Session Four ‘Tá Sceitimíní Orainn’ Dominican Convent

I feel ‘Tá Sceitimíní Orainn’ best describes the levels of excitement that floods the classroom when the children are there. The sound of the word itself bubbles with enthusiasm and mirrors the sound of the children’s chatter as it forms its shape. I like to imagine words as shapes their forms created by the intonation of the voice. The children are currently exploring phonetics that is a little like bending the sounds of the words. Using this technique Joanna has led the children through some simple words for me to hear and I am fascinated at the beautiful sounds and I wonder how and what we could create from these sounds?

The floor offers plenty of room for the children to spread out and find their own space, a green square. This is especially important when we are creating delicate or intricate things that get tangled or grow. Having their own space also helps the children to focus on the task in hand and not get too distracted by what everybody else is doing. Last week we had started to create different worlds under the tables and in this session I wanted the children to explore moving outwards and upwards. I had brought with me lots of materials that were both colourful and textured. Each child was given about three metres of coloured wool wrapped around a plastic peg. Many of the materials had a series of pre-punched holes in them, were bendy and tube like to enable the children to weave, push and thread their wool and string through, demanding high levels of dexterity and patience. This activity mirrors their structured play that involves threading, weaving, folding, bending and balancing and sorting of things together which supports dexterity and hand eye coordination. As each child finished their piece one end of the wool was knotted to the leg of their table and the other end to the piping attached to the ceiling. I had done similar activities with other children of the same age and found it a lovely way to introduce and experience spatial awareness.

The children quickly mastered this task and returned to their positions under their tables with the partners. The layering up of colours and shapes have begun to form lovely patterns and distinct styles. I was surprised at how abstract their designs remained and enjoyed how they played with colour. At the end of each session we discuss what we have been doing. As yet I am using my observations during the sessions to direct the next sessions. My aim is to allow them a much stronger role in choosing what we will do in following sessions but as yet we are still exploring and playing in order to give them a wider understanding of what art is, how we can use it and where we can take it.

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