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Tuesday 10 May 2016

Forest Schools, Responding to Calder, Constructing Mobiles

Back to Forest Schools after a week off school! This week we responded to the artist Alexander Calder and his mobile style art.

We began the session with an active game and then a plant identification circle. Each child had a blindfold on. These were cheap ones from an Ebay store. They are slighty see-through, but I think this is perfect for 7 year olds. The children were given a leaf each and concentrated on the lines, shape and texture of their leaf. 

Then the children took off their blindfolds and found the tree that their leaf belonged to.

To link Forest School with the construction element of the visual art curriculum, we looked at examples of Alexander Calder's work. I decided not to mention the artist's name or any details about the art- I just let the children talk about it.
They saw rainbows and shapes. They discussed the colours and lines.

We used soft wire that I had purchased from Cork Art Supplies. It is easy to bend and manipulate. The children then made their own response to the structures. It was quite a process based lesson as the plants were so delicate, there wasn't much product after they played with them. 

Some wanted to put their creations in their hair- it had taken a different meaning from Calder's and become their own.

One child told me that he wasn't making a 'thing' but just 'doing it'. I was delighted to hear this! Process, yes! 

Something I am finding a struggle is to let go of the structure of the classroom when outside. Obviously they still need to be safe and meet the curriculum objectives, but I want to try to encourage the child-led learning. The hour outside just flies by!

A slug crawled out of the flowers later on when we were back in the classroom! There was great excitement. It was decided that the slug should be put in with the Innocent 'Sow and Grow' Spinach plant!! I spend most my summer keeping slugs out of the garden, but the plant was sacrificed all in the name of child led learning! :D 

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