Partner Drawings & Stories
A Dialogue with Opal Preschoolers about Partner Work
Teacher: What do you know about the word partner?
“A partner is getting together with another person.”
“You have to stick together with that person.”
“You stay together”
“You have to work carefully.”
“Because you have to snap your ideas together.”
Teacher: What do you think you will need to do first?
“Talk first, find out what they want to make.”
Teacher: Do you think it will be hard or easy to work with a partner?”
“Hard but fun!”
Let’s do a monster.
No, a pirate ship.
How about a monster pirate ship!
The monster comes from a space ship and lands on the ship.
Once upon a time there was my whole family on a pirate boat. We didn’t know it was a pirate ship. Paxton was the sailor. He didn’t know he bumped into a rock. An emergency boat comed and put the fire out.
The ant is going to eat the apples.
Ariel is liking Belle’s stuffies. They wanted to have their sister’s unicorn. The two girls are fighting because they only have two stuffies and they’re grabbing. The little sister gets Mama.
Princess Ballerina and Fairy dance together.
A playground with flowers, sun and monkey bars.
A treasure map with roads and water.
A horse looking up at its food.
Recently, we asked the children to try working with a partner for the first time this year. Our intention was to begin to group children with those who they may not have worked with yet and begin to support social connections that are budding or have not yet been explored.
Before they started, we asked them to reflect on the word partner and what it might look like to work with a partner. We were not only impressed with how willingly they embraced this challenge, and the risks involved—but that every child worked to snap their ideas onto their partner’s instead of working on their own side of the paper, or getting stuck over a decision of what to draw. This was an exciting window into their existing strengths and future possibilities.