This doggy project was more about using our listening ears and organizing our materials than it was a project for creative art although there was some creativity involved as well.
Each of the children were given precut pieces of construction paper to put together their own dog for the Letter of the Week – The letter D.
The teacher had made a dog ahead of time so the children could visualize how all these pieces could be put together to make the shape of a dog. Then she handed out all the construction paper pieces and some glue for the children to make their own dogs.
For some in early childhood education, this type of activity would not be considered “creative art” because the outcome is a part of the focus. However, as I watched the children engage in the process of organizing their pieces, glue them together, keep track of their materials, and make decisions about where to glue their pieces – I found this type of process to add value to the learning process. As I observed the children, my first thought was that there were too many pieces for the children to keep them all organized but the children most definitely proved me wrong.
I think it is a good idea for children to explore all kinds of processes but I also think that it is important for the teacher to understand what the process offers. Creative art processes should offer opportunity for exploration, self-expression, and sensory. A creative process like this is more focused on instruction, organization, and listening. Providing a balance of both kinds of processes can lead to a well rounded experience.
When these doggies are all complete, they will look similar because they are similar but each child worked to organized their materials, make decisions as to what order to create their dog, observe each others work, listen to the teacher’s suggestions, create something they were quite proud of, and they enjoyed playing with their doggies.