Monday, 8 January 2018

The Beauty of a Rose

"Everything has beauty,
but not everyone sees it."

As we document children within our Kindergarten program I am always amazed at the depth of their ability to see the beauty around them. Their wonder and awe at the world which invites them to engage in a dialogue of creating understanding. As the children enter into relationship with the materials in their environment they begin a process of observing, exploring, discovering and then rethinking and reimagining ideas. Children often repeat, rework, reconsider and then making new connections to previous ideas represent their thinking in a multitude of ways. This was evident throughout this inquiry into the beauty of a rose. Allowing the children time to move through this process at their own pace was paramount to authentically moving their thinking forward. The children were offered support and guidance in response to their daily explorations. Through artistic creation their image of the rose became visible to those who could see its beauty. Below is the documentation collected to preserve the children's thinking for reflection and celebration of their learning.

After shared learning time while working in her journal, Kate drew roses. Charlotte became interested in Kate’s roses and they discussed Kate’s drawing. When they were finished with their drawings, Charlotte asked if she could use the iPad to look at photo’s of roses. After selecting an image of beautiful roses, she went to the crayon caddy and selected two colours of crayons that matched the colours of the roses in the photo on the iPad. Charlotte placed red and pink crayons on the table. She drew pink roses on her paper. Charlotte called Kate and Stella over to the table to see the image of the roses that she discovered. Charlotte had discovered a GIF of the Beauty and the Beast rose. After observing the GIF, Kate left and returned to the table after visiting the art materials shelf with pink paper, a pencil and a pair of scissors. Kate drew roses inspired by the iPad image and then proceeded to cut them out. This was the beginning of an interest in roses. Lucy joined the girls at the table and they continued to view a variety of images of roses on the iPad.

This interest in viewing roses on the iPad continued for several days. Each play block, the girls would ask for the iPad. I offered them oil pastels to document through drawing their observations of the roses. As they explored this artistic medium their conversation centred around the effects of the oil pastels on the paper. Often I observed them using their fingertips to feel the layers of pastel on the paper. Each day the girls returned to the inquiry table to draw roses. I offered some cut roses from my garden for the children to investigate. They were added to the inquiry table and this inspired more drawings and discussion. The children’s initial drawings reflected their understanding of how flowers look when drawn. They began by creating a central circle and adding petals around the centre circle. Then they would add a stem for each flower bloom.

We shared the children’s drawings and photos of their investigations while observing the roses and rose petals with the children. Then we invited them to discuss their ideas about what interested them about the roses. Lucy spoke first she shared, “Because I like them they are red and pink.” Kate added, “That they are red.” Then Blakeley said, “It’s beautiful. My mom has a rose.” We continued to share the photo’s of the children and the roses allowing time for the children to look at each photo we projected. Giorgio thought, “It looks like a rose tree house. There are stairs in there.” Maysea shared, “It looks like the Beauty and the Beast.” She had made the connection between the GIF that they children were so interested in and her previous knowledge of the Disney movie. Then we shared the blue rose GIF with the children. Madelyn had drawn this image over the course of several days. Marc wondered, “How are those roses blue?”

Then the children went off to play block and our discussion ended. Madelyn returned to the inquiry table and asked to look at the blue rose GIF again. Blakeley sat beside her and joined Madelyn in drawing the image on the iPad. Kate sat on the other side of Madelyn and also chose to draw the rose image. Madelyn added to her drawing from the previous day, she drew clouds and rain. As they drew the girls conversation was not about the roses but rather reflected their everyday life. They discussed what they had done on the weekend which revolved around cleaning the toy room. Then they quietly worked on their drawings until Blakely shared, “I’m making a rose, feel my rose. Look Kate. I’m making a rose just like you.” I observed Blakeley and she was very interested in the feeling of the oil pastels on the paper. She used her fingertip in a spiral motion tracing the shape of the oil pastel rose. It’s texture was smooth and velvety to the touch. Blakeley then pointed to the two roses and said, “This is me. This is Pellan.” She had connected herself and her sister with the roses she had drawn.

Madelyn presented her blue rose oil pastel drawing to the children the following day. She shared, “These are the roses that were going to bloom because they are not.” I inquired about the rain in her drawing. Charlotte quickly said, “So they can grow.” Then Domenic added, “Sun and rain help the flowers grow.” Charlotte spoke again and shared, “They can grow with sun and rain.” I wondered aloud, “What if they don’t have sun and rain?” Madelyn replied, “They won’t grow.” Domenic added, “The flowers will dry up and die.” Troy joined the conversation and said, “When flowers die and the water comes they won’t die.” Stella said, “I think the flowers are going to die. Kate is doing the red and the flowers are red.” Then Giorgio concluded our discussion and shared, “Actually in stores they are different colours.”  It was interesting to hear the children’s understandings of the needs of flowers. Would they want to investigate this further? Was this the interest that was driving this investigation? Perhaps in the spring this interest will re-emerge and develop further. We would continue to document and discuss their ideas providing time, materials and opportunity to share theories about the roses.

A Gallery of Roses

Sensory Play
Exploring Rose Petals

Rose Petals Illuminated
The rose petals were offered to the children on the light panel to further engage them in the process of observing the changes in their appearance. 

"The beauty of the rose lasts but a moment but its memory can last a lifetime."