Children: Small group of four children aged 6-12 months old
Date: 20 April 2015
Experience: Painting with natural materials found in the outdoor environment
Learning Focus

The learning focus is to expose children to natural materials found and collected in the outdoor environment and to utilize them in creative and new ways through painting. “The natural world provides an abundance of opportunities to engage your senses” (Curtis and Carter, 2003, p. 93). The elements of colour, space and texture will be explored whilst the physical materials of nature are being utilized. By engaging the senses through sensory painting, children have the opportunity to utilize their fine motor skills, imagination, curiosity and artistic expression by using natural materials. Different paint effects will be achieved due to the natural elements being utilized.

The experience is linked to the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), (DEEWR, 2009), EYLF Learning Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators as it is evident that “children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media” (EYLF, 2009, p. 42). Through this autonomous experience, children contribute to their sense of identity and belonging.

Rationale

The visual arts experience is an extension of the children’s interest in natural materials found in the outdoor environment. The collection of natural materials provides an ideal opportunity to link the exploratory experience to the visual arts form of painting. The children will focus on “dripping, spreading, dabbing, swirling and building up layers” (Wright, 2011, p. 44) and discovering new techniques. By implementing the experience, children engage and become involved in “the doing, making, generating and creating” (Wright, 2011, p. 42).
Educator supervision and the small group size of four children will enable the painting experience to be conducted in a safe and managed environment. Depending on the weather, the painting activity can be experienced either indoor or outdoor.

Resources

. Recycled paper or reused cardboard from boxes
. Collected outdoor materials – may include twigs, leaves, grasses, bark
. Non-toxic paint in shallow paint plates – easy to share and for young children to access
. Paint smocks

Interact with children to support learning

As an educator, by staying close and asking open-ended questions, I will verbally interact with the children and encourage involvement and artistic freedom. By demonstrating the use of natural materials, the children will be able to explore and trial the natural resources. “Painting adds the element of colour and opens up possibilities for delight, wonder, exploration, experimentation and learning” (Wright, 2011, p. 43). The children will be able to experiment with paint and develop new painting techniques due to the diversity of natural materials.
Planned Learning Experience 2 – Dance

Children: 16 children in the classroom catering for 2-3 year olds
Date: 20 April 2015
Experience: Dancing to This is me!
Learning Focus

The learning focus is to incorporate a fun song that enables children to move and express themselves through dance. ‘This is me’ encourages children to learn, sing and pronounce their body parts through dance and movement. The elements highlighted in the ‘This is me’ dance include action, timing and space. “Thus, in creating, performing and appreciating dance, young children learn about functional and expressive movement” (Wright, 2011, p. 93) which contributes to identity, sense of belonging, social, language, cognitive and physical development.

The experience is linked to EYLF Learning Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators as it is evident that “children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes” (EYLF, 2009, p. 40). The ‘This is me’ dance is inclusive, respects differences and diversity and encourages movement.

Rationale

Gardner’s (1983) multiple intelligences theory incorporates bodily-kinaesthetic action that demonstrates how children learn to master their bodies to express feelings and ideas. The dance experience will initiate an interest and provide an opportunity as “we learn about our bodies, abilities and potential – we learn about ourselves through the art of movement” (Wright, 2011, p. 95). The children will be able to freely and respectfully express themselves through dance and body action that incorporates locomotor, non-locomotor skills, eye/hand and eye/foot coordination. The benefits of dance are encompassing as children learn to “become healthier, more open, confident, imaginative, expressive and courageous” (Wright, 2011, p. 104) that builds on social, linguistic and cultural capital (Arthur, Ashton and Beecher, 2014).

Resources

. ‘This is me’ song available on CD and CD player
. Adequate space for children to move

Interact with children to support learning

As an educator, I need to demonstrate the action and movement whilst introducing new vocabulary. These words include gestures such as pointing and tapping; bending and crouching; stretching and lengthening; balancing – stop and go, freeze and pause (adapted from Preston-Dunlop, 1980). These words will enable children to make meaning and to link the movement and dance. I will be engaging, participating, listening, watching and encouraging the children during the dance. I will extend children’s existing vocabulary and communicate ideas and feelings.
Planned Learning Experience 3 – Photography

Children: 20 children in the classroom catering for 4-5 year olds
Date: 20 April 2015
Experience: Using iPads and digital cameras to take portraits
Learning Focus

The learning focus is to extend children’s interest in identity, diversity and what makes each of us unique. The children will capture and document differences by using the iPad or digital camera as they take a photograph of their friend. The elements of composition, movement and lighting will be incorporated. The portrait photos will be displayed and mounted as per a photographic exhibition. The children have the opportunity to comment on what makes them unique. The educator will write the child’s response and attach their personal comments next to their photo.

