Wednesday 30 May 2012

Illuminate - Looking at Language & Light

Priory Lower School have been awarded an ACE grant for a special project called Illuminate and I'm happy to say that I'll be working on this project too. My first project day was spent with Year 4 looking at the 28 ways of saying Welcome, as expressed by all the languages spoken in the school. We shared the words, tried saying them, talked about languages and words from other languages we knew. Our task was to create lanterns that could be part of the school's International day later in June, we discussed what Illumination and to illuminate meant and used a variety of stamp alphabets to apply the words to strips of paper. 

We could have printed the text out from a computer but there is something so much more personal about pressing letters into ink and the onto paper. I demonstrated how to make a sphere from paper strips, I also showed a couple of individuals who then went on to help others, creating a lovely atmosphere of making and doing in the room. When the spheres were complete we added the paper tails with their word of welcome and threaded the lanterns onto a rope of fairy lights.

Our task in the afternoon was to create a different type of lantern, using a large shaped punch I made windows in the paper lantern bases which the children filled with coloured tissue paper to simulate stained glass, they wrote their 'welcome' words on the waste shapes (which look a bit like t-shirts) and suspended them under the lantern body using paper clips.

The children were invited to 'illuminate' the paper printout words, some worked in pairs, some looked for a word in their own language, others looked for words from languages that they had learnt in school. By the end of the afternoon everyone was smiling, sharing words, helping each other and felt they had learnt new skills and new words. I am looking forward to exploring illuminated letters / words with the children further on in the project.

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