One of the favourite stories of the children is "Not a Stick" by Antoinette Portis. In this story, a stick becomes more than a stick through the character's imagination and play. Inspired by the story, we went to the forest to find our own "not a stick." Looking for sticks excited the children and brought their creativity to life. Their imagination transformed the ordinary stick into musical instruments, a walking stick, a hammer, paintbrushes, and a pen to name just a few. Showing the many uses of a "not a stick", the children expressed their talents for making the ordinary into extraordinary.
This slideshow began as a photography project. I wanted the children to express their interest in the forest by taking photographs. It soon became evident that playing in the forest was what the children were interested in doing. While engrossed in play, I began taking pictures of the children expressing themselves. Back in the classroom, the children viewed the pictures and enthusiastically shared the stories of their play. This led to more pictures being captured in the classroom and the playground. The slideshow reflects how the children express themselves on a daily basis through their play and interactions with one another.
The children are exploring different ways to express their knowledge about trees. Painting was the first method of expression. Prior to painting, the children viewed a slideshow of different artists and their painting perspective of trees. We talked about the mood each painting evoked in each of us. To my surprise, all of the children preferred a realistic painting of a tree.