Read John's paper "PIAGET, SYMMETRY, WRITING" Download the PDF >>
Sailboats: by Les Lilas and Les Roses
Photographs by Cutty McGill
Webdesign by zoehiigli.com
The purpose of the project is :
The Development of the Child's Conception of Space, Number, etc.
The process of sawing, hammering, gluing, taping and drawing also contributes
to large and small motor coordination, etc.
The project proceeded one to three hours a week for almost two semesters.
The initial task consisted in sawing balsa wood boards :
1" X 1" X 18" pieces into pieces 1" X 1" X 1 1/2" ;
2" X 4" X 32" pieces into pieces 2" X 4" X 4" ;
2" X 6" X 36" pieces into pieces any length.
From September to the middle of May the children cut several hundred of the smallest pieces, a couple of dozens of the middle sized pieces and nearly a dozen of the largest pieces, the largest measuring 2" X 6" X 16". The two larger sizes were used for the hulls, the smaller pieces formed the boundaries of the decks, dowels were cut for the masts, and many odds and ends were used by the children for steering platforms, etc., including roofing nails for propellers, etc. In addition many children constructed boats using only the unit length (1" X 1" X 18") cut in half for the hull and three sets of two pieces each of the unit block (1" X 1" X 1 1/2") for stabilizers, probably similar to crude rafts used by native river peoples.
Until the middle of May none of the children from either the older or younger group asked what we would build when we finished cutting. However we did break up the regular sawing sessions with "hammer and nail" sessions using foot long blocks of the intermediate size.
Then in the middle of May the oldest boy in the younger group asked me what we
were going to build. I asked this youngster, who was approaching four and a half what he would like to build. When he replied a boat I gave him hammer and nails and asked him to show me, and he