I am excited about sharing this idea for two reasons! One I discovered this little girl and her art all by myself (mind you probably lots of people out there may have said that!)and two rather than just having an idea I was able to implement this art project while I was on my teaching prac. The joy of it all was that the children loved it! I always think you can have seemingly great ideas, wonderful plans and resources but if the children don’t fall in love with it well…………!
1. I will start with some information about Wang Yani with a link for you to get some background on this amazing little girl!
2. I guess I thought I would start with a map of the world, to give the children an idea of the country where Wang Yani was born and some cultural input. Then I noticed this huge globe hanging in church, when I was meant to be singing and the hunt was on!! Here is where you can purchase the globe
http://www.1worldglobes.com/worldball.htm it is massive!
3. I am off to photograph all of the components of the project…I will be back!
4. I am back…
Once we had looked at the globe, talked about whether anyone new about China and how people live, and came to terms with how big the globe was and no were not going to play catch with the globe (it was Kindy after all!)
I played a chinese music CD with delicate peaceful music as I showed the children scenes from China. It was so peaceful sitting with the children as they listened and I stopped talking and let them just soak in the atmosphere .
Some of the children were swaying to the music, one little girl said, “Oh, those pictures are so beautiful I wished I lived there! Others said, ”Funny house!”
Here are some of the photos…
We looked at the traditional clothing of China and some of the food implements. I found the clothing in thrift stores and all of the implements in Asian food stores.
We looked at all these aspects over a week and slowly moved on to Wang Yani and her art.
I played Youtube video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVxk7b9HigM ) for the children to see her painting and realize she was as young as they were when she started. In the video clip there is a frame where the monkey her father bought for her is on a lead. Horror of horrors. I watched it with them a few times and I was ready to talk about it with them. I think that as the monkey is in the branches of the tree it is a little difficult to discern. I would have definitely addressed it had even one of the children had noticed.
I played it over and over as the children were fascinated with her technique and they wanted to paint straight away. So paint they did! I showed the children how bamboo brushes could be used and the best way to hold them.(http://www.riotstores.com.au/products/B/BBRI/BBRIA/artist.aspx. ) We talked about the way Wang Yani held the brush and applied the paint. The children started on small pieces of paper at tables, using black watercolour paint. The children were so engrossed in the art, they were saying look at me,” I am holding the brush like Wang Yani! I am 4 too, and I can do it! Can we do it on big paper like Wang Yani? So of course we got out the huge black paint and large brushes. It was a big hit!!
Here is a display I put up to show the children’s smaller paintings. If you wanted to make the little paper dolls you can find them here http://www.makingfriends.com/friends/f_multi.htm.