Sunday, January 23, 2011

Keeping warm...and exploring Quilts!

During the past week, we read "Cassie's Word Quilt" by Faith Ringgold.  Since we are always working on building language and understanding, I generally try to pull out the one most significant tangible item from the book to focus on during the week with the children.  Since we see the quilt in many pictures in the book and it ties the story together, we focused on the quilt.  And, although, there is much more to this story than just a quilt, exploring the quilt gives us a focal point for understanding the story.
Our paper "quilt" all put together!
We have several small lap quilts in our dramatic play area that we used while reading this book to emphasize that a quilt is a blanket.  Even most of the children from the larger classroom who came to visit knew the WORD quilt, but weren't quite sure what a quilt actually was.   So, we decided to make our version of a quilt at the end of the week...with paper squares.
Apparently you can never use too much paint or glitter!
Friday we talked about how our simple lap quilts in the dramatic play area are made up of many squares all hooked together with yarn.  We followed a few of the squares with our fingers.  We then went to the table and used various colors of paint and beads and sequins to decorate many squares of paper.   While we were working, I attached a few of the squares together with yarn so the children could see that eventually they would all be attached.
One child would ONLY paint squares with a TON of orange paint...nothing else!
Needless to say, we had several children that insisted on painting and glittering and gluing until their square was so wet and heavy that it took nearly two days to dry!!  The kids haven't actually seen the entire project connected together because of the drying time.  It will be interesting to see tomorrow what they think of all the squares hooked together with the yarn!
Even the teachers joined in the fun!
During this activity we even had one child who has never willingly used glue before work to attach sequins and beads and buttons to TWO squares (with just a bit of help)!  We were very excited about this! 
First time willingly using glue!  Yes, some of the buttons fell off, but that's OK!
 I figured for now, focusing on the squares hooked together, was enough.  At some point, though, we may introduce how these can be cut in two to form triangles and more patterns can be made!  We'll leave that for another day, though!  

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