Learning to Use Wire and Thinking About Bicycles


The children in Kindergarten have been thinking a lot about the UCI Road World Championship bicycle races which were just held here in Richmond. Dialog at circle inspired Shayna to get some wire to sculpt a bicycle. Before long, everyone was trying wire! Even the light aluminum kind of wire can be difficult for little hands to work with. You have to learn how to twist and bend, and that it is harder to twist short little ends than the middle of a long piece of wire.
The idea of the 100 languages of children inspires us to provide media and materials with which children can communicate. Some of these media may become languages the child can become 'fluid' with. One of my favorite artists, Ben Shahn, describes the process of learning an artistic language in his book 'The Shape of Content':
"If (a young artist) is just beginning in the use of paint, the way may be extremely difficult for him because he may not yet have established a complete rapport with the medium. He does not yet know what it can do, and what it cannot do. He has not yet discovered that paint has a power in itself and by itself- or where that power lies, or how it relates to him. For with the practiced painter it is that relationship which counts; his inner images are paint images, as those of a poet are no doubt metrical word images and those of a musician tonal images."
I wonder if I asked the children what the wire language is like, if they might say its a twist language and a bend language?
Learn more about the Kindergarten's bike project here http://gleaningskindergarten.blogspot.com/2015/10/did-you-see-bike-race-in-richmond.html












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