The experience is linked to EYLF Learning Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators as it is evident that “children engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts” (EYLF, 2009, p. 41).

Rationale

The media arts utilize technology and the planned experience presents an opportunity for children to engage and interact with digital mediums. “Four year olds are inquisitive” and “show an interest in … simple technology” (Rogers, 2008, p. 84).
Therefore, children have the opportunity to use the photographs “to depict and interpret, which involves sensory, tactile, aesthetic, expressive and imaginative forms of understanding” (Wright, 2011, p. 5) that produce unique representations. The children’s viewpoint will be presented in their captured image that may include close up, medium or long shot images or the photograph may highlight one particular human feature. The children have the opportunity and freedom to capture their friend in a unique and boundless form. The purpose of the photographs is to depict diversity, difference and identity.

Resources
. 4 iPads available at centre
. 4 digital cameras also available
. Photographs to be printed and mounted
. Portrait exhibition to be titled “I am unique” because ….

Interact with children to support learning

As an educator, I need to engage children in conversations that are socio-culturally inclusive and embrace diversity and difference. These differences have been depicted in the photographic exhibition that provides an additional opportunity for parents to discuss differences with children. Rogers (2008) reports, “displaying and articulating knowledge is important” (p. 92). By displaying and documenting differences in the classroom, children will also share the experience and knowledge in the wider communities. The images and prints are a unique and authentic way of capturing diversity and difference that link to identity, belonging and “positive sense of self” (Rogers, 2008, p. 77).

Planned Learning Experience 4 – Clay

Children: 25 children in the classroom catering for Stage 1
Years 1 and 2
Date: 20 April 2015
Experience: Moulding clay to make animals or pets
Learning Focus

The learning focus is to introduce children to sculpture and 3D models and to experiment with different methods by using the natural material of clay. “The science of clay and its changes in form is fascinating to young children” (Wright, 2011, p.45). The Stage 1 students will start will a ball of clay and the vocabulary of “pinch, pat, pound, roll, squeeze, shape and mould” (Wright, 2011, p. 47) will be utilized. The elements of form and texture will be demonstrated and the children will be provided with photographs and books that depict animals as a source of inspiration and stimulus. Children can also manipulate the clay to produce their pets.

The experience is linked to the Creative Arts K-6 Syllabus and Support Document (Board of Studies, NSW, 2006) Outcomes and Indicators: –
VAS1.1 Makes artworks in a particular way about experiences of real and
imaginary things. Here children have the opportunity to investigate “details of other living things” eg. animals or pets (Creative Arts K-6, 2006, p. 21)

Rationale

The experience provides an opportunity for children to interact with a natural resource of clay that can be found in the environment. Children are able to express their creative freedom and thought, stimulate curiosity and to appreciate the “aesthetics of the natural world” (Wright, 2011, p. 47). Children have the opportunity to vocalise and share the challenges or positive features of utilizing clay as a sculpturing material. The element of texture will also be explored and examined to create different effects for the clay animals or pets.

Resources
. Clay
. Clay tools – for cutting, scraping, detailing and wire
. Plastic tablecloths for tables
. Containers of water
. Pictures, books, postcards of animals and pets for inspiration
. Child’s own photo of pet
. Art/craft smocks

Interact with children to support learning

As an educator, I need to supervise and model “safe ways of using materials” (Rogers, 2008, p. 77) and tools that are inclusive and equitable. The children will be encouraged to take their time and to vocalise the animal’s characteristics and features.
will engage with the children and ask open-ended questions about the habits of their chosen animal, environment, food, survival and location. I will extend on children’s interests through communication, language and thinking skills. As I scaffold, talk and interact with the children, I will also play nature inspired sounds/music in the background to enhance creativity, interaction and enjoyment.

