|Invitation to play. What would you like to make today?|
All around me, students using the language of design: "I used light ones and dark ones in my spiral", "These lines are bumpy, but these ones are straight", "We made a mandala out of stones and jewels", "I made a pattern. These are bricks, these are stones, acorns, and the shells of the snails".
|Creations made in the classroom and in our nearby park.|
One way to provoke an interesting conversation about what makes art, and what students think about a style of art, is to use the images in a daily sign-in question. For one week, I had students choose between styles of art they might like to try ("Would you like to try to balance stones or make a design?") or which materials they would like to try ("Would you rather use stones/glass gems/pine cones?") or respond to an artist's work ("Which one of these pictures inspires you to try your own?").
|Students mixing materials, and also mixing up their choice of playmates. New voices heard in creative area.|
Loose parts art invites collaboration and problem-solving. Sometimes it looks like several students working on their own little pieces in frames but sharing bowls of materials, chatting about their designs, offering each other new parts to add or asking for someone to pass them another item. Perhaps it is because I have been collecting so many materials to use, or perhaps it is the sheer pleasure gleaned from playing with beautiful, tactile materials, but I rarely see arguing over materials even in such close quarters as the table below.
|A group of morning friends share materials and space, chatting about their choices and designs.|
Here are some examples of that magic at work.
Here are some of the students' creations as captured, by request, in 6-second vine clips.
Note: links will open in a new window, on desktop computer. On mobile device it may open in browser or in vine app if you have it installed. Sound will be off, click on the speaker icon to listen.
The bridge over the dangerous river
"This is our mandala for our birthday friend" made by the AM class for M on her day.
The big reveal!
T's beautiful frame design
Another collaborative project begins