Creating the Mud Monster

Voting for the Location of the Sculpture

Our school community decided the location of the sculpture in a democratic way. All GPCP children and families voted over a period of two days. We also included church representatives and members of the Golden Age Center in this decision. The result was: Playground - 66 votes; Courtyard - 90 votes. The Courtyard was the clear winner!

To prepare for the voting part of this process the children used the photographs that they took of the sculpture to identify in words the different concepts of “the good and bad reasons for where the sculpture will be.” They engaged in conversations with adults and with other children practicing oral expression while they presented the different reasons for finding a home for the sculpture. They became familiar with some new vocabulary such as: democracy, voting, permanent, location, applying, etc. They identified and practiced writing some individual letters of the alphabet and practiced spelling according to the sound the words make.

To figure out HOW MANY VOTING CARDS WERE NEEDED, the children showed the ability to organize their thoughts in a systematic and logical way.To answer this question they searched first for the number of students we have at school. They round out that number to 80! “We need to make three 80 cards because every child has two parents and we want all the parents to vote so it is three 80s! But wait, in the morning only my mom comes to school and not my dad, that means we need only two 80s, and for the teachers we need more… (counting the teachers) 10, and maybe more 20 for extra for other people from the church…so all together is…”

When we had to count the final votes, one of the children said immediately that we could count by 10s, so they started counting the cards and created piles of 10 cards. Then when they had the piles ready in line they counted the piles: one, two, it was clear to them that 9 piles of 10 makes 90. The playground votes made 7 piles and they had to figure out that 7 piles are not exactly 70 votes since in the last pile there were only 6 cards.

During this process, the children:
  • Begin to understand the concept of estimation. After lining down both groups the children recognized that one line is longer than the other, and they made a connection that in one group there are less cards than in the other.

  • Develop an awareness of the community in which the school is surrounded. Through this voting process the children paid close attention to who else lives in our church building and identified all the different people that will have the right to vote. Also the children thought about all the many “other people that we don’t even know” that will see the sculpture too.

  • Are introduced to the concept of DEMOCRACY, through the action of the "vote day" the children had to learn how to respect the differences of opinions and recognize individual preferences and differences.