About This Blog

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wonder What To Make

Open Ended Projects
When working with kids I like to do projects that can be done quickly and stretch out for weeks. Quick projects are great to teach a small concept before their attention is refocused onto something else. A successful project will create wonder in children. It is truly fascinating to listen to the amazing questions that occur to kids and then watch as they try and discover the answers for themselves. A very important step in critical thinking is not to give children answers but to let them discover their own answers. Unfortunately I have noticed "teaching to the test" in school does not encourage critical thinking. (But that is another story!). Here is an example of a great open ended project that can be done in 10 minutes or 2 weeks.
  Varies, I'd say 2-12. I worked with age 4
  Paper large enough to trace body
  Something to trace with
Optional Material:
  Measuring instrument
  Paint and Brushes
  Book about body (inside and out)
Vocabulary: (I worked with a 4 year old, so these are just a few words I introduced)
1. Read or explore book.
2. Trace child's body on paper.
3. Have material for child to add features.
Done! Or..... Here are just a few avenues you could explore. There are so many topics that could be covered.
*Measure the body, we used a tape measure, talked about inches, hung it on his door, and continued to measure for weeks. Compared his growth on his birthday.
* Talked about body parts, how they work. "What color is the brain?" and "How does your brain grow" were questions that a 4 year old asked.
* Painting opens a ton of topics to explore:
    Mixing colors
    Texture of paint
    Paint tools and care of tools (how to clean brushes)
* Observe facial features in mirror.
    Remind them of their observations when creating their own face on the paper.
* In the end, teamwork was needed to finish painting.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful fun. Thoughtful expression will never let school interfere with learning, right?