Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Creature Creations Class: Weeks 5 - 8

Second half of the awesome Fall 2011 class at Brooklyn Design Lab, with teacher and owner Amy. LC made real life observations with live animals in this intimate class for 2-4 year olds...and then the kids used the animals as inspiration for making art. Also, kids can create art, by themselves (which LC has been able to do for over 2 years), rather than parents or teachers manipulating the art to make it look the way they want. It's wonderful that the caregivers sit next to the preschoolers and create their own art each week, lovely quality time. LC looks forward to checking out the display each week (she is so proud to see her work in the window gallery showcase) and seeing her all-time favorite teacher.

Week 5 - LC named her snail "tomato." There were about 10 snails in a tank, which looked like their natural environment (soil, a flower pot, a rock etc.) The teacher also had a water spray on hand (non-chlorinated water, so it's not tap water) to resemble rain, because we learned that snails come out when it rains...so they can eat (lettuce leaves, in this case). LC observed "snail shell is hard!...it tickles on my hand, when moves...feels slimy," as it left a sparkly slime trail on her arm. We learned snail slime is mostly water, with a little mucus; it's like glue and a lubricant at the same time...enabling them to stick to stuff, while moving along.

Materials for the art...

To make the slime: we mixed 3 drops of food coloring (LC chose the color blue) with 3 tablespoons of water, which was added to the mixture of glue (3 tablespoons) + corn starch (7 tablespoons). Then LC used a flat wooden stick to spread or dribble slime onto a black board.

Week 6 - Crabs from Thailand. Art materials: clothes pins ("pinching", like a crab) and thin, wood sticks...to make a sculpture. Brushing on glue at connection points, to hold it all together.

I couldn't resist creating one of my own in class:

Week 7 - Pill bug AKA potato bug AKA rollie-pollie. They have like 14 legs - eek! And they roll up into spheres as a defense mechanism. Art: white styrofoam spheres + 1 big styrofoam cube (the kids learned those terms, "spheres" and "cube") + wood sticks, to make a sculpture...then some glue brushed on, at connection points, to hold it together.

Week 8 (last class) - Millipedes pooping on the table, that was the scene. One nanny had to go outside to get some air, ha. LC was one of the few who was brave enough to touch a millipede and she announced that it had a hard shell. They roll up when they need to feel safe, they have a ton of little legs. I had to take a deep breath and help one reverse direction, so it didn't fall off the table...yes, I touched one. (Honestly, I enjoyed touching snakes a lot more last Halloween at the zoo :-) I am proud of LC for not being afraid of one animal during this semester and wanting to be a little scientist/artist. Materials for the below art - colorful, little pieces of wire (like little legs) + modeling clay = sculpture.

And I made one of my own in class: