From Smearing to Exploring Paint

Delivery Method: 

Children are smearing paint on a surface. What happens that captures their interest? What are they thinking? Perhaps they are considering the slimy feeling of the paint on an otherwise rough surface, the sidewalk. The children say very little about the color change. When the teacher asks a question about color, Claire answers generically, “I can paint” as she smears paint over her palms. Perhaps she is intrigued with how her own hands have become strange. Making the familiar strange heightens interest. But can we make this activity a bit more valuable? The teacher senses that the activity needs to evolve into something more appropriate for learning. She suggests that the children use leaves to make imprints. We see a hand imprint on the sidewalk that Claire made earlier. A leaf can make an imprint that is not the leaf but bears similarities to the leaf. It would be useful for children to use paint imprints to see that a leaf symbol by any color can still be viewed as a leaf by virtue of its shape. Thus, making imprints could help the child isolate variables that are criteria in defining a category.

Length of video: 1 minute, 16 seconds