My teacher research this year is about the cross-over between project groups and curriculum, and how interests influence each other. It has been really interesting observing their various play experiences through this lens, especially for two threads I am highly interested in: performing and cooking.
This morning I moved the kitchen furniture to a new location, added various loose parts and cooking materials, and placed a table with chairs nearby.
Some kids, like N and A spent most of their time concentrating on cooking a specific meal, for themselves or nobody in particular. Others, such as S, T, O and H were mainly interested in getting a reaction from others through their cooking. This was an important distinction for me, as T, O and H are all in the performance group as well.
T: Make some wheat, grind it up. Make a waffle. (Sings) Do you know the waffle man! (laughs and looks around until others start to sing as well).
H: Waffles with Peanut Butter.
T: Waffles with water! Waffles with chocolate!
S: Waffles with water!
O: Waffles with cinnamon!
T: Does it taste good? Tell me it tastes good.
Then, crossover number 3 began! The children lined up on the bench to take a train ride with their snacks.
O: We’re going to Thomasland and bringing snacks.
S: What is Thomasland.
H: Thomasland is a type of city. We are bringing eggs on the trip to the Thomasland.
A: I want an egg!
O: We are here A, you can eat an egg on the nice cool bench, come.
S threw a waffle block into the air and before long they all joined in.
T: We throw the waffles!
N: It a waffle party.
Everyone chanted, “Waffle party! Waffle party!”
They would gobble up a piece of food before throwing it into a basket or the fridge, constantly looking around at each other and soaking in the energy.
The morning was full of curricular threads overlapping and feeding off of one another. It makes me think about how project work progresses in general. While we often explore a topic in a huge variety of ways, I don’t often combine different projects at the same time. I wonder how else we can explore the overlapping pieces that are at play, including the underlying ones. All three have a major social component – I wonder if this is why they cross over so fluidly.