Session Four: Building Knots, Words & 3D Shapes’

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Artist: Helen Barry

Teacher: Bríd McGovern

Class: Junior Infants (4&5yrs)

School: Our Lady Of Mercy School Convent 

Our fourth session is the second part of session three. In session three we had built the walls of our installation using colour, shapes and patterns. During the week Bríd got the girls to re-stick some of the patterns onto the yellow cellophane. Pritt stick is not always the strongest choice. Bríd had also demonstrated 3D shapes with the girls. Whilst the children were at assembly I upturned 4 tables and popped the cardboard tubing and cellophane walls back in place.

Initially the children reattached a few straggling shapes back into place. We were going to be tying wool linking the cardboard tubing together creating a roof like piece over the four cellophane walls. Before tying the wool I needed to make sure the children could tie knots. This proved an interesting challenge but we got there surprisingly quickly. Bríd was probably more skilled at teaching the children at how to tie knots that I was. We practiced on yellow wool which the children suggested that we all made bracelets from and have a sort of club, naturally we did this.

Once our knot tying was up to speed the children worked in twos to string the different coloured wool across the top of the space we had created. As our space/installation began to take shape I asked the children to look at the roof and find different shapes the wool had outlined. There were probably hundreds of different shapes for us to find.

After the break I invited the children to choose a word that they liked the sound of, ideally a new word. Bríd helped the children with the spelling as some of the words were quite tricky and not words that they would at this stage be spelling in the classroom. I was surprised at some of the words the children choose and struggled with spelling them correctly myself. The children re-wrote their word on a coloured piece of card which I tied to the wool roof of our installation.

When we had completed all of out task we sat in a circle in the installation and spoke a little about why we had chosen each word. I think the children were extremely proud of what they created and I definitely was. It was really beautiful and demanded a lot of hard work and attention from the whole class.

Here are a selection of the words chosen by the children.

Hibernation

Installation

Resident Bird

Mc Cambridges

Solitude

Migration

Perimeter

Trapezium

Gymnastics

Delicious

Alphabet

Solitary

Carbohydrates

Murmuration

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