Monday, November 12, 2012

Switching Representational Modes


The Hypothesis for Color: Tablets and Cabinets

A and M developed a hypothesis regarding color change in leaves. The thinking also  involves the absorption of water by the roots of the tree. 

M: The water from the rain goes to the roots and this changes the color in the tablets. They are in cabinets in the trees. The color leaves the cabinets and they kinda melt. The ground makes more coloring tablets when they are gone.

A: Yeah, the tablets dissolve and then the color goes up to the leaves. It takes about 100 days for the tablets to fully dissolve. At Smith Mountain Lake I saw one tree that was yellow. This is how I thought of my theory.

M: We don’t use machines. It is all natural.

We asked the girls to consider expressing the color hypothesis using dance and silk. P was intrigued and wanted to join the process---all three were eager to explore the idea using movement.  

Over the course of several days, the girls played and collaborated using the fabric and dance to convey the science of their hypothesis.

What is the thinking behind this request?

What are the implications for the understanding of the proposed hypothesis if the children move from sketching to dancing their theories?

"Allowing children opportunities to represent a single concept in a variety of media creates more meaning for the concept.

This happens as children reflect on their own symbolization.

By diversifying media, teachers can help children discover multiple ways to symbolize their knowing and return to earlier symbol to gain a deeper understanding. These strategies support the life of a project,"

This quote is taken from a chapter of the Second Edition of the Hundred Languages of Children written by Mary Jane Moran.

We watched the girls think deeply about the movement that would concisely convey their thinking.
What silk scarf would exemplify their role in the process of changing the color of the leaf?

 M. portrayed  the  color tablet in  the cabinet of the tree.  A's movement reveals the flow of the water and its role changing the color. P. is an orange leaf, having experienced the process of color change, she now flutters to the Forest floor during the season of fall.


The girls shared their dance with some of their classmates and then asked for some feedback.
It was a magical moment as we watched the audience (without prompting) move their bodies to create the sounds of a rainstorm (an experience that they recently had during music circle).  
The children understood the importance of water in the hypothesis represented in the dance and  reacted . Their reaction to the dance was spontaneous and quick.

1 comment:

  1. I love that movement is a respected form of exploration...