Finding Treasure in the Cocoon
Cocoon Group Art Exhibition
In valuing a strong image of children as artists, we explored the concept of Being and becoming an artist and invited the children to think about what an artist is.
“Somebody who does beautiful pictures.” Remi
“You do paintings and colouring.” Gemma
“Paintings are art and they put them in a museum.” Huxley
“It’s a teacher that learns how to draw and paint and shows others.” Austin
“You really think about what you’re going to paint.” Stevie
Following on from this discussion, and drawing from our current unit of inquiry, How the world works, we playfully explored different materials from the earth - clay, charcoal, wire, and paint - to transform them into something else. This process of exploration led the children to design and create meaningful pieces of artwork that represented their individual memory of the creek and other places. The children watched as wood was transformed by fire into charcoal, which can then be used to make marks. Some children rolled the charcoal on the side to make shade within their drawings. Using a firm grip, the children pressed the charcoal onto the paper.This experience allowed the children to draw anything that was important to them or anything that they simply liked using a different medium. The words of each child were captured around their drawings.
If I Could Paint the World Collaborative art piece
Our Art Teacher, Mrs Pilgrim, set up a collaborative class masterpiece based on the storybook If I could paint the world by Sarah Massini. This book prompts questions regarding change, thinking, and imagination. What colour would the world be? The main character’s imagination has no limits, but how much does she really want to change the world?
The collaborative art experience allowed the children to explore skills using patterns, colours, and shapes. Using their creativity, the children were able to colour mix, and see change while developing their fine-motor skills using paint sticks. Colour recognition and different shades were also evident. Working alongside each other, the children were able to show awareness and give each other enough space to be creative. Some children used the white paint sticks to notice shades of colour. The children explored by adding colourful and patterned textural paper. Exploring with glue sticks and scissors, the children cut and pasted a range of coloured paper onto the collage. This piece allowed the children to be aware of space and surroundings, as they worked alongside each other to form a collaborative collage masterpiece.
The Cocoon children invited the parents, family members or a special friend to the Pop-Up Art Exhibition in the ECC. It was so special for the children to show their artwork to others. The Art Exhibition allowed the children to communicate about their artwork to their family members or special friends. All children were open-minded when creating their art pieces. A range of key concepts such as form, change and connection were shown.
Inspiration can come from the everyday: flowers, the weather, a favourite item, music, or even other pieces of artwork. Listening to music while painting can influence an artist as the rhythms and tones of genres like classical, pop music, or rap inspire varying brush strokes, gestures of dots and splashes, or themes for colour palettes, and opportunities for discussion and extended insight. Paints can be combined with other mediums like markers. Some questions to encourage further exploration could be: what happens when the edge of one colour runs into another colour? Try using only a little water on your paintbrush, what do you notice about the colour? What happens to the colour when you add more water? What happens when you wet your paper first with a spray bottle or a sponge? How many different greens can you invent? What would you name your greens? Add white and one colour to the easel, how many different tints can the children make? Add black and one colour to the easel. How many different shades can the children make?
Treasure Map Adventures
Treasure maps and finding treasure has been a strong interest amongst the children. We have noticed ‘treasure’ being hidden in the sandpit under the sand which led into an inquiry to extend this interest by offering the children a provocation of a treasure map of the creek. The children discovered a piece of the map in their letterbox and together in Morning Meeting we wondered, 'what it could mean?' The pieces were put together and the children discovered that the puzzle was the creek, noticing the steps, the climbing trees, the creek, the stick home, and the shelter where we hang our bags. The most exciting discovery was an x on the map which the children explained was where the 'treasure' was.
At the creek, the treasure map was placed on the ground to discuss, to recognise the features of the creek, and orientate the direction to find the treasure. The children set off to find the treasure and discover with much joy and anticipation that the treasure was a beautiful gift from Veronica to express her gratitude and thanks to everyone during her time with us. Veronica has gifted the ECC a beautiful book titled Maybe by Kobi Yamada to treasure forever.
Thank you, Veronica, for this rich and rewarding inquiry, and also for your time with us. We aim to explore and research the concept of maps further with the children.
We look forward to many rich playful learning opportunities and inquiries to come.