For four years at the Jewish Enrichment Center, when it came to final projects, children mostly worked in the same modality. Like, everyone did pointillism. Or worked with clay, or balsa wood, or made a video together, complete with costumes, scenery, and props. Sometimes children chose from between two projects: stained glass or Model Magic? costume design or paper maché?
Now in our fifth year, our oldest children have embarked on something new. This time, children not only defined their own Big Idea about our theme, but they are also choosing how they want to express their idea. Over the past several weeks, we practiced a few modes of expression we were already familiar with (oil pastels, felt, and watercolor crayon).
We worked on the skill of choosing the right material to express your idea, that some materials were better for some ideas. And different materials give us back different ideas as we work with them.
Children were free to choose whatever materials they thought would best express their ideas.
And boy, is it fun.