Our whole school is getting ready for a Learning Showcase about the seven continents, so my preschoolers have been exploring tales from around the world. With our class spotlighting Australia, we threw ourselves into creating a series of murals across the back wall of our classroom, to tell the story of Why Koala Has a Stumpy Tale (by Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss).
I set up lots of different process art activities to engage the children. One day, we shredded paper into bits and pieces to create the cracked earth of a dried up riverbed. Another day, we rubbed and rolled crayons up, down, and all around a cut-out koala and tree kangaroo. Still another day, we raced cars through paint, to create the lines on a tree trunk. But the surprise fun was the leaves! No, not so much their creation - sure, it was fun to be free to make rainbow leaves, purple leaves, any kind of leaves, and it was fun to use the oil pastels for this. But, no, the real fun was helping to hang the leaves on the tree.
Yes, the technique that drew them in
was letting them climb up on the table
to stick leaves on koala's tree!
They had such fun, standing, big and tall, breaking that long-standing custom, of no standing on the table.
Every one of my wiggle worms, my active, "just can't stop for a moment," "I'd rather run than sit, thanks" friends was totally engaged and queued up to have a turn at hanging the leaves. Their laughter was delightful.
And, you know, I think it helped them learn the story!