Dove, By Elanor
The kids found it, and soon they were enthusiastically watching the dove watch them, as she sat on her eggs.
I decided to take small groups of children out first thing in the morning to observe and paint her.
We witnessed the papa dove bringing nesting material to the mama and watched as she tucked it into her nest carefully.
What an amazing gift. The small groups all seemed to possess a tranquility and peace as they sat in the early morning light, watching the mama and drawing and painting.
Here are some of their representations:
On Monday I returned with a small group to paint. The dove was gone.
They painted the empty nest and theorized why she left. They decided they still wanted to paint the birds even thought they weren’t there.
Maren: “Maybe they left because it’s horrid, not so good. The babies might go on the playground and get stepped on. Maybe she wanted a quiet place.”
Mary: “I think they just wanted to visit someone’s house and because the baby birds rolled off the nest and flew.
Paige: “I think they just wanted a new home instead of here. Maybe in another bird nest or a birdy house, maybe because this house was not too nice.
Maren: “Maybe she came here when no kids were playing on the playground and she said, ”This is a nice quiet place.” And then all the kids came and then she maybe just wanted to fly away and build a nest somewhere else because it wasn’t comfortable.”
They returned to their class and reported the missing bird as well as their theories. While disappointing, both preK classes have chicken eggs in an incubator in their classroom.
Later that same afternoon there was a group of Kindergarten children in the studio working on their dream house stories, when a rainbow graced itself in a long stretch of the floor under the table. The sunlight managed to hit the water and reflect off an angle of the glass turtle tank in perfection. Estelle and Khalisa dove under the table to investigate. “Look Estelle colored her hair!!”
Last week it was a an unexpected find in the trash,
this week an unexpected find of a nesting dove (and then loss) in nature, and then by days end there was a rainbow wrapping around our feet. Provocations unplanned never cease to amaze me.
Wonder, discovery, metaphor… continue to be profound principles that guide, inspire, and provoke learning for both the children and the adults. Not only do these unplanned valued interactions promote engagement, they spark possibilities for growth and perhaps projects in the future. They offer conversation. They offer beauty. They offer confusion. They offer possibilities. They offer imaginings.
PS If you happen to live in the DC MD VA area, I have a piece of art entitled Sparrows, 1-9 at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center. The exhibit is “Greenspiration.” Opening this Sunday, May 16th 2-4pm