Thursday, 5 December 2013

We Decorate Our World #8 - Coast Salish Masks

Coast Salish Frog Spirit Mask
Coast Salish Shark Mask

On Tuesday, the Water Group and Wind Group partnered together to learn about a Coast Salish community that lives very close to us, the Musqueam. We learned that the Coast Salish and other First Nations use masks to tell stories during potlatches and the winter ceremonial dances. The masks may depict animals, humans or mythical beings and they are usually carved from a light wood so they are not too heavy to dance in.
preparing the paper for paper mache
First Nation connection

For the activity, the two groups made masks of their own using paper mache. As we waited for the paper mache to dry, the children looked through different Northwest Coast First Nation designs to put on their mask.

We Decorate Our World #7 - Face and Body Decorations

This week the Water group began exploring face and body decorations used by cultures around the world. On Monday, I showed the children pictures of people from various cultures with face or body decorations. As the children looked at the pictures, I noticed that the they would giggle and laugh because the people in the pictures looked funny to them. So I explained to the children that the designs on the people from each picture have special meanings and we should show our respect by being caring with our words and actions. After reflection, we were able to express our opinions in a way to show how we have become more knowledgeable of others by showing respect and appreciation with our words. After looking through the pictures, the children eagerly awaited to paint their faces.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

We Decorate our World #6 - Food as Decorations?

From our provocation activity, Brendan saw food being used as decorations. He was quite puzzled and asked why. I asked the rest of the group if they agree that food can be used as decorations or be decorated. They all shook their little heads and said no. Then I showed the children two pictures, a plain cookie and butterfly cookies. Then I asked them which one they preferred. They all picked the butterfly cookies. "Why?" I asked.

Theo said: "The butterfly cookies look better."
Alfie said: "The other cookie is plain, there's nothing on it!"
Allye said: "Because it's decorated."
Molly said: "I will feel very happy eating those butterfly cookies!"
Then I asked: "Why do you think the person made butterfly cookies and decorated them?"
Angela thought for a while and said: "Maybe the person that made it likes a butterfly."
For our activity, the children made plain sugar cookies and chose how and what they want to use to decorate their cookies. They all loved it and of course generous in nature, they made enough to share with the whole group.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

We Decorate our World #4 - The Children's Houses

Alfie decorated his house with a rock for people to climb on and look over the fence. He has a fence around his house to keep other people out. There is a Christmas tree in his yard so people can say "What is that?"

Lucas wanted three windows in his house so fresh air can flow into the house. He wanted to decorate his garden with flowers, grass and trees. He painted the flowers pink because his mommy likes pink.

Theo designed star-shaped windows because he likes stars and people can sit next to the windows to look at stars. He really like Christmas trees so put one in the garden.

Angela designed two windows in her house, one for adults and one for children. The fence around the house is to keep out monsters.

Allye painted her house with her favourite colours: orange, blue and green.

Brendan designed and decorated his house with things he likes. He likes stars and gingerbread man.

Molly also designed her house with things that she likes. She likes stars so she made star-shaped windows. She love hearts and gingerbread man. She puts a colourful fence around her house to remind her of pretty flowers.

Monday, 25 November 2013

We Decorate our World #5 - Table Decorations

One day I asked the Water group children if they would like to decorate our tables in the classroom and they loved the idea. First the children picked out the table they wanted to decorate then they brainstormed what they would use as decorations. As we discussed, they noticed that no one had the same idea. However, it started to change when they saw each other work on the decorations. Many of them liked what the others were doing and incorporated it into their own table decorations. I could see the children making connections with each other through their creative ideas.

Monday, 18 November 2013

We Decorate our World #3 - Perspective

During group time one day, I showed the children a slideshow with different decorations. As they watched, they made comments to things they liked and didn't like. When they saw a picture of a white room, many of them didn't think it was decorated and wanted to add different colours and things to it. This is the perfect opportunity for us to explore the perspective* concept for this unit.

We read the book The Big Orange Splot by D. Manus Pinkwater. It shows how Mr. Plumbean is able to convince his neighbours to use their imagination to transform their houses to reflect their dreams.
Singapore boat house
The children used their imagination too and designed their own houses (a kleenex box) with a yard (a piece of cardboard). The children researched through many books to help them gather ideas for their structures. They were quite surprised to see how some houses were designed, especially ones from another culture.

mud houses in syria

mud houses in Africa
*PERSPECTIVE:  What are the points of view? The understanding that knowledge is moderated by perspectives; different perspectives lead to different interpretations, understandings and findings; perspectives may be individual, group, cultural or disciplinary

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

We Decorate our World #2 - Who We Are

The transdisciplinary theme for this unit is WHO WE ARE. The children from Water group briefly introduced themselves and it was amazing how they listened carefully to what others had to say about themselves.

Molly: "I like to to catch butterflies and my favourite colour is red. I love to play with toys."
Brendan: "I like to play with playdough and my favourite colour is orange."
Allye: "I like to play with playdough too and I like blue and green."
Angela: "I like to play and I like red and orange."
Alfie: "I like to play with Transformers and my favourite colour is all the colours and black. I am going to learn Chinese soon."
Theo: "I like to draw and my favourite colour is green."
Lucas: "I like painting and write with paintbrushes. I like blue."

Then the children each made and decorated a puppet that represented who they are.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

We Decorate our World #1 - Decoration Hunt

 We began our "We Decorate our World" unit by going on a decoration hunt around the neighbourhood last week. The children noticed many decorations and some even found things they could use as decorations.

Allye and Angela noticed purple spider webs for Halloween.

Theo felt the green paint on his hand was decoration. 
Alfie saw a ghost decoration for Halloween.

Lucas thinks leaves could be used as decorations. Molly thinks fire hydrant is a decoration for the streets.

Brendan likes the design on the mailbox.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Sound Travels #12 - Water Group's Summative Project

We have ended our Sound Travel unit. For the summative project each child created their own tune using found objects or musical instruments. The children brainstormed the feeling or thought they want to reflect in their music and used Garage Band to create their own music sequence.


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Sound Travels #11 - Vivaldi's Four Seasons

Today I started off group time by playing Vivaldi's Four Seasons for the children to listen to. Immediately the children got up and started dancing to the music. I asked the children why are they dancing. They said the music makes them feel happy and their bodies want to move to the music. I let them know that they are expressing their feelings about the music through their movements.

The Four Seasons Concerto was inspired by four paintings of the seasons by the artist Marco Ricci. To help the children understand that people have different perspectives and ways to express themselves, I asked them to paint a picture to each season as we listened to the music. It was interesting to see their colour choices and how each piece made them feel. I'm eager to see how they feel and their thoughts when I show them the paintings that inspired Vivaldi.

Sound Travels #10 - Express Feelings and Thoughts

On Tuesday, the children explored how music and sound are used to express feelings and thoughts (perspective). We sang the folk song "Daddy Loves the Bear". Here are the words:

Daddy loves the bear, 
Daddy loves the bear, 
Daddy loves the bear and gives it lots of care/takes it everywhere. 

Here are some of their thoughts or actions when they sang the song:
Alfie said: "It is caring."
Theo said: "You can give kisses."
Allye was swaying from side to side.  
We discussed more about caring (one of the ten IB profile words). What does it look like when you are caring to the bear? 

Brendan: I will hold it gently.
Molly: I will hug it. 

We ended group time by making a fuzzy teddy bear card for the ones we care about.