A Reggio Emilia-style provocation encourages interest, involvement, and creativity from children.  We provided a provocation in the hallway with art materials and video clips of volcanoes erupting.

The art materials chosen were paints and markers.  The shades of colors represented colors of volcanoes, lava, fire and smoke; all of the things have drawn an interest in the children lately.

The materials were provided in a way that encouraged the children to explore the materials with out direction, share and extend each other’s ideas, and engage their interest and excitement.

Before we used the art materials, we watched the video clips of the volcano erupting.  The children have been reading books in class about them, and using other materials to represent volcanoes, so watching the video brought their knowledge to life.  As they watched, we engaged in conversation………

Zoey “It’s coming down!”

Teacher “What is coming down?”

Jake “Rocks!”

Juliet and Cody “Fire!  Wooooo Fire!” (continuously repeating this)

Teacher “What is lava?”

Jake “It’s kinda rough like little Einsteins”

Teacher “Where does lava come from?”

Jake “A big hole!  It is so high!”

After we watched the video clips, we walked into the common area to make representations of what we know about volcanoes.  The children moved from paint to markers, using these materials to create images, as they discussed volcanoes and other topics about volcanoes.

One of us explored using her hand as a paint brush ;0)

And she was pleased with how her work came out using it ……..

We were very proud of each of our creations, and we were sure to show them off……

Here is the finished piece…………

Beautiful, isn’t it???????

Some of the children chose to use the markers.

As they drew, they discussed each others drawings and ideas.  The conversations and dialogue was exciting for the teachers to watch.  The children explained their marks, and discussed their “theories” of what they were making.  This type of dialogue is what we aim for while we engage in projects with the children.

The children took time to discuss with the teachers what their drawing represented, and were very proud of their work……….

“There is smoke in the volcano.  If you go in the volcano, you get hurt.” – by Taylor

“I do two colors.  red and orange, and blue and yellow make green!  It’s a big volcano!  Lava burns.”  – Jake

“I make volcano coming.” – by Jayson

“There is lava coming, and there is a big hole, and it is a mountain.” – Gemma

by Jayson


“Fire burns.” – Alena

“Volcano gots lava, smoke!” – Zoey

And as we were coming to an end with our work, Gemma made this beautiful picture……..”mommy with really long arms” ;0)

What a perfect ending to such a wonderful investigation of volcanoes.

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