Our final session took place with Ruby, unfortunately she was unable to visit us in person, so it was a virtual visit instead. Ruby had spent a lot of time and put a lot of work into creating a beautiful PowerPoint of all the children’s work. The main focal point of the presentation was the photographs of the children’s hands and the maps that they had drawn of their favourite areas of the school. Throughout the session there was talk and discussion about all the different areas of the school and discussing the various images that were re-created through the layering process. Each child had an opportunity to name their picture with some very inventive titles being discussed including…
“The liney hand”, “The unique hand”, “The different hand”, “The hand gun”, “The mysterious hand”, “The interesting hand”, “The swirley hand”, “The roller coaster hand”, “The sea hand”, “The palm of my hand”, “The hand that joined”, “The squiggly hand”, “The outlined hand”, “The twiggy hand”, “Lines, lines and more lines”, “Bat hand”, “Banana hand”, “Dots and lines”, “The castle hand”, “The dotted hand” and “In safe hands”.
The session was easily integrated with various parts of the curriculum including literacy, oral language, maths, shape & space, geography, map work, visual arts and lots more.
So, this session was a real turning point in our project as the children’s natural flair, talents and skills were clearly evident throughout the session. We began with a quick re-cap on what was covered in the previous session and the children looked at and examined their “focus” photograph in order to draw their attention back to recreating their photo using various materials and skills.
During the week we received a package from Ruby which contained various paper types – patterned paper, tissue paper, wrapping paper, corrugated card etc. The children looked at the different materials available to them – wool, paper, card, string, felt, marker, pencil, colours, paint and so on, and using their own imagination & interpretation of their photo, they tried to recreate their image focusing on texture, pattern, colour etc. The children worked individually, in pairs and in larger groups to recreate their photograph. They used the session as an opportunity to look for advice from their peers and from Ruby.
The session allowed for a lot of integration and linkage with a range of different subjects throughout the curriculum including;
- English – oral language development, writing, poetry etc.
- Maths – Shape & Space, pattern, number etc.
- Gaeilge – Mé Féin, Caitheamh Aimsire slr.
- SESE – My Locality, Myself & the Wider Community, Creating & Designing, Environmental Awareness & Care, Energy & Forces, Materials etc.
- SPHE- Myself & My Community.
- Music – Traditions in my area
- Arts – Creating & designing, Paint & Colour, Fabric & Fibre etc.
Examining our photographs carefully
Our third session began earlier in the week, when Ruby sent us on our photographs that she had developed. We sorted through the photographs and each child had a range of photos from their own personal collection. There was a huge range of photos from around the area with many stories and tales about why the children had chosen to taken a photo of that specific item/area.
Session 3 was hugely successful as we had an opportunity to use both Skype & the collaborate software, simultaneously. This allowed Ruby to instantly “post” us a range of images and photos to consolidate our previous discussions about colour, light, shadows, lines, angles, collage etc. based on our own photos. The children picked one photo each and used this as a focal point for the session. The children examined their photographs carefully focusing on various aspects of the image and used this as a building block to create an drawing. With the guidance and assistance of Ruby the children questioned and discussed their ideas and were then able to begin creating their own drawing using a variety of materials. A major focus during the session was the idea of texture and the children used a variety of materials to help create texture in their picture. These materials included wool, lollipop sticks, felt, various colours, crepe paper, cotton wool, card and much more.
We will continue working on our drawings in the next session focusing a various elements of the arts curriculum throughout. Again, a very successful session that allowed the children to express themselves using a variety of art forms and skills.
We officially began the virtual element of our Virtually There project today with our artist Ruby Wallis and it was a huge success and went down a threat with staff and children!
Our journey began before Christmas, when Ruby visited our school and introduced the children to the world of photography. She spent the day with the children and took photographs of lots of different things that are central to the children’s lives both in school and outside of school. The day began in the Junior Room (Junior Infants – Second Class) where Ruby took photos of each child’s hand, as an alternative way for the children to identify themselves, as opposed to always identifying ourselves from our faces. This was then followed with a “walk-about” session that allowed each child to choose his/her favourite place around the school and Ruby took photographs of these various places. These activities were all done again in the afternoon with the Senior Room (Third Class – Sixth Class). Before Ruby left us, she gave the children disposable cameras for use at home. The children then took these cameras home and took various pictures of things that are important to them around their home-place & we sent these photos back to Ruby!
So, today’s session began in the Junior Room & ended with the Senior Room, where Ruby entered the classroom via Skype. This was a very exciting notion for our children as some of them would have had very little experience with Skype. The children were very excited about seeing their photos also, as with the disposable cameras they had to be very careful about what they took photos off. Today Ruby showed the children some of the various photographs they had taken. They had to try to remember what photos they had taken and discussed the photos with Ruby. We had many photos of the landscape (mountain ranges, rivers, farmland etc.), animals (pets), historic sites (fairy forts, place names) and family members.
Overall, the sessions were hugely successful and were a huge learning experience for all the children in a variety of areas – ICT, Oral Language, History, Geography, Science, Gaeilge, Maths, SPHE, Arts Ed).
We’re really looking forward to our next session!
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