A LIttle White Duck...
July 7, 2001
Session I, 1st class
First Day StoryArtplay (Nevada County Library)
The first class was very exciting. The vinyl table cloths and canvas drop
cloth made our art space in The Children's Library room very inviting for
art play discovery. As the children arrived and signed in with their
parents they were given jobs such as removing the wrapping on the new oil
pastel boxes. At the front of the room Zoe had set up a little scene
with a blue cloth for a pond and a large paper stuffed white duck which
sat next to a fuzzy green lily pad. As the children gathered around
sitting comfortably in their mother's and father's laps, Zoe gave a quick
introduction about the museum and the artplay program and then began to
introduce the subject of ponds. Several children shared that they had
ponds or swimming pools at home. Zoe sang the song, "The Little White
Duck" and acted out the different characters with stuffed animals. There
was a light, "goofing" around feeling that began to put the children at
ease. The little black bug in the story/song became a dead bumblebee that
had been found outside the library. After the song, Zoe went on to
display several specimens of insects and butterflies including two rhino
bugs and several butterflies from Mexico. A baby praying mantis had also
hitch hiked a ride to class and had appeared as the tarps were unfolded..
Several of the children volunteered to "oh so carefully" carry them around
for the others to look closely at. The praying mantis was quite spunky and
all agreed that he/she should go outside right away. An interesting
discussion followed with Sage sharing her observations about what makes
some praying mantises green and others white. Zoe held up pictures from
the book, "The Quiet Cricket" as she told the story. The cricket sound
that comes from the last page of the book was very effective.
Sage shows Alyssa a butterfly
The children were quite eager to do art. Zoe did a demonstration of some
possible ways of using oil pastels on canvas or markers on paper. The art
supplies were already set out on the low tables and the children settled
into their art projects Some asked for the white duck to be placed where
they could see it easily and draw from it, and others asked if they could
have the bumblebee or the rhino bugs and butterflies in front of them to
look at. Torrin wanted to draw a truck.( He had shared earlier with the
group that he wanted to be a waste management expert when he grew up.).
Olivia gets ready to make a butterfly
We made our way around to each child looking, listening, and encouraging them
on. The children were riveted. Some tremendous story lines emerged. Andrea
worked very hard on her pond working and reworking it. It seemed to be a
breakthrough piece for her. As she brought it to completion she simply lit
up and glowed. The children were so engaged that the class ran overtime.
There were many cheerful thank yous and goodbyes, but we did not come
together again in a circle and talk about our work. We look forward to
doing this at next Saturday's StoryArtplay class.