What a welcome back from break we've had! These past few days have brought with them a chill that truly feels like a Michigan winter, perfect timing for our first theme of the new year: light and shadow.
Though the theme originally emerged out of a more teacher-guided choice to tie in January's activities with our end-of-the-month Light Festival, the Young Saplings have really embraced these early thematic explorations!
We've especially been enjoying the endless artistic opportunities a study of light and shadow lends itself to! Some of our art projects thus far include making "stained glass" frames with glitter glue and sparkling art materials, coloring shadows using an overhead projector and spotlight to make a mural, and using mirrors during drawing time. This week, we have even been reading a book about finding the light in art pieces. Through these activities, we are honing our observation skills, gaining new understanding about properties of matter, and beginning to discover the concept of light reflection, to name a few.
In addition to our arts-based projects, studying light and shadow has broadened our knowledge about scientific and mathematic concepts. Through read-alouds, community discussions, and invitations to explore a multitude of light sources, we have learned so much about what light is and where light comes from. Many of our questions that come up during these discovery and play times inspire our daily "VISQs" or "Very Important Snacktime Questions" These are questions asked at morning snacktime, and the answers that the children give often provide insight into their curiosities and knowledge about the theme. For example, during dramatic play last week, a child was heard saying "What if we had no lights ever at all?", provoking this morning's VISQ: "What is light's job?"
-:"To see with and so we don't need any flashlights in the day" ~Teagan
- "To protect us from dark and dogs because light showed us the sign that said "'NO DOGS COMING'" -Dax
-"Light is to keep you safe in the dark when you go to sleep" ~Lucia
-"Light's job is to see and in the nighttime you need to see the bathroom" - Liam
These important glimpses into the kiddos' minds provide so much valuable information about how the theme relates to their lives, and shines a light (pun intended!) on many possible routes the study can take using that info.
This week, we plan on adding shiny fabrics of various transparencies to the dramatic play center...we can't wait to see where our project leads us next!