The Heart of the Process
When it comes to preschoolers and processed snacks, less is more! The opposite is true when it comes to art projects. At Galilee Christian School, every teacher strives to provide art experiences that are focused on the process of creating versus the final product.
Take a look at some recent winter projects in the classrooms at Galilee:
This Pre-K student is experiencing "Pole-r Painting." She selected two colors of paint, drizzled it onto a piece of paper in a box, dropped in some magnetic marbles and began painting by dragging a strong magnet across the bottom of the box.
She is making her own choices, experimenting with new materials, making predictions, and having fun open-ended play! She is in complete control of the direction of her artwork.
Meanwhile, over in the Panda class, this child was experiencing the sensory joy of painting on "ice." The foil served as a new medium for his creativity and he had the opportunity to explore texture and tint while engaging in dramatic play! Messy? YES. Process focused? Absolutely.
While the canvas in this ice painting artwork was an unusual material, the tool used in this next project was the highlight of the process. Paint was poured through a funnel to create a zig zag design on a paper plate that was ultimately cut in a spiral, decorated, and transformed into a dragon.
Process for the PURPOSE of product is just as valuable to a preschooler's development as open ended free art and often goes hand in hand. This preschool class turned out twelve dragons, however, they did not look identical to a teacher provided sample because the focus was on using the tool (funnel) and the design in the moment (child led). In product based art, children can and often do become anxious that they will do something wrong or make a mistake while trying to follow instructions. Mistakes are WELCOME though in the process of creating and often lead to the happiest outcomes!
Early this month, Mrs. Fri and Mrs. Dinh in the Monkeys class put their hearts on display in the art center! They invited their 3 day 3 year old friends to create a painting with the sweetest tool - a heart shaped cookie cutter. This project has all of the hallmarks of a child driven process art project.
Children were simply given paper, paint choices, cookie cutters, and most importantly -- time. There were no examples to copy, no teacher expectations, and no rush. The outcome? These wonderfully unique heart paintings! Artist personalities are on clear display in the color choices, quantity of paint used, smearing methods, and surface of paper covered. That is the absolute beauty of a process focused project. It's all about what happens WHEN you are playing and creating not WHAT you end up with at the end of the activity. Mrs. Fri keeps her Monkeys engaged with a variety of tools and materials to keep the young creators interested.
At Galilee Christian School, art time is a time for growth, experimentation and development. Of course, none of us can resist the frameworthy handprints that are a preschool staple in scrapbooks and memory boxes. Our hearts, however, are TOTALLY in the process.