Day 2: Teacher Reflections on our first excursion

Several children tied in their work with shadows that they have been doing in science (working with sundials).  They held their leaves up to the dappled lights from the trees and played with the blocks of shadow shapes made with their hands.

Quite a few children were interested in the writing instruments which led to discussions on the history of writing and how humans could have communicated to each other- what tools they could have used ( this leads in beautifully to our cosmic education great lessons!).

One child also discovered a beautiful brown garden spider camouflaged on a piece of bark from the tree –  the children discussed that the forest belonged to the animals so they helped me carefully ensure that it was safe in its natural environment.   Several children also noticed the soil slowly filling up their containers after coming dislodged from the Quandong seeds.  This led to the discussion of the importance of soil to plants and animals in the forest.

Some children debated whether or not they were considered a part of nature or were separate from of which of course I am sure will stimulate further debate in the classroom.

Thanks for a successful first excursion!



Day 2: Excursion No1 to the Kedron Brooke area

This morning we went to the Kedron Brooke area behind the school. Children were tasked with (1) finding bauhinia and quandong trees (2) looking at the water in the creek to see it behave as both a mirror (what does it reflect) and a window, something to look through (what do you see). Lastly they were asked to find and collect symmetrical and interesting things (3). The following is some photographic documentation of this trip.

Day 1 : Symmetry and the construction of seeing

Today I introduced myself to the kids. Even had them laughing at one point. What a lovely bunch.

Introduction: As a way of introducing myself and explaining what interactive art is, I brought in some of my work-in-progress, introducing them to the concept of sensors (photo resistive, aka movement sensors) and how these ‘sense changes in the environment’ which, in turn, changes the art work.  I showed them one of my mirror/light boxes: the mirror box becomes a lighted vignette when the sensor senses movement.

This work enabled me to discuss how perception is a constructive process. It set the tone for the following day’s excursion.

Symmetry: We also looked at some Quandong and Bohenia (“Camel’s foot”) leaves, discussing native and exotic flora as well as symmetry in their forms. This was followed by a drawing exercise where they were asked to complete some line drawings. In these drawings only one side of a leaf or seed was drawn. They were asked to complete each image, i.e. to draw the mirror image of the form that is there, its reflection around its axis of symmetry. The results were lovely. Very rich. I encouraged them to develop these symmetry line drawings further by looking at the real leaves and seeds I’d brought in; to find what was not symmetrical, to add details like sun burnt spots or insect trails…This exercise teaches them to pay attention to what they actually see and not simply what they think they see… A random selection of their drawings are shown below.