Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Invitations and Provocations - Languages of Learning

Languages of Learning

We are so thrilled to share our next monograph exploring the Languages of Learning. Susan and I share our thoughts and reflections on Invitations and Provocations in the early years. We are inspired to explore how invitations and provocations drive our emergent curriculum. You can follow Susan's own inspirational journey over on her blog: http://innovation2learn.com/ where she shares her reflections on early years education. 

Below are several photos of various invitations from our emergent curriculum program. I hope that they inspire you to create invitations based on your own children's interests. The following photos are invitations from several of our past inquiries with our early years learners. Many of the items included in the invitations were collected and brought into the learning environment from the children. The children in our learning community have a strong connection to nature and the outdoors as we are a rural school. Often their wonders develop from these relationships and explorations.  




The children brought several leaves to school from home. Each child shared their leaf or leaves with the children during shared learning time. Then we created this invitation for the children in investigate their collection of leaves and document their thinking using chalk pastels. You can see by the photo below that the children asked to also use watercolours as well. 








Children often bring in nature items from their recess play. We provide the children with the time and materials to record their observations. This child created this invitation so she could draw her collection of tree bark. 




Play-dough is one of my favourite mediums to offer the children. Collecting vintage cookie cutters and offering them in an aesthetically pleasing way invites the children to explore. 


The children often add to our invitations as their needs develop through the interactions with the materials. The bowl of loose parts was brought to the play-dough invitation by one of the children from the light panel. The children expressed a desire to decorate their cookies. 



As inquiry research develops the children often add to our invitations and provocations. Their ideas are made visible through their contributions to the invitations. They invite the viewer to make meaning from the materials they present. During our bird inquiry several children collaborated on designing a bird nest from pipe cleaners. One child also created a bird bath for the birds. 


An invitation to explore a child's collection of sea shells from a vacation to the beach. 


Children's own reflections and thinking are often added to provoke further dialogue and interest within the learning environment. 



Several children created this invitation to document their observations after researching cardinals using the iPad. They chose a variety of materials from the atelier and even selected very specific paint and pastel colours. 




Loose parts trays offer endless possibilities. They invite the children to explore their ideas and represent their thinking creatively. 

We always welcome you to share your own reflections in the comments after reading the monograph. 

Enjoy and Happy Reading!

Susan and Michelle