Planned Learning Experience 5 – Drawing a Tessellation

Children: 25 children in the classroom catering for Stage 3
Years 5 and 6
Date: 20 April 2015
Experience: Drawing a tessellation utilizing multi coloured textas or crayons
Learning Focus

The learning focus is for children to create their own tessellation by using a repeated geometric shape by forming a pattern. Children first create their geometric shape or tile, cut the shape out – as the basis of a stencil – and repeat the shape multiple times in a vertical or horizontal line format. The shape will be repeated and outlined in a black texta and coloured in using multi-coloured textas or crayons. The children must make sure that every tile is a new colour or design the tessellation in a colour scheme. These may be pastel, bright, primary, contrasting or tonal colours (effective in a repeated line sequence). Here the elements of line, shape, pattern, form, tone and colour will be utilized in the tessellation experience.

The experience is linked to the Creative Arts K-6 Syllabus and Support Document (Board of Studies, NSW, 2006) Outcomes and Indicators: –
VAS3.2 Makes artworks for different audiences, assembling materials in a variety of ways. Here children have the opportunity to “examine a range of concepts and their relationships to selected forms, and experiments with such things as the expressive use of colour in painting or drawing”
(Creative Arts K-6, 2006, p. 45).

Rationale

The experience provides an opportunity for children to design, understand composition, repetition, and “to explain things with precision and detail” (Wright, 2011, p. 43). Creating a tessellation is a complex task that enables children to “think visually” (Wright, 2011, p. 43) and to engage with complicated patterns and shapes.

Resources

. Reused cardboard to cut out shape (as stencil)
. Scissors
. White A4 paper
. Black marker
. Coloured textas or crayons

Interact with children to support learning

As an educator, I need to provide stimulus and examples of tessellations to stir children’s creativity. I will engage, assist and encourage children to be open minded, resourceful, creative and experimental with design, pattern, line, form, tone and colour. “The acts of drawing … are fundamental forms of creativity and expression and are key precursors to learning sign-making in other forms of communication, such as language and mathematics (Wright, 2011, p. 201). Drawing is strongly interlinked to identity, being, observation and connection and I would display the diverse tessellations in the classroom.
Evaluation for Planned Experiences

Questions for Birth-Five Years and Primary – these questions link to my rationale

. Were the children engaged?
. How did the children respond to the activity?
. Did the children have enough time to engage and interact with the activity?
. Was the activity age and stage appropriate?
. Was the activity challenging and developmentally appropriate?
. Was the activity inclusive and respectful of learning styles and abilities?
. Was the activity fair and equitable?
. Did the experience meet the rationale?
. Were the elements of the creative arts utilized?
. Did the children learn new skills and techniques?
. Did the children use new vocabulary?
. Did the children provide verbal feedback?
. Feedback from parents, other educators, community members?
. How engaged was the educator?
. How did the educator scaffold children’s knowledge?
. Did the educator plan the activity on children’s interests?
. Was there scope to further extend children’s interests?
. Were the educator’s pedagogical practices suitable for the experience?
. Did the educator provide a quality experience?
. Was the environment inviting and appropriate?
. Did the environment incorporate natural materials?
. Did the environment provide adequate space?
. Were the materials well presented and in working order?
. Was there any stimulus or inspiration in the room?
. Were the children active agents in the “making and doing (being) but also in displaying (appreciating) and appraising (understanding)” (Wright, 2011, p. 51)
References
Board of Studies New South Wales, Creative Arts Syllabus K-6, 2000.
Retrieved April 17, 2015, from
http://k6.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/go/creative-arts
Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES)
New South Wales, 2014. Retrieved April 17, 2015, from http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/stage-3/
Crook, S. (2002). In Farmer B. (Ed.), Just imagine: Creative play experiences for children under six (2nd ed. ed.). Croydon, Vic.: Croydon, Vic: Tertiary Press.
Curtis, D., & Carter, M. (2003). Designing natural environments that engage our senses. In Designs for living and learning: Transforming early childhood environments (pp. 93-120). St Paul, MN: Redleaf.
Department of Education, Employment and workplace Relations (DEEWR).
The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), 2009.
Retrieved April 13, 2015 from:-
https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/belonging_being_and_be coming_the_early_years_learning_framework_for_australia.pdf
ELF Kids Video (2015, April 15, 2015). This is me! [Video file]. Retrieved from

Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of the mind. New York, NY: Basic Books.
Preston-Dunlop, V. (1980). Dance. A linguistic approach (working paper). London, UK: Laban Centre.
Rogers, K. (2008). How do natural play spaces meet developmental needs and interests. In S. Elliott (Ed.), The outdoor playspace naturally for children birth to 5 years (pp. 76-93). Baulkham Hills, Australia: Pademelon.
Wright, S. (2011). Children, meaning-making and the arts. Pearson Higher Education AU.