Here it is! Another example of the amazing results of a Reggio Emilia provocation. No matter how many times I do this, I am in awe of what transpires. A Reggio provocation is characterised by its unbounded, limitless potential – a true reflection of a child. It is just so exciting to watch unfold! If I haven’t expressed it enough, PLEASE, try a Reggio provocation with the children you love – they will astound you in more ways than you could imagine! – In more ways than they already do! Children have so much to express, give them the opportunity!
On alternating Wednesdays I blog about a Reggio Emilia Provocation
This week’s Theme: Bed Time
Description of Provocation: Exploring Measurement: Provide measuring cups, rulers, soft (tailor’s) measuring tape, numbers (plastic, foam, magnets, etc.), feathers (variety of sizes and colours)
O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 2 years+ 5 months
Initial Topic (Observe and question your tot about a topic of interest)
- The girls have shown a significant amount of interest in bird nests over the last couple of weeks. Also, we went shoe shopping for Mr. Y, and the girls LOVED measuring their feet at the store. Last, they really enjoy putting measuring cups in order.
Materials (This can include anything)
- For the measurement component, I chose measuring tools (measuring cups (plastic & ceramic), straight rulers & a tailor’s tape measure)
- I chose a variety of bird feathers because I felt that would relate to both the bird nest interest and our bed time theme (because feathers are often used to make pillows, blankets and even beds!)
Set-Up (This should be visually appealing and intriguing)
- Where?: I chose a space with natural light in a fairly open area.
- Workspace: I defined the workspace using place mats. I laid a ruler on the mat horizontally and I also placed some magnetic numbers vertically along the side of the mat.
- Display: I displayed the measuring cups on the wall using hooks – to add a 3D element – (plus they like manipulating things on and off hooks). I displayed the feathers in blocks of colour on a clear plastic tray (or in small buckets)
Observation (Observe your tot interacting with the provocation you have set up. Remember not to interfere or ‘teach’. If you stay out of the way, you will be pleasantly surprised!)
- What was interesting? Initially, M was interested in the feathers and O was interested in the measuring tools
“Measure,” said O
O inspects the ceramic measuring cups
“What is this?” asks M
M manipulates the feathers
- What was asked? The only question I recall from them was M asking, “What is this?” (in regards to the feathers.) I answered her and asked her, “Do you know what a feather is?” “No,” she said. So I gave a brief description (including that we use them to make pillows/blankets etc.) – this did not incite any interest at all.
- What was said? So much was said, it’s really difficult to relay. I think it’s best to illustrate some of the main ideas of what was said, into the ‘What was done’ section below. This is why it is really important to take notes! You cannot remember it all!
- What was done? A LOT!!! None of which I anticipated. (I haven’t written them in order of occurrence, I’ve written them from smallest amount of interest to largest.)
#1 – Butterflies! O makes the connection that feathers are used to fly and butterflies fly so we can make butterflies out of these feathers:
“I make a butterfly!” says O
#2 – Time for a pedicure! M decided to use the feather as a nail polish and then decided that the other feathers should be my toe separators! (I can’t believe I’m showing the world pictures of my unkempt toenails…but in the name of education, and M’s brilliant idea, I am!)
M carefully places the toe separators
M paints my nails green (I paint their toes green!)
# 3 – O’s invention. O strung the measuring tape through the cupboard handle, stood back and said, “Watch!”. Then she pulled the door open proudly.
O pulls the measuring tape taut
#4 – Measuring. This was mostly driven by me. I asked O, “You said measure before, what is measure?” She said, “I can measure all my things!” “Yes you can! But what does measure mean?” “I don’t know,” she said. So I gave a brief description, “Measuring is how big or small something is.”
I say,”This feather goes to 7, this one goes to 4. Which is longer?”
“Which measuring cup holds more feathers?”
M wanted to wrap the measuring tape around her. (6 times)
#5 -IMAGINARY PLAY (this was the big one!) They decided they were going to make a castle. The play then revolved around Santa coming to visit this castle. It went on for ages! I got to sit back and watch.
“We make a castle here.” (The measuring tape is the main structure)
“We decorate the castle.”
“I make a map so Santa can find us”
“This is where Santa can sit”
“Shh! Hide under here. Santa will come and we can see him.”
Extension (Based on your observations, add new materials as needed)
- New Materials: Because the bulk of the initial interaction revolved around a castle, we did a bit of picture research on castles (Google Images search). They pointed out their favourites – coincidentally, one they chose was a castle I used to live near! (I didn’t even see it until they pointed it out). I also added blocks. Next, I lessened the amount of feathers and measuring equipment.
- What Transpired?: Castle building……
“This one the best”
“This one my favourite”
M adds ‘flowers’ (feathers) to the castle garden
M uses a green feather as a hose to water the flowers (making sound effects as she did it)
M jumps “because the castle is so strong, so it won’t break when I’m jumping”
O & M made this catle together
O says, “this is where you skate” (I think she was referencing Disney’s Frozen)
O explains “this is trick door”
“I open trick door, people is coming out”
M adds Princess Ariel “to live in the castle”
I mention that where Ariel is sleeping, looks like this bridge (the castle that O said is the best)
…..after I said that….. O decides to make it.
O carefully constructs
The castle’s bridge
O’s bridge (same rectangular shape)
The castle’s door
O’s door (it has the same arched shape)
O’s towers (same cylindrical shape)
M came over with tiaras “for us to live in the castle.” So that makes me the Queen Mum! LOL!
This is what I found when I woke up this morning:
O had done some sorting
Once again, their ability to independently blend their creativity and knowledge astounds me!