Tuesday, January 25, 2011

the phoenix

So I guess a lesson in life that is best to be reminded of frequently is that best intentions and plans don't always pan out. Our animal adaptation project has come to a close, a quiet, unceremonious close. We sent out invitations and made movie tickets to the premier of the children's "Wonderland Animals" movie but unfortunately a tricky virus got one over on our class. For over a week now we have had, on average, five to six children absent a day! And this coming from the previous attendance all stars of the school (really, we did get the attendance award two months in a row). The virus even took me down for a day! We seem to be stabilizing, missing just three friends today. But, the damage has been done. The day of our sharing party so many children were out that there wasn't much to share. And so...this is life. I guess it's never too early to teach this lesson and that we just have to be flexible, smile at our fate, and move on.

And so that is just what we have done, we've moved on.

Since September there has been a steady trickle of monster and robot related talk, art, book writing, etc. So the thought crossed my mind, could we really do a project related to this, something having to do with monsters or robots. I'm still fleshing out the details and anticipating where this could take us. For now we are beginning with an exploration of the concepts of real and pretend. This is phase I and if you remember from the last project, this is where shared experiences and background knowledge will be built and supported. For more about phase I of the project approach you can refer back to this post.

We are exploring the nature of real and make believe through our play. At the sand table I brought in a bucket of snow (thanks mother nature) and whipped up a batch of instant snow (thanks Steve Spangler). Children then had a hands-on experience exploring the properties of both. This photo was taken at the beginning of their play but let me tell you they REALLY explored the two...it was also a day to relearn the concept of cleaning up!

We used art to explore what was real and what was not. What could be more real than ourselves? Well...the children may have begun that way, using mirrors and pencils to draw their self portrait.

becoming larger than life...

adding small details to represent the self...

and soon dazzling embellishments lead to the question is this the real me or a pretend me? Are they really so different? Are they one and the same?

In just two days of this exploration I am already filled with excitement thinking about the fun we will have during this study...that is as long as the kids are fueling the excitement.

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