Following on from our initial work exploring the work of the artist Hundertwasser, one child suggested that his work looked like race tracks.
The more circles there are, the faster the track! he announced at reflection time.
This theory led onto some amazing designs for race tracks, testing their designs and using their designs in play. Over time their drawings developed from concentric circles to a spiral design.
Now it was time for the adult to suggest testing their theories outside with the large construction bricks. When making a spiral race track outside, another child said
It has a dead end … it’s like my holiday house … if we put a house there it’ll be a good end!
Alongside these outdoor experiences, we noticed the drawings taking place inside began to alter in style. Now they began to have a start and finish, more than one race track and lined with houses and people watching the events. Was there a connection to the experiences outside?
We reflected back to the work of Hundertwasser and studied his work using shapes and lines to represent buildings. The children were fascinated with drawing their home and the location of their bedroom or their belongings within this space.
We enhanced our provision with photographs of buildings from our local environment, maps and architect drawings. This led onto map-making and treasure maps with children planning how they would set up their play animals and working accurately to their plan during work time. The children created a large 2-dimensional map with roads and dead ends which over time they adapted with 3-dimensional bridges, swings and traffic lights. The whole project lasted four months and opened my eyes to how children see things.
During the first few weeks of the Autumn term we spent time observing the children who were all new to this environment. We provided the time and space to develop a trusting relationship with them, as well as defining the boundaries and expectations of the room.
During our first planning meeting we discussed how the children had been interacting with their new environment and utilising materials. We noticed that children were naming shapes continually in their work but displayed limited imaginative language in their play, even their language during creative activities was limited to naming shapes as they stuck them on the paper. It was at this point we decided to introduce a provocation around art work by the artist Hundertwasser. His work uses lines and geometric shapes to create 2D images. Would this art work stimulate discussion and interpretation? What would they see in the pictures, shapes or a detailed image?
We looked at a range of images by Hundertwasser as a large group as well as on a one to one basis. Their interpretations included
Lollipops in the garden! and
It’s a racing car going in a tunnel!
Over the next few days children appeared fascinated by these images and began to make their own creations.
We placed a variety of circular patterns on the overhead projector along with circular coins, spiral shell, bottles to create concentric circles, slices of a tree trunk showing the circles, circular tubes and spiral mobiles hanging from the ceiling as enhancements to scaffold the children’s current line of interest.
Where will this go next? Watch the developments unfold.
Context: F.1 room with 36 3-4 year olds – part of a day nursery attached to a preparatory school. A completely new room with completely new staff.