Monday, March 24, 2014

We did it!

Ms. Melody's kids have worked for weeks on all the pieces for this diorama of the Winter Olympics. I don't know if you can appreciate what a big thing it is for first and second graders to draw figures in motion, slanting sideways, limbs going in all directions, but here they are. Careening about in the snows at Sochi, on the edge of the Black Sea. Hooray for our kids!!!!
     They got a "gold medal" to celebrate their drawing and painting, for working together, and for persistence when they were pretty sure there was a slant or a pose they couldn't master. But not just for that. During their Winter Olympics unit, they got really truthful with some questions Melody asked them, especially, "Why is it always sooo important for you to win!?!"
     Some of their answers: 
     What would happen if I lose? People would think I would be a loser, and I would be  the worst person in the world. The winner would be everyone else's friend.
     Sad - because they called me a loser. that means i can't do anything
     People won't like you. (ha ha - loser)
Melody writes, "These were just a small sample of a common offering from almost every student. We asked who had lost in a game? All, of course, had. Did anyone not like anyone because they had lost a game? They all said NO - as if that was the silliest question. We agreed behavior could make someone not want to play with you but not losing."
     Go Melody!!! says me. This stuff might not be for first and second graders only.

Ms. Megan's third and fourth graders are still learning about cultures around the world, so I shared two books with them that absolutely grabbed their interest:
A Street Through Time offers a look at cultures as they developed in one location on the banks of a river in Europe, from a small Stone Age camp to a thoroughfare in the heart of a big city. The kids lingered over the detailed illustrations, discussing what they saw, from the simplest of tools to clothing, foods, commerce, arts, and industry. Culture: what people do all day, and how they go about their doings. The kids have shown a lot of enthusiasm as they've pondered developments in language, art, technology, music (and don't forget food!)
The Wild Boy is a picture book that has won several prizes; it is the true story of a child who was abandoned in a forest in France and lived there alone for some years. Ms. Megan's students loved this book even more than A Street Through Time. It definitely got them thinking more about the meaning of culture to have a glimpse of a child grow up with no language, no home, no human interaction. It actually made them whistle and sing to think how nice it is to have a cozy room with all sorts of things to do. (They always surprise me!)

Another question for the kids: what do patterns in Polish folk art have to do with the fractal math discovered by Polish mathematician Benoit Mandlebrot?

Mandlebrot's fractal math shows how patterns in nature build upon one another to create endless harmonies - so too with patterns in art.

Last for now, Ms. Audrey has begun telling her Kinders about the artist Claude Monet. So when they came to the art room, we talked about his endless flower gardens - not just ten tulips, not just one thousand tulips, but ten thousand tulips! And what of all the other types of flowers, like roses, lilies, poppies and more, and all the singing birds and buzzing insects flying around in them? This got the kids fired up and they put everything in their drawings!

As you can see, her garden goes with her fingernails.


Feida G., your old buddy said...

Ms. Jeannie this is amazing, truly. It makes me want to get out and learn new things. xoxoxoxooxoxoxooxoooo

Melody Rae said...

Thank you Ms Jeannie.You give all the children such a wide breadth of art.
I know my students are always eager to come to you and I see their confidence growing daily!