drawing with wire

Last week, I put out some wire for the children to explore. At first, they weren’t quite sure what to do with it. They seemed to be more interested in wearing the safety glasses than exploring the wire.  Eventually, they started to bend and twist it.  After the initial interest began to fade, I added some beads to the table which sparked their interest again.  As they manipulated the wire, some forms began to take shape.  At first glance, the “abstract” sculptures were beautiful in their own right, but just ask a child to tell you about their creation, and you begin to see things in a different way — a plane…a spaceship…a hairbrush.  I encouraged them to draw their sculpture.  Here was another opportunity to label a diagram, write a sentence, or tell a story.  Each child is at a different stage of writing development, so some wrote words and sentences while others came over to the computer with me and dictated their “story.”

It was interesting to watch some children who decided to count and recount the beads to see that their picture had the corresponding number.  Here is a plane with a ball on top.

A “spaceship” is always worth a good adventure!

And…..a brush.

7 thoughts on “drawing with wire

  1. Great great stuff! Keep it up – both in the classroom and on the blog.
    Quick question – what type of black pens are your students using. Trying to decide which are the best to use. I want to buy them for my k students. Thanks for your thoughts!

    • Thanks so much for your comment Molly! I use a couple different types of black markers. For general drawing I put out fine tip (felt or fineliners work well). I’ll also put out some thicker tipped like Sharpie fine. If mixed media or painting is involved, I’ll always go with a permanent marker (I use Sharpies) so the ink won’t smudge.

  2. Thanks for the thoughts. Do you know the thought behind using black markers instead of pencils? I have to look back at my Reggio books to see what they say, but I don’t remember anyone saying,lol.

    And yeah man keep doing the great things! I think we have a lot we can learn from Reggio and some other creative programs to make our classrooms and our schools even better.

    • It’s funny, I don’t remember anyone saying either and I just had this conversation recently with a colleague. I think one of the reasons is the contrast of the black against the white. It’s much easier to see than pencil. The fine tip can also help with drawing details. The artist in me likes the feel of the marker as it glides against the paper, so children may also sense this whether they’re aware of it or not. (Come to think of it, I never thought of asking them. I’m sure they’ll have some interesting things to say.) Also, supports the notion of giving them a variety of quality materials…it’s just another form of representation.

  3. YES! I agree with the loving the feel of using nice/good pens on a paper!
    I’m also thinking/wondering/reflecting about permanence and making a mark and knowing it is good just as it is without the need to erase and change it.
    And you’re right, it does look pretty fantastic!
    Thanks for the dialog!

  4. I really love this post! It is indeed so Reggio-inspired from the wire, to the black fine tip markers, to the documentation.

    There is something about wire, beads, black and white observational drawings, and documentation that gets me so excited!!

    I’m looking forward to learning more about documentation at the BSS session with Lella Gandini.

    See you soon!



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