Sunday, February 05, 2006
Colour of Summer
Most schools have access to a piece of waste land or long grass. If they do most possibly there will be plants with bright orange flowers to be found – montbretias. If not teachers could collect several clumps to bring to school.
These introduced flowers represent to many New Zealanders the colour of summer and would make an ideal ‘mini unit’ to begin the school year.
If possible take the class outside to see the plants. Lie down near them and observe them. Get the students just to enjoy the experience through their senses. Encourage them to observe the shapes they can see, the patterns, the colours, the movements, the sounds and how they feel. Encourage them also to use phrases rather than single words. Either collect their ideas from them or they can write them out for themselves.
Back in class get the children to draw the flowers. Encourage them to take their time and look carefully. Give then a narrow piece of paper to draw in the shape of the flower. When they have finished their outline get them to use colored pencils to add colour.
As they draw get them to think of ‘key’ questions that come to mind. Later select out three or four question to research. Some will be answered by the act of observation while others will need resources to find out. Local gardeners may be able to help you.
Montbretias have an interesting history having been introduced into early gardens and then ‘escaping’ to become successful summer weeds.
Display the drawings, the thought poems and research with a heading ‘Colour Of Summer’ on the wall and get the students to copy information into their study books – but only after you have given them some help with design and presentation skills.
Other ideas to start the school year.