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We Decorate Our World - Coast Salish Carvings

Today's activity stems from the comments from the children last week that a decoration needs colour.

Does a decoration have to be colourful?

I brought in a number of Coast Salish carvings for the children to explore.  None of these carvings were painted.  I wanted the children to see the geometric designs that the artists used to transform the wood into decorative pieces of art. We compiled a list of the different shapes we found in the carvings.
Byron/Alan: circles
Sophie: triangles
Esme: squares
Jayla: lines
Grace: ovals.

The children practiced drawing those shapes before decorating a whale to make their own Coast Salish drawing.  Being able to touch the art and not just see it from pictures was helpful for the children to make a connection with the Coast Salish art.  This hands-on experience helped the children see some one else's perspective and that for some people decoration does not require colour.


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Verdi, a young python, does not want to change.  The last thing he wants his to turn from his beautiful yellow to boring green. Verdi tries to change his colour back to yellow by scrubbing his skin and then covering it with mud. Nothing works.  He notices that the sky is bright yellow just like he used to be. Verdi launches himself from the treetops certain that his flight will change him back to yellow.

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I asked the children which would travel farther; a plastic snake or a pompom.  Most of the children though the heavier item, the snake, would travel a further distance.  The children were amazed at how far and how high a pompom could move.