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Monday, May 31, 2010

Learning about Animals through ART

A picture speaks a thousand words ... in our case, through a picture or an art, we can teach a child many things.

During our animal theme, we have done many art and craft activities. And, besides being aesthetically beautiful, the children are exposed to many developmental aims along the way.

Take for example, the creation of the octopus by the 5 year olds.

  • First of all, they colour the paper in shades of blue, green and yellow to create the background of a sea. This has to be coloured meticulously and patiently.

  • Indirectly, the children are gently reminded that the sea is not only blue- which is the normal way they colour it but rather a combination of beautiful colours!

  • Next, they are asked to finger paint the octopus - they love the tactile experience! Also, they are given only two primary colours - red and yellow.

  • They explore with their fingers and in the process, one boy commented "Look, my octopus is turning orange." I love this comment - it shows that the boy is discovering secondary colours through this art activity - beats teaching them about red+yellow= orange any time!

  • They also learn that an octopus has eight tentacles, and I see some of them carefully counting the tentacles as they go along to make sure that they have the correct number.

  • This activity promoted sharing and taking turn as they are using the paint from the same palette. It teaches them responsibility too as they ensure that the place is cleaned up later on.

  • Some are hesitant initially, but once they get over their reservation, they are free to express themselves. Every piece is different - even though it came from the same instructions. The fishes add a very nice touch to the overall effect!

Look at the fluidity of this octopus as it sways gently in the ocean!

Other crafts which we did include:
The elephants are moulded out of newspaper. As the children scrunched and twisted the papers, they are also creating wrinkles - which are an integral part of an elephant! They tactilely and visually learn about the elephant's BIG trunk, ears and tusks. Again, no two pieces are alike - entirely up to the children - look closely, and you'll see that the elephants are indeed very unique and there is a lot of movement - even though the focus is just on the head!

Another art is, of course, the porcupine, where the children learn more about its' spine.

Finally, I love the owl that the children painted - fat owl, thin owl, angry owl, party owl, etc. Here, they learn that owls are nocturnal animals from the moon in the picture - something that the children will remember easily because of the hands-on experience!

Aren't the children' art just lovely?

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