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One hundred characters – some cute and kooky, others smiling or scary -- will be hanging around the Atlanta Botanical Garden during their annual exhibit, Scarecrows in the Garden, in the month of October. Among this display, will be 3 scarecrow sculptures designed and created by our own children here at GPCP, Cabbagetown!
Two families, as protagonists for learning experiences and community-bonding within our Cooperative, secured registrations for three scarecrows to live at the exhibit. Gracie, our Atelierista, is leading the school-wide Atelier-based project with teachers, parents and our children. Designs for three sculptures have resulted from two weeks of conversation among children about motion, gardening, the words scare and scary, birds (like crows and cardinals) and scarecrows. Their thinking is clear: The Ladybugs do not like the notion of scary at all; just the word scarecrow alone seems a bit frightening. And the Frogs feel strongly that this should be a person/structure that welcomes, instead of scares away, birds (and animals) with food. So in actuality, our children have already determined that the sculptures should be the opposite of a “scare” crow, they should be happy and share; thus the name “Share Crows”. The Frogs enjoyed the word play too; share and scare rhyme.
The three sculptures have wind power (motion) and found objects, and the concepts of sharing and family. All children will work on all three sculptures. They will have in-classroom experiences that support and extend their construction work as well. It is important not to rush the children in their creative processes so that the sculpture development generates many learning opportunities that are also pleasant experiences. It should be
! These 3 sculptures must be delivered to the Atlanta Botanical Garden by Friday, September 26th so there is a lot to do in a short period of time. We will need a lot of help from parents and grandparents during the next two weeks to finish the project in time.
Participation by the Classes
Cats Class: The idea of scarecrows has been introduced through storytelling by finger plays. As an extension to Inserimiento and the focus on belonging, each child will make an identity scarecrow -- a small version of themselves -- which will be displayed for the entire school to enjoy on the deck outside their classroom. This work will begin the week of September 15thor even sooner if the materials are on-hand. They will bring the materials used for creating their identity scarecrows with you to the construction process so they are comfortable with the tools, glue, paint and materials. Look for more information coming soon!
Ladybugs Class: This project provides a chance for whole and small group investigation and hands-on construction. Small groups have begun participating in meetings in the Atelier, along with some Frogs, where reciprocal learning can take place between older and younger children. They are learning to negotiate, take turns in a dialogue, listen to other perspectives and take risks after observing the natural consequences older peers experience by participating as members of a larger group. For a few Ladybugs already, the sense that a meeting is taking place in the Atelier
provokes them to get a chair from their lunch table and bring it into the Atelier to take part! Beginning next week, the Ladybugs will construct the armature for a wings structure by wrapping it with wire so it will support a fabric surface that will be added to later in the process.
Frogs Class: Working in small groups, scarecrow talk has been focused on their form and function, and motion is a big theme coming out of those discussions (and already being explored). The Frogs decided that motion and interaction must be a part of these structures – and so it will be in the form of wind energy and a common theme between the three structures. Beginning next week, the Frogs will begin representational drawing of fruits and animals for later drawing on aluminum. They will use real tools to manipulate metal wearing safety gear. They will collect found objects and natural materials that can be used in a variety of ways given the possibilities with all three sculpture designs. They will create a head, outstretched arms that offer food from its heart to birds in the air and animals on the ground that it welcomes.
Aluminum cans (about 25 total needed)
Baling wire and/or chicken wire
Bird seed with NO NUTS
Flower pots (10”; 14 total needed)
Hay or pine straw
Jute / Rope
Kid-sized gardening gloves (6 pairs total needed)
Landscaping fabric / filter paper (1 roll in grey or white, preferably)
Metal objects that tink, clink, bonk, or chime
Old kites or parachute material
We will have a crate to collect these items in the Atelier. Please bring whatever you can contribute during the week of September 8 (the earlier in the week all the better).
Things you can do at home to support this learning
Visit the Sculptures in Motion exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Garden
Learn the finger plays and songs children are learning
Encourage observation about how sculptures are different or similar
Explore the materials being used at school too. Have fun playing with them.
Create appropriate places and opportunities to experience wire, glue, hammers, paint, and scarecrow stuffing at home. It may take some time to truly process new encounters with the materials at school and recounting them in hands-on ways supports cataloging of experiences and sensations. We have a deadline for the project on the one hand and, on the other, an imperative belief that evolution of the process should be organic and propelled forward by its own inertia. Practice at home. Practice at school.