The last 6 weeks, children of the classes 4A and B have been working on a project dedicated to the 4 natural elements, particularly to the “light” as an element that surrounds us in every moment. We approached the exploration of the light taking into consideration various aspects of the element itself.

First of all, we used an overhead projector to tell the story of “Little blue and little yellow” by Leo Lionni, a book that led us not only to discover how we create secondary colors but also how friendship and differences are enriching. Children then got the change to explore more independently, using the light boxes and many attainable and affordable items like cups, measuring spoons, shot glasses, CD, colored cellophane, led lights and torches.

Second, we deepen within the concept of shadow. While enjoying one of the beautiful sunny days we got lately, we spend some time in the playground observing the shadow: from contouring the shadow of a toy animal projected on a paper to create structures with grids, racks, and pipes. Besides, we used the colorful shadow of acetates sheets to “paint” our friends.

Finally, we linked the contextual learning about shadow to the technique of the shadow theatre. We performed a story about love for Valentine’s Day based on the book “What love is?” by Davide Cali. Later, the book has been used by the children as a starting point to create new stories in small group they performed in front of the classmates.

On one hand, these STEAM activities stimulate children to activate complex thinking processes like observing, hypothesizing, analyzing, suggesting, trying, assessing; on the other hand, the children are requested to work in group which lead them to use their interpersonal intelligence and therefore to develop their social skills.

Ms. Janet & Ms Francesca