Thursday, 26 July 2012

Elliot and the beanstalk

"Creativity is an important human characteristic.  It is perhaps best thought of as a process, requiring a mixture of ingredients, including personality traits, abilities and skills.  Early years staff can help young children to develop their creativity by providing a creative environment, helping children to build up their skills through play, behaving creatively themselves and praising children's creative efforts"  Developing young children's creativity: What we can learn from research. C.Sharp.

Today Elliot took me on a creative adventure that began quite innocently while he was digging in the sandpit.   Elliot had unearthed a gemstone and proudly ran up to me "Look Dani, it's a magic seed, if we plant it, it, it, could grow into a HUGE, ginormous beanstalk"
"What will we do with the beanstalk?" I asked
"Well, if we let it grow, then the next day we can climb to the top just to see what is there" Elliot said.
 Elliot and I continued our conversation about the stone, deciding we should plant it somewhere safe.

"We have to plant it in dirt so it can grow really, really big"  Elliot said as he began filling the container with soil.  He placed the gem in and covered the 'seed' with more soil.  "Where should we put the container Elliot?" I asked.  "Somewhere where the other kids don't knock it over, and somewhere that the possums can't get it" He replied.

 Elliot walked around the yard with his container trialing different spots to put it.  "How about on our 'safe shelf'?" I asked, pointing to the shelf under the veranda. 

"Nah, cause if we put it there and the beanstalk goes BANG and explodes growing really really fast it would punch a HUGE hole in the roof and then the rain would get in"  Elliot announced animatedly.

After several more minutes Elliot decided on the edge of the water tank "cause the beanstalk will need heaps of water to grow so big and fast"

"We need to water it so it starts to grow"  Elliot noted and quickly returned with a bucket of water.  Children began asking Elliot what he was doing, and I noted as he explained it to them his body language began to change.  He was quite proud of his creation but wanted to protect it.  " Elliot what could we do so the children know they can look at your beanstalk but you would prefer them not to touch it?"  I asked.

After several moments of thought Elliot said "we need to put a sign up. It should tell them not to climb it when they see it grow cause it would be dangerous for them." He stated, very serious about ensuring their safety. 

I suggested Elliot gather same paper and pencils and make a sign.  When he finished creating we stuck the sign up near his beanstalk.


There are a variety of avenues I plan to explore to further develop this interest of Elliot's including planting beans and creating his own beanstalk story.

Throughout the experience Elliot is demonstrating a great deal of curiosity and creativity, adapting several pieces of learnt information to his experience: His knowledge of the story Jack and the Beanstalk, planting seeds in soil, watering plants etc.

Elliot is also demonstrating several outcomes from the Early Years Learning Framework:  Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world - children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment, Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing - Children become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing. Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners - children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment...... and outcome 5 Children are effective communicators

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