Today during our morning circle Sarah Lu read the book Frederick by Leo Lionni. It is the story of a family of field mice working hard to collect nuts and berries to last them through the winter. The mice notice that one mouse is not doing this same work. Instead Frederick spends his days collecting sun rays, colors and words. When winter comes, the mice slowly eat through their stores of food. Eventually they are pretty cold and pretty hungry. They ask Frederick for his collections. He helps them imagine the warm sun rays on their backs and the colors of many bright flowers. Then he recites a poem about the four seasons. The mice appreciate his gifts and call him a poet.
Some of the preschoolers asked Sarah Lu, “What is a poet?” She put that question back on the group and LRK shared that she has several poem books at home. Through conversation it was concluded that a poet is an artist who writes poems. Sarah Lu then had the preschoolers brainstorm other types of artists and what types of art we do at preschool. She recorded their ideas, “Poet, Painter, Drawer, Dancer, Sculptor, Musician, Graphic Designer, Architect, and Author.” As more and more types of artists were added to the list, more and more children identified with this role. Soon their was a chorus of, “I’m an artist!” “I’m an artist!” until Sarah Lu asked the kids to raise their silent candle (pointer finger) if they were an artist. Everyone’s candle went up.
Sarah Lu stayed inside during explore time to do some dancing and movement with the younger students and I went outside with the olders. I had brought our small digital camera with me and several of the children explored yet another art form: photography. It is fascinating to watch what young children frame and capture in photo form. Their perspective is often fresh, innovative and original and they typically use the camera to interact with self, others and place. Only a small sampling of today’s photos are interspersed here; I look forward to continued work with this medium and these young artists.