The Details of Grass

Each girl in our Kindergarten class is given a “Wonder Book” at the beginning of the year. This acts as a sketchbook, or a special place for our students to draw or write about the things they are wondering about.

One beautiful morning, we brought our students outside and asked them to simply sketch the grass. Concentrating and observing from above, they stood in a long line and sketched the grass. Most of them drew straight lines and stereotypical drawings of grass without really examining the details of each blade. When they were finished, we asked everyone to lie down in the grass, turn the page, and begin to sketch the grass again, lying on their stomachs. We wondered, “Would their sketches change? Would their detail be greater?” What we noticed was in fact closer attention to detail, more thoughtful observations, and students taking longer looks at the grass.

IMG_8316

Afterwards, photographs of the grass were printed and placed at our Production Centre, where students used a range of utensils to create illustrations that reflected these  observations.

IMG_8322

The grass is so pointy it could pop balloons… – JK student

grass

 This opportunity reinforced with us the importance of asking children to look closely, and providing meaningful opportunities for them to refine and develop their skills in observation and communicating their thoughts and ideas.

“Most children are naturally curious about their surroundings. They have an interest in exploring and investigating to see how things work and why things happen. Children have an innate sense of wonder and awe and a natural desire for inquiry. The Full-Day Early Learning–Kindergarten program capitalizes on children’s natural curiosity and their desire to make sense of their environment. However, curiosity on its own is not enough. The guidance of a thoughtful Early Learning–Kindergarten team is essential to enable children to learn through inquiry. The team should use inquiry-based learning to build on children’s spontaneous desire for exploration and to gradually guide them to become more focused and systematic in their observations and investigations.” Ontario Ministry of Education, FDK Document

Advertisements

One thought on “The Details of Grass

  1. Beautiful work! I find it interesting that you invited the children to draw again…the second time lying down. I am considering this invitation as not only one that changed the children’s perspective when looking at the grass but also how the act of lying down might have affected them in terms of self-regulation. I am wondering about the possibility that the calming affect of this exercise allowed them to attend to the subject (the grass) and consider more fully how they might represent it. I am curious, did you notice a difference in the drawings, in terms of time they spent, colours they chose, their use of line, etc.?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s