Recently we studied pineapples. This study began while we were exploring golden beets. We set up the pineapples at the light table so that the children could observe and explore. What came from this simple setup was interesting and unique. The children were given black sharpies and white paper to create the pineapple fruit. While the children were exploring and creating they noticed the shapes and patterns on the outside of the pineapple. The children debated about the small leaves on the outside of it. Some of the children believed they were spots while others believed they were stripes.
Here is what some of the children had to say:
“I see spots and stripes, I found some leaves.”
“The spots are outside and stripes are inside the pineapple.”
“There are spots inside the stripes.”
The following day a provocation was set up for the children to explore with the peel of a pineapple and shades of paint that resembled the peel. Some of the children created pictures of the pineapple with the paint, while others furthered their exploration by painting the peel and then seeing what would happen if they stamped the peel with paint on paper. Many of the children instantly noticed how the paint went from the peel to the paper. While most of us may think the children would have been most interested in stamping the peel what was exciting for the teachers was how intrigued the children were when they painted the peel.
According to Joyce Ofosua Anim in her thesis, “The role of drawing in promoting the children’s communication in Early Childhood Education,” the children’s ability to draw and portray their intentions has a correlation to their intellectual development. By making reflections and having discussions through out the experience enriched their learning and understanding of pineapple. According to Piaget, when children are able to think and reflect what they have drawn and are able to communicate their interpretations, their intellectual abilities amplify and they are able to successfully demonstrate their cognitive process to the teacher.
This exploration was an experience that let the children study the pineapple through different mediums. One question that came from this study is “What are the spots and stripes on the pineapple?” which is the next step in our pineapple study!
“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.”
-Alexandra K. Trenfor
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