From the beginning of the school year, we noticed the children in Opal 1 were very interested in the idea of protection. As they played, they continued to bring up the very physical aspects of protection. They were interested in protecting their seeds, in protecting the characters in their stories, and in protecting the characters they imagined in their play. We worked to dig deeper into this idea of protection (Click here to see previous post about protection) and pay close attention to what it was the children were wondering. As teachers we had all kinds of ideas that we imagined could guide our work together around this idea of protection. But as we prompted the children with some of these questions we had come up with, as we asked them to look inside and imagine what might be inside of them that was worth protecting, we noticed that the energy we had seen before began to change. There wasn't the excitement, the wonder and awe that we had previously seen. They were willing to go there, to participate in these early conversations about self, but not with the excitement and engagement we'd seen before.
This was important information for us to consider. We wondered what it meant and we wondered how to support this particular group of children to engage in and connect to this work in meaningful ways. We knew we didn’t completely miss the boat on this one, because we did see a tremendous amount of energy around the physical aspects of protection. So, we decided we needed more time; more time for ourselves and more time for the children. More time to play with these ideas of physical protection that seemed to capture their attention in the ways that we always hope and expect to see as project work in a classroom unfolds.
One way we did this was by watching and listening as the children used a variety of materials to create seeds from their imagination.
As the children worked to create their seeds, we began hearing stories emerge. We invited the children to create and share the story of their seeds and each child eventually published a page that told more about the origins of their seed and that described their seed’s story. We invite you to take a closer look at the imaginary seeds that came alive in Opal 1!