City Planning with JETRO
One kid had mentioned while building the city, how they needed to add tents for the homeless people. That made me pause, and ask him why. He couldn’t seem to give me an answer. I asked him, what if we just gave the homeless people houses? That concept seemed incomprehensible to him. It was interesting, and a little bit troubling to see how so many problematic aspects of our society are so normalized to children.
We also had discussions of race and age about residents living in the city, and why it’s important to be inclusive. We even spoke about forms of government and international politics while we developed pipe cleaner power lines around the city.
These were valuable discussions to have in this kind of setting, and I could tell that they weren’t used to it. But that’s one of the reasons why I didn’t want to shy away from it. I didn’t want to tell them not to talk about these things because they can be uncomfortable. As the educator, it was important that I participated with them, and helped them understand.
This is Spooderman. He wanted to create his mask for the Guardian activity, and his friend helped him cover his face. He made most of the elements by himself but he needed help with some of the technical things like cutting holes in the fabric, and into the cardboard so he could see, and tying the fabric into a mask.
I gladly helped him, since every superhero needs their identity protected. He designed his mask and we worked together to tape his cardboard eyes to the fabric. We used yarn to tie the mask together, and he added his spider web designs to the front. It turned out pretty well, and Spooderman was very happy with it, he even wanted to make a full suit. Unfortunately, we did not have enough fabric for that.
Everyone had a blast playing pretend together. Myself included!
One Piece of Tape
If I told you that one piece of tape help change how the kids thought of the project, would you believe it? Well that is exactly what happened with one of the kids!
We were crafting cardboard houses, assembling them into traditional shapes with connecting rectangles. However, when Bridget and I decided to tape two pieces together for easier transportation, we had no idea it would trigger a burst of creativity.
We explained the activity and encouraged kids to embrace their creativity. That’s when it happened. The tape created a “flap,” catching the eye of one inventive child. They envisioned one cardboard as a spacious floor and the other as the house’s entrance. The kid eagerly asked, “Can we make the house like this?” (See 2nd Picture).
I was amazed. Their idea had never occurred to me until that moment. With a little extra support, we even made the wall stand. That piece of tape had transformed our project into something entirely unexpected and wonderful.
Ellis Avenue Gallery
Cameron did some really individual and creative work, and he had a lot of fun. He decided to make his own original design, and made several interesting elements to his structure, like the unique roof.
Fa made the red dragon, and his work inspired everyone in the room. He had a high amount of technical skill with the modeling clay, and his dragon turned out super well. He helped inspire other kids, and even sat down after finishing his own work to help Emily try to make her dragon too. This artwork, and activity made a lasting impression that had them talking about it, and their own projects even after the session ended.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Scroll through this gallery to witness the diverse artworks children created.
Can you hear the stories behind each of them?