FN#8 :draft#1:Origami, drawing, group play

From: David Scott
Submit: Post Field Note
VisitDate: 11/20/96
Children-Run: Selected
Unclear-Approach: Selected
Informal: Selected
LearningArea: Self-Assistance
Date: 21 Nov 1996
Time: 04:04:24
Remote Name: tsa-08.ucsc.edu



Manuela, Ana, Maria, May, & Mercedes


I had a fun time today at BU. At first I was just standing around in the middle of the room while people hurled technical problems at me. There were a fair number of kids present, so things were humming along. May asked me to join her in my favorite activity, drawing with Ana, so we went into the other room with just about all of our crafts supplies. Mercedes was also there with Manuela and Maria.

May was guiding Manuela and Maria in origami. I was very surprised and pleased with how precisely they were following May's complicated instructions and mimicking her paper foldings. They seemed to be none of the language problems that I have noticed before with these girls (and May didn't speak any Spanish other than "si"). She did a nice job of engaging them in the task.

Ana was much more talkative than I when she had only been with me. Perhaps it was because she had the other girls to speak Spanish with (I think one of them is Ana’s sister). She also produced more pictures and used a wider variety of art supplies. She was still very critical of her own work, crumbling up most of them in frustration even though we all thought they were very nice.


Since I had worked with all of these children before (and Ana in the same activity), it was interesting to see how Mercedes and May interacted with them and how the children responded differently than they did to me. Everyone seemed more comfortable working in a group. We weren’t necessarily working together, but we were working at the same time so we could share our projects.


I would like to have more of these type of experiences. But what elements made it successful? If these kids are like most, they have spent many hours in circles on the floor drawing and coloring together. But working together on a computer is probably a new activity. Maybe the next generation of kids who have grown up sitting on their dad’s laps while he “surfs the Internet” will be a little different.


"Field trips are so intense. It's like everybody's been let out of their cages or something, and we're all roaming around."