Fun with First Graders

A beautiful result of an exploration with clay, wire and natural materials.

Fall in the Northeast has fueled some serious creative love over here at The Workspace.  The colors, the shapes, the abundance of natural materials....this season lends itself to so much inspiration! Here is a project I recently did with some pretty awesome first graders. It was a simple process to set up, but the creations that the children came up with were anything but simple.  

Materials We Used:

How We Did It:

First, I laid out all of the materials on a long table in a visually appealing manner. Then, I gave each child a small ball of clay.   After that, they were free to create.  They colored, hole punched, poked, stacked and rolled.  Some children worked independently, some chose to help each other. They spoke quietly as they worked.  Each child interpreted the materials so differently, it was amazing!  The classroom teachers were incredibly patient and generous in allowing me to take over their classroom.  Im happy to say our exploration went off without a hitch.  Just check out the photos below.

WHY We Did It:

It's not often that our children are given the opportunity to create in an open-ended manner. Often, their "art" is prescribed.  They are presented with a set of pre-cut materials, a list of instructions, a pre-made model of what their "art" should look like. During this exploration, the children were offered the chance to make their own decisions.  They manipulated real materials and reflected their own life experiences.  They exercised fine motor skills as they pinched the clay, poked the wire and squeezed hole punchers.  They used rich language to talk about their creations, and reflected on science concepts as they explored natural materials.   Most importantly, there was a sense of community among the children.  They helped one another and they complimented each other's work.  It was a joy to work with these fabulous first graders and their wonderful teachers. 

A final collection of works.

A final collection of works.

Have you been inspired by Fall? I would love to hear about it.  Do you have questions or ideas? Please contact me.  

Thanks for reading along, Lizzie 

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