Place project and inventories: Ainsley and Abel Draw

Here is such a nice example of children working together. Abel listened to Ainsley throughout this 'drawing lesson', trying out some of the ideas, and laughing at some of the suggestions, but maintained his focus and confidence. He continued to draw the 38 snowballs. (I only wish I had saved Ainsley's scraps with its array of ways to draw noses and mouths, but sadly, she drew on the other side and then cut out the shapes!)

When Abel was working on making the snowballs to use in the photograph his imaginative favorite place drawing (above). Ainsley suggested that he might want to make want to make a different kind of mouth on some of them, so they wouldn't all be the same. She showed him the ways she knows how to make a mouth. "I either do it without teeth, or I do it with teeth, but with another layer, or I just do it with one line."
Abel tried all of those ways, but made sure we knew that he wanted all of the snowballs to have a smile (not another expression), because they were happy that they were coming down out of the sky (this was before our big snow here in Central Virginia).
Next, we talked about noses. Ainsley said Abel was making the noses the pig nose way (they were round with two small circles inside), but that there were other ways to make noses.
I asked Abel how he was going to make the nose on the next snowball. He showed us, drawing a triangle with two circles inside.
Ainsley showed us on her paper or with her fingers on her own nose, all of the ways you can make noses. "Triangle, with nostrils.  Then there is the circle way, the L way....
I said "and we have the way where you connect it to the eyebrow, thats what I do."
She nodded, "And we have the pig way, and the human way, which is the triangle, cause see my nose? It's a triangle."

My colleague Marty first pointed out to me that from time to time, children seem to need to make inventories of what they know. Whether it is a list of the numbers they can write, a list of each family members name, or an array of pictures, like the noses and mouths here. In this case, the collaboration between the children was very special, with Abel almost silently trying out Ainsley's ideas, and her noticing his work and gently suggesting that he might try something new. It seemed to bond them, because saw them playing together a lot for many days after this exchange.

Here are just a few of the snowballs hanging up, waiting to fall on Benjamin!


  1. This is really beautiful. All of my best friendships have evolved from doing something with another person. Collaboration, giving and taking advice, experimenting together -- these are the building blocks of my most enduring friendships. You're inspiring me.


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