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A LIttle White Duck...
July 7, 2001
Session I, 1st class

First Day of  StoryArtPlay   in The Nevada County Library
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
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
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.

Zoe Alowan
Della Heywood