A central idea in Kindergarten is that materials can be manipulated to suit a purpose. So, in art class, we take the time to consider the various types of materials that can be used to create artwork — or anything that the children’s minds think up.
Recently, we looked at and touched with our hands some different materials: wood, paper, metal, plastic, and cloth & string. We discussed what each is made of and from where each materials comes. Then we looked at some photos and watched a few videos that document the process of making different things: how ore and scrap metal is processes and forged into new metal things (like wire); how cotton becomes cloth and string; how trees are turned into paper. Some of the children had a good amount of knowledge about where things come from and about how they are made.
Presented with some items made from these materials — paper straws and strips, thin colored wire, various sized wooden sticks, colored string, and plastic beads — the students were shown different methods of attaching them together. And then they began to construct their own sculptures with these materials, starting with a single wooden stick hanging on a string from the ceiling, allowing them to work “in the round”.