Better Beginnings Session 4 – Journeys

Imaginary Leaps at the State Library of Western Australia

Better Beginnings in partnership with Early Years artist Rachel Riggs

Tues Aug 16th

We began  talking about this weeks theme, Journeys and asked how everyone had got here today? Mainly by car, but some came by bus and the train,so we talked of other forms of transport by bicycle, boat, aeroplane ,’ive got a green bike’ says Joseph,  and role played the movement of different forms of transport.

Read featured book – ‘In my Backyard’ By Nette Hilton , and talk about how the writer tells a story transforming the city into a jungle, and how the city makes a rhythm .The children want to give the three story children names, calling them Connor, Hannah and Jo, in the illustration by Anne Spudvilas from the book ‘In my Backyard’  .

We play with the rhythms in the book, repeat the words and parents clap and the children stamp and step to the rhythms, of people walking, trains going fast and buses whizzing past. Use percussion instruments to make a soundscape to the same rhythms, the children really listen to each other and with the parents clapping a rhythm; we get a great sound going. The Riverboat Crew by Andrew Mclean is a cross hatch drawing of a man with a ships steering wheel, so we all get a pretend steering wheel (plastic plates), decide on our mode of transport and drive around the room, using the large road signs in the room, stopping / going at the traffic lights, going around the roundabout and then park our cars.

We also briefly looked at ‘Highway’ by Andrew Mclean and then I introduced the idea of using maps, showing examples. I encouraged children/parents to use our own map of the Place to add details on they find in the space and make their our own journeys , x marks the spot . We had songs & rhymes including ‘Wheels on the Bus’, & ‘Row Row Row your boat’.

Then into the education room for making mini world journeys with large scale maps  .They looked at and explored large ex library floor maps with toy cars, plasticine modeled people, making houses, shops, car washes, garages etc  with small boxes, and our junk collection. It was fascinating to see how the stimulus of the small plastic frogs again , created water areas on the maps which made ponds with water lilies, fountains and statues – public artworks!

It was wonderful to listen to them talk with parent/carer about their creations

H – ‘Is that the water?’

L – ‘Mmm…..thats the statue in the water with lily pads’

H – ‘Whats this?’

L – ‘ The big tall building with the metal mountain’

We could of made and played forever, time to go,  listen to relaxing music and lie down under star cloth in the mid west room.

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