The Australian International School (AIS) XI Campus recently opened their new ‘creativity and curiosity classroom’ to their Infant, Kindergarten and senior KG students. This “Atelier” gives the students an opportunity to come together and explore through an invitation to play. One of the first projects they explored was making their very own Stick Man, based on the story by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. They approached this through the medium of clay.
The children first enjoyed the story at assembly. This story centres on Stick Man, who lives in the family tree and ventures out into the wilderness, where he catches the interest of all sorts of characters. The Assembly gave the children a chance to talk about the story and start to thinking about making their own Stick Man.
The children were then given the clay, to freely discover, investigate and explore. They learned clay can be shaped using their hands or different tools, and were fascinated as it changed shape. Clay was not just some messy fun but acted as a language for exploring and communicating.
The children then combined the clay with objects like sticks, twigs and buttons to bring their own versions of Stick Man to life. This activity also helped develop their hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and the use of hand and wrist muscles which are essential to pre-reading and pre-writing skills.
The youngest to the oldest worked peacefully and collaboratively to create some amazing Stick Men!
The use of playful exploration with activities like The Stick Man reinforces the AIS Kindergarten philosophy that, through playful exploration, inquiry and discovery we build caring, confident and capable learners.