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The Power of Materials: A Group’s First Exploration into Foil

The Power of Materials: A Group’s First Exploration into Foil

Materials, they can draw you in to look more closely.

They can draw you in to touch them,

 interact with them,

…play and dance with them!

Children’s attraction to a material can invite them to approach and explore within the arts, to begin a dialog with materials, to begin to think and communicate through using them. Materials offer us an entry into an experience which allows us to begin to see a world of possibilties that live inside of it, to access unknown places, not yet made connections. It is our job, as teachers and researchers, to listen to the many ways children share their thinking.

What follows are photos and quotes from the Cedar Room’s first use of aluminum foil: 

“I have that at my house.”

“It’s just like wire, it bends.”

“I have a lot at my house in the drawer in my kitchen in a line shaped box.”

“The box has sharp things on its side?”

“It’s silver… shiny… light… flat… pretty… a little twisty… bumpy…”

“I have shiny shoes.”

“I noticed something else shiny like that… gold!”

“I know that it breaks.”

“You can rip it.”

“It’s really breakful.”

“It’s cracky.”

“I got a big one! It’s flying like a dragon.”

“Hey, how did that happen? …let me see that again!”

“I crumpled it.”

“Will you wrap it around me?”

“It looks like an apron.”

“It’s like a belt, an airplane belt!” “They’re bendy and twisty.”

“A pile of french fries!”

“Hear it?”

“Twinkle, twinkle… It’s quiet…listen.”

“It sounds like a zzzzzzz….”

“It sounds scrinkly.” 

“It sounds cracky when you move it.”


Teacher-Researcher Wonderings:

  • How will experiences with a familiar material, such as aluminum foil, in a new setting or in a different scale influence children’s thinking and imagination?
  • What will be revealed about who each child is as they explore these materials?
  • How will we listen?






October 24, 2013