Project Shelf

Inspired by Kate at An Everyday Story, I cleaned off an existing shelf in the living room in order to display some project creations.

I already talked about G’s map of Egypt and N’s cartouche and cat statuette, in the claywork post. I’m happy to report N’s cat stayed together just fine; we had to glue one paw back on. I haven’t talked about G’s mummy or the pyramid, which she created after the mummy, because that’s where mummies go. No matter the mummy and pyramid aren’t to scale; not the point. She cut out the base and triangles (using guides), let them dry, and then glued them together. It’s all a bit fragile, but it’s a pyramid. N also has plans to make a pyramid, but I needed to get more clay (which I did, over the weekend), and now I’ve commandeered the art table for a day or two to sew a Halloween costume. (We are challenged by needing to share project work space.)

The mummy was created early on in our project work, beginning in early September, and despite all good intentions I haven’t shared about it yet. When I told the kids my job was to make sure they had the materials necessary for their work, G jumped right on that. One morning she told me she had “a mummy in her head” and she would need paper, drinking straws, and paper towels. I provided these, and she asked for other items as the need arose.

Working on her mummy

She drew a sad face on her mummy. “He’s sad because he’s dead.”

(It’s hard to photograph white against white, and I used my phone for some of these.) When her mummy was complete, which took time as she worked out how she wanted the various pieces (including the straws; they’re in there too) to go together, she used the paper towel to represent linen wrappings.

During a later session, she painted and colored the squares that she then attached to both sides of the paper towel wrapping–you can see that in the first picture. This represents the paintings on the coffins.

Is this an artistically accurate modeling of an Egyptian mummy? Not at all. Does it demonstrate that this three-year-old understands what she’s been studying? Absolutely. I am blown away (again!) by the way in which she has translated her learning into her own project representation.

N’s planned pyramid will be too big to fit on the project shelf. We’ll have to come up with some other way to display it. My kids are used to seeing their creations displayed around our house and on our walls. I have many, many of their artworks (and my own) framed and hanging. They didn’t react in any particular way to seeing their project creations on the shelf, although my son did point out to his brother that I’d cleaned a shelf off just for them. I think they all consider the house their own gallery, as I have a high tolerance for random stuff taped to the walls–they do their own displaying, too. I think that’s a good thing.

There is a lot I’m not doing–dedicated display or bulletin boards for project materials in individual work spaces (which we don’t have) would be great. I’m not so good about scheduling in blocks of project time on multiple days per week. But I’m doing what I can, and as is often the case, it turns out that that is enough until I can do more.

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This entry was posted in 3-D, elementary & up, history, preschool & up, project-based learning, toddler/preschool. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Project Shelf

  1. Lori says:

    “a mummy in her head” — !!! <3

    “I’m doing what I can, and as is often the case, it turns out that that is enough until I can do more.” — YES

    love your project shelf — love your project!

  2. Michelle says:

    Great stuff, Amy. You’re doing plenty! My attitude lately has been to take baby steps and make sure everything feels right before adding in something else.

    We have stuff stuck to walls everywhere, too. I do have a string near the kitchen table where we hang paintings and drawings, and I moved a bookshelf near the table (I really have to post those pics) and I think I’ll probably use the top of that for display. It’s all a work in progress. Love seeing all of your pics.

  3. Jill says:

    I love that — a mummy in her head. I bet. I can also see her jumping on the bandwagon of giving you orders for materials. She’s going to anyway, give orders I mean, nice of you to get with the program. You’re all amazing, and doing amazing things. Sharing space is a life skill by the way. Those are important too. xox

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