune of “Here we go round the mulberry bush”), or “If I were an elephant” (via “London Bridge”), which used the gathering drum for the big footsteps of the elephant, and “If I were a baby bird” in which we used tiny finger symbols to represent the sounds of the baby bird. We also played an original Atelier song called “The Big Big Frog (and the little little frog)”. This song included a little story about frogs jumping over or going under a fence – there are lots of ways to do things! Then, we made the frogs dance on the gathering drum by beating the drum!
With the younger students, caregivers picked the younger students way up high, and down low, singing high notes and low notes to emphasize the expression of pitch. With older students, we began to introduce simple musical notation, such as quarter notes and eighth notes, which are longer and shorter, respectively. We clapped and played these rhythms on the drum. We also introduced the Solfège hand symbols to the 3-5 year olds, to help connect each note of the Hello Song to its appropriate hand symbol… “Sol Mi, Fa Mi, Do Mi Re Do, Sol Mi”.
For our provocations this week, we investigated the sounds of different levels of water in glass cylinders by dinging them with popsicle sticks. The students observed that when the water level was higher, the pitch produced was lower, and when it was lower, the pitch was opposite; it was higher! We played the tune “Mary had a Little Lamb” on cylinders. Our sensory bin was filled with a multitude of colored pom poms, some were big and some were little. The students sorted and categorized the different sized and colors of poms, placing them into little buckets.
Back at the rug, we brought out our BIG BIG parachute, and little colorful scarves, drawing attention to yet another example of opposites. We sang “Open Shut Them” with many verses about different types of opposites, such as big and little, fast and slow, and loud and quiet. Then we put the colorful scarves and balls on the parachute and shook it to make them dance! For the end of class we got the Orff instruments (xylophones, drums, and shakers) and played our “Goodbye Song” together! Some students got a steady rhythm going by playing a quarter note bordun, while other students played freely on drums, cabasas, guiros and egg shakers to the sounds of the acoustic guitar! A fabulous time was had by all!!
Enjoy the slideshow below for a closer look into our week!