“Are you coming Mummy? The leaves are really beautiful, we can run in them” – Jack
Well it seems that Jack may have found a new fascination; autumn leaves. Could you really blame him though? They are simply gorgeous. We take an afternoon walk most days and the trees around our neighbourhood are spectacular; fiery red, bright yellow, lime green and every shade in between.
We’ve been talking a lot about the leaves, how they seem to be so colourful, how they are ordinarily green as well as how the weather is becoming colder. I’ve taught Jack about deciduous trees and he is able to, in simple terms, explain what this means; “The leaves are yellow and brown and when it’s windy they fall off.”
Our projects usually start this way. Something captures his attention and as we talk about it more this interest grows. So, I thought I would put out a provocation for him and see if he was interested in exploring further. We have quite a few autumn leaves at home at the moment so I went through them to see if I could find a nice sequence of leaves that showed the gradual change in colour from soft and green to crunchy and brown. I organised them on his light panel with his magnifying glass.
We used some oil pastels to make leaf rubbings. I like using the oil pastels over crayons; they are smooth and vibrant. Reggio really emphasises the use of authentic art materials as a way for children to express their thoughts and understandings. In doing the leaf rubbings, Jack was able to recognise the veins from his previous study on the light panel. Here is a couple of Jack’s leaf rubbings, and one of Sarah’s drawings too.
I am thinking about putting some clay out tomorrow along with some of the leaves and seeing if he is interested in doing some prints or maybe using some tools to sculpt some leaves. I have some other ideas, looking at how leaves decompose, looking at worms and snails and other composting animals, talking about why trees drop their leaves, but with Reggio, it’s important to follow Jack’s lead, and through discussion and observation, pursue his interests. So we’ll have to see what we do next. But I think it’s a good start to a very interesting project.