We have spent the last few weeks exploring the element of Line with the children at school. The kindergarteners went on a walk looking for lines in nature, and brought back beautiful images to inspire their work with Elizabeth in the studio. We have used branches, pinecones, stones, and strips of paper to think about lines and what they can do. We have made lines with pens, with india ink, with paint, clay, and even with our own bodies!
This morning when the children arrived at school they were greeted by the provocation of a tape line that created a path all around the classroom. At morning meeting we read “The Line Up Book” and wondered together, what can we do with this line? There were lots of ideas: We should line up blocks along the tape line. Follow the line. Make arrows pointing the other way and go in the opposite direction so we can walk on it either way. We should create little lines coming off of the main line with arrows pointing to each activity at Explore. We should each have our own line, represented by different colors.
We used various materials to create lines, to extend the main lines and connect the lines to each other. As we talked about these lines we discovered that some of them were friends.
Archer: “Let’s connect our lines with each other!”
Later, lines were seen in the water table making a pulley to save drowning people, and we heard one friend suggest to another
“Let’s take our lines to go play together in the ocean!”
It is amazing how intentional work with materials can create a common metaphor for children as they explore their social-emotional world. Of course we hope for this when we introduce a material in a thoughtful way, but we can not plan for the way in which it will unfold. It is the children who breathe life into the metaphor and make it their own.