Friday, September 12, 2014

Storytelling as a Provocation

After nap I quietly went about getting out an art activity.  I laid out the cloth on the table, placed pieces of paper in front of every chair, a jar of pencils in the center of the table. 
"What are you doing Briana?" Z finally noticed what I was doing.  "I want to do drawing!"
"Great!"  I said, "It's available!"
Soon everyone hurried at their task of putting their nap things away and gathered around the table.  Pencils are a familiar tool now, so as they began drawing I told them a story:

"This weekend I went to the beach with my family."
"With Quinn and Seamus?" V asked.
"Yes!  Everyone came.  We walked down a path.  And we found all of these round stones!"  I lifted my hands into the air and made the shape in the air.  Everyone watched.
"We had the idea of building towers with the stones.  It was tricky because they were round.  But we kept trying and they made beautiful towers.  It was so much fun!"

Then sat back on my heels and gave the children space.  They began to draw.  Some drew straight lines, but most began swirling around and around.  We talked about the different lines that were being made.  Then paint was requested, so I set out water colors and paint brushes.  The layering of pencil and paint made for some beautiful designs. 

Never while the children were painting did they talk about the story I told. They focused on the way the pencils and brushes made marks on the paper. After a while the began to finish and I noticed that many of their drawings incorporated round lines. 

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