I brought O, N and A to the studio to use clay, per their request. What I enjoyed about their exploration was the use of new language and concepts they have each been developing over the last few weeks being expressed through their clay play. Clay, being such as open material, is often a wonderful material for thinking through new ideas.
N was sitting with his clay but not interacting much with it. O and A had taken all of the rocks already and A noticed. She said, “I want to give N more rocks. He needs more rocks.” N smiled and said, “I DO need more rocks.”
My co-teacher C has been doing teacher research on A and N’s relationship – she has noticed A often takes care of N in the way shown above, so this moment stood out to me.
O: I’m making a bird’s nest. I put the clay in my hand and I rooooooooll it.
A: I make a squirrel’s nest. And candy – candy for N’s birthday.
O: It’s your birthday (Cynthia), you’re 28!
A: You get birthday candy!
N begins to sing Happy Birthday.
A: O, you are a good helped. You’re making candy for us. *Starts to sing “I love you, I love everyone, I love O.” I’m going to my office with my cake now, bye everyone.
O: I go to my office. I’m putting special meta-meditation candles in my birthday cake.
We recently started Meta-Meditation in our classroom, in addition to our candle meditation. It was interesting to hear O combine the two in his play.
A: Oh yes, they are very beautiful candles but they aren’t for this cake, they are for the birthday in January.
N: Here is a birthday cake, I added some candles you blow them out before you eat it. Here is your cake, cut it up first. O wants a slice!
O: I do want a slice! Thank you!
N: I got a rock for your birthday!
O: And then a person came along and took your rock! That person was Lilah!
Taking on the identities of other people and pets is a huge interest in our classroom right now, especially for those in the performance group. I have noticed O especially does so when doing something he may not typically be allowed to do or knows he shouldn’t do.
This studio visit reminded me of the importance of going to the studio without a plan – but rather letting the kids choose what to use and how to use it. It also showed me again the incredible flexibility of clay as a medium, and I have put the clay and pebbles out in our classroom to continue being used. I plan on having more of these spontaneous studio visits more often.