The weather has been glorious, the children curious and engaged, my co-teachers filled with laughter (and always ready to lend a hand) and each and every day spent in The Garden Classroom has been a delight.
This is the time of year where things start to get really exciting! I have certain children (either individuals or groups) who come almost daily seeking certain activities or wanting specific materials. Prompted by the children’s interests, some long term projects have started percolating in my head.
Based on the children’s enthusiastic reactions to our fantastic monarch caterpillar hatching and growth in the first few weeks of school, I think it is time to revisit that experience and have the children reflect on the parts of the metamorphosis that we were able to witness. While we did not actually observe a monarch butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, we did see one that (we think) may have recently emerged and several empty chrysalides.
Starting this coming week, I will be offering an invitation to all of the children in our 3 Day (morning and afternoon) and 5 Day programs to join the “Monarch Committee.” I will be meeting with small groups of 3-4 children in the Art Cottage. Using pictures that I took of the butterflies, eggs, caterpillars and chrysalides, books about monarchs and plastic models of the various stages of the monarch, I hope to have the children tell the process of a monarch metamorphosis in their own words. Eventually, the story could be interpreted though their interests or as the educators from Reggio Emilia say, “languages.” Possibilities include the story being represented in colored pencils, paint, dance, clay, drama, collage, construction, or even as ambitious as a mosaic. The children in the Transition classes will also take part in the process and be represented in the final project.
With the kind and enthusiastic support of my co-teachers, I will be setting on this new adventure with the goal (fingers crossed!!!) of having a piece of art to be displayed in the Annual Hanna Fenichel Art Show and for the first time, auctioned off to benefit the school!
Stay tuned for updates!