Lines are everywhere! Our book, “Lines that Wiggle” helped children get acquainted with the different lines we may see in the world….curvy, wavy, zig-zag, or swirly lines, to name just a few. Children looked around the studio and found that lines really do exist everywhere as they excitedly found lines in the ceiling, in the art, in the bookshelves, or in the flooring. Children enjoyed singing and dancing to our line song (to the tune of Frère Jacques), which introduced the idea that some lines go side-to-side (horizontal), some lines go up-and-down (vertical), and some lines slide (diagonal). Putting ideas to song is a great way to introduce new concepts and the children love singing and acting out the actions of the song!
Dancing lines allowed children to explore lines in a whole body experience as they danced, twirled, and wiggled large bungee cords which they manipulated while listening to “Caravan” by Oscar Peterson and Dizzy Gillespie. Children squealed with delight as they used large movements to manipulate their own creative lines. This kinesthetic activity allowing movement and an innovative approach to discovering lines helps to bridge connections and ideas within the learning process all while having fun!
Children drew with markers as they transferred their new knowledge of lines into a work of art. Lines filled the pages in beautiful color. Children also experimented with rulers in drawing straight lines while strengthening hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Young artists noticed the numbers on the ruler, which lead to a conversation about numbers and measuring. What a lovely way to incorporate math concepts along side our art making!!
Yarn and glue provided a lovely sensory opportunity to creating with lines! Children dipped the yarn into bowls of glue and placed them onto the paper creating unique designs. C, A, and L loved squishing the yarn and glue into balls and manipulating materials before placing them into their paper. As C arranged the yarn lines onto her paper she exclaimed, “I’m making a rainbow!”
Our youngest artists enjoyed creating a variety of lines on large sheets of paper as they drove cars and trucks through paint “puddles”. Children began to notice the tracks they were creating of multiple colors, sizes, and textures as they pushed the cars through the paint,. Making car noises as they used large movements to move the cars from one end of the table to the other
Children explored lines through sculptural form with large wooden blocks and ramps. Using their imaginations they collaborated with each other building castles, waterslides, rollercoasters, or playgrounds. It was fascinating to see what each group of children created and what other materials within the studio they chose to incorporate. G and J imagined the colorful pegs (from the color matching game) to be the children playing on the playground they created. It was wonderful to watch the children work together and witness the relationships that have formed in class!
Magna-Tiles were on the light table again and stimulated wonderful conversations on how we put lines together to make shapes, “a triangle has THREE lines….a square has FOUR”
Little Artists had an opportunity to further explore the scientific properties of color mixing and water absorption through our experiment involving water, food coloring, and paper towels. Children were presented with 6 cups arranged in a circle and invited to pour water into 3 of the cups. I was beyond impressed when each class remembered the three colors that begin the color wheel and could even tell me that red, yellow, and blue are PRIMARY COLORS! Children dropped the primary colors into the individual cups of water and stirred them until we had a cup of each color. Next we folded 6 paper towels length-wise to create a “bridge” between all the cups. We discussed what the children thought would happen. They came up with many interesting hypothesis, but understood what would happen as they saw the color soaking up the paper towel. D noticed that, “the color is climbing up the paper towel to go into the next cup…..and mix a new color!” A wonderful exploration that revisited color mixing concepts and provided an authentic way to create a color wheel and witnessing two primary colors combining to make a new secondary color! What fun they had checking on the experiment throughout the 3 hour class. C proudly stated, “we’re not sure what’s going to happen. We have to try and wait to see what’s going to happen…..we will LEARN what will happen if we just wait and see!” Bravo, Little Artists!!
As part of our mission to educate the whole child, we talk about big ideas through music. Learning is more concrete when information is relevant and authentic to the lives of the child. This week our theme was energy, so we explored the different ways that we use energy to make sounds and music, and to dance! Many students came to class still interested in our theme from last week (opposites) so we talked about opposites in energy, and being fast and loud, or having no energy and being tired and slow and quiet. On the way in, we played "go, go, go Aaaand... STOP!!" At circle time, first we sang our Hello Song and then talked about how the sunlight helps our food grow, like apples, strawberries, and peanut butter waffles! And when we eat them we get the energy to run and play, so it's important to eat healthy food to help our bodies grow! Then we honored the sun with a sun salutation, and sang “Oh Mr. Sun.” We brought out the gathering drum, and sang “Early in the Morning” to the tune of “Alouette.”
Throwing the colored balls in the center of the gathering drum, we gave the drum a little bit of energy by making our fingers dance lightly on it. The little energy made the balls vibrate just a little bit… and when we gave the drum more energy, making our hands and then our arms dance, the balls bounced higher and higher and the sounds got louder and louder! Without explicitly stating so, we are teaching the kids about how energy can be transferred from one form to another, helping them to understand the science behind the music!
Ch-ch-ch-chicka! The sounds of shaker eggs rolling down ramps built upon large wooden blocks beckoned the children to explore the relationship between energy and sound further through a fun and exciting investigation. Children listened to the sounds of Mozart, Chopin, Oscar Peterson and Dizzy Gillespie as they built ramps, slides, or racetracks to send their shaker eggs rolling down. Children could hear the sounds of the shakers as they rolled at various speeds down both steep and shallow ramps.
At the end of class, we gathered on the rug and talked about some of the discoveries we had made. The connection with last weeks lesson about opposites was once again discussed. In the context of music, dynamics are very important; we can make loud sounds or fast rhythms using a lot of energy, or we can use quieter sounds and slow rhythms using less energy. Rather than playing at one volume or speed, we can use dynamics in music to open up whole new worlds of expression! As always, we played our Goodbye Song together, and by now the children know the song well, and some played along on the xylophones and shakers, while others simply danced freely. Another great week!