This story is a favorite of mine because of the surprise of simplicity. The young artist came to class and announced she would like to make a moon bounce. Most of the kids were working at a center with recycled objects so my mind immediately began imagining ways to construct a box and add textiles to give it some softness and bounce. As I moved to that part of the room talking about considering what materials would be best for a moon bounce, the answer came with a definitive, "I want to make it out of clay."
Now I felt a bit nervous, not sure I had a great plan in mind for how to make a moon bounce out of clay. Hoping to be helpful, I suggested she draw what she had in mind before getting started. The drawing is on the right - you can see she has already begun to recreate it with clay.
Here, she experiments with getting the newly formed moon bounce (modeled on a princess castle moon bounce) to stand up.
Smoothing down a piece in the back for support helps to solidify the structure.
Finally, a carefully constructed figure is placed inside the doorway.
Attached by the arms, the figures feet do not touch the base of the doorway - because she's jumping!
I love watching stories unfold as kids paint. One fellow educator described it as the marks on the page grounding the story. Here is a simple story really, and the telling came at the end but I love how the process mirrors the narrative.
The artist begins by painting herself within an enclosure.
She adds another figure, using overlap to show this person is behind and around her and then fills in the background.
"It's me and I'm going out to play and my mom is giving me a hug good bye."
This young artist begins with a palette of warm colors mixed in another class. He enjoys scooping the paints and moving colors to another tray.
Here he is fascinated by the drips of white on the dark pink and red - good contrast.
He finds another palette, a greater variety of colors moves to painting with a brush. Smooth strokes across the page with some additional mixing of colors on the paper as they touch.
Then returns to his scooping and dripping technique, this time over the ground painted. The white drips make nice contrast over his colors.
A final image shows Mom's painting as she works across from him. She explores those warm colors as she creates her round shape, using shading and color variations to suggest a sherical form. At the same time, she is sharing his exploration of the material - modeling discoveries about color, smoothness of paint and rounded brush strokes.
Each is deeply engaged in his and her own process; perhaps his mom's image even grounds and the young artist as he works. They are sharing the painting experience as they work across from each other and share materials. Mom's painting also allows her just the right amount of attention, focused on her own process, yet able to be aware and interested in her son's creation.