The Approaches to Clay – Fun in our Preschool Atelier

lascuolablog Atelier, Reggio Emilia, Teaching and Learning

As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, the greatest benefit of the ateliers for La Scuola students is that they provide them ample space to develop their ideas and become confident in tackling the unknown. 

What is the Atelier?

The atelier is a laboratory of sorts; a place full of a variety of materials, mediums and tools that allow students to further their inquiries, explore new ideas, and express themselves.

“I making an ice cream” – Paris, age 3
Painting with watered down clay

The atelierista plays a key and unique role in the overall curriculum, collaborating with our teachers to provide a space and materials for students to continue their inquiry into certain topics they have been introduced to in other ways. Today we share with you a delightful video filmed by our Early Childhood Education Atelierista, Federica Gallone, featuring our Preschool students at our Dogpatch campus, on the topic of “The Shapes of Clay,” 

One of our preschoolers beginning her clay experience

In the words of Federica, “Cut, smell, ball up, crush, rip, imprint, smooth, pierce, squeeze, crumble, pile up…Clay is an extraordinary material that offers multiple possibilities to discover new sensations through its forms and its natural transformation processes in contact with air, humidity and heat.  Its plasticity is able to give shape to our ideas, thoughts and fantasies also thanks to the encounter with other natural elements and unusual tools.”

“It opens up various research opportunities around three-dimensionality, balance, weight management, structure and transformation of the material itself. It has physical characteristics such as color, weight, temperature, smell, presence of water. It can be dry or wet, soft, hard or liquid, in powder or in small pebbles, changes during the drying or cooking phase.”

“Their creative thoughts and gestures meet stimuli and challenges, passing from the pure pleasure of manipulation without representation to the complex construction. Here they are subjected to rules, construction processes, balances and verticality, composition, division, dimensions, quantity and multiplication, narratives and forms”.

Please enjoy our video entitled “Approcci alla Creta / Approaches to Clay”.

Learn more about the La Scuola Ateliers

Written by Federica Gallone, Early Childhood Education Atelierista

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