"Red is like spicy sauce" is what I titled this post, a wonderful description by one of the children during a discussion about the color red.
This post gives examples of the different ways we explore a concept at school, in this case studying about the color red.
Conversations with the children are an important part of exploring and discovering what children already know and how they think about the world. I try not to correct them, but honor their ideas and help them to learn on their own through self discovery. Here is an example of one of our conversations:
A Conversation about Red with 2 ½-3 1/2
September 22, 2014
A.C., E.K., R.F., S.G.,V.C.
Danielle: “Do you all know anything that is the color red?”
RF: “I do, I do”
Danielle: “you do, what do you know that is the color red?”
Danielle: “What about vegetables, do we know any vegetables that are red? Do you have a red vegetable that grows in your garden?”
AC: “Smocks grow in the garden!” lots of laughter.
Danielle: “Smocks! You think smocks grow in the garden?! Would it grow in a painter’s garden?
RF: “Apples, apples are red!”
Danielle: “Yes! What about tomatoes?”
AC and RF: “NO!” followed by more laughter
Danielle: “Do you think the color red has a feeling, what would red feel like? Is it a happy color or sad color…”
VC: “A happy color!”
Danielle: “A happy color, what makes it a happy color?”
VC: “It’s like a heart.”
AC: “It’s like a smile.”
RF: “Red is like spicy sauce!”
Danielle: “Would that make red hot?”
Danielle: “If red had a smell what do you think it would smell like?”
RF: “It smells like pie. It smells like muffins”
Danielle: “EK, do you think red smells like anything?”
EK: “It smells like strawberries.”
Danielle: “If you were to touch red, what would it feel like?”
RF: “It would feel like burnt.”
Danielle: “Do you mean hot?”
RF: “yeah, like a camp fire.”
AC: “yeah that would hurt really bad. I can’t touch it, I can just look at it.”
EK: “you can’t put it in the fire, you can eat it.”
Danielle: “EK said you can eat red, could anyone else eat red? If I was to eat red I think it would taste like cherries.”
RF: “Cherries and blueberries! Like blueberry pie, blue would taste yum, yum.”
I guess we will have to explore blue next!
The children also looked at paint swatches and saw that red comes in many different hues, and has many different names. With this in mind, they were given red, black, and white on a palette and set to work mixing their various colors of red.
"Mine is a dark cloud."-K.K.
"It's Dark Red. It's a rain cloud red"- L.P.
"What color rain does it rain out?"-D
"What color red are you making?" L.P. to E.G.
"I made stormy red." -E.G.
More painters exploring the color red.
We also made "apple pie" play-dough. It is scented with cinnamon and clove oil, and the whole room smells wonderful when they play with it.
We have been enjoying apple muffins and pie!
The children have also gone on red hunts with Ms. Tricia and our red exploration was also tied into our apple tasting and apple prints.
We have also been working on basic fine motor skills such as gluing and cutting. Sometimes as adults it is easy to take for granted the ability to use scissors and to glue, they are skills we learned so long ago, but these little ones are our once upon a time, and so these skills are essential, and need to be practiced. We also talk about scissor safety and all the children have to walk to get their scissor and learn how to be safe and walk correctly with sharp utensils.
And of course the children were cutting red paint swatches. These are great because they have that white line separating each color, which is a wonderful guide for the children to work toward trying to cut along.
The children also set to work sorting out red items from our light table area, and then projecting the items on the projecting curtain.
At this age the concepts are simple and some learning sticks and some can just be an experience that is fun for the children. However, what we are really trying to accomplish is to create a learning environment that looks at concepts from many different and creative perspectives. This emphasizes that there is not just one way to learn about something, and that their ideas and expressions are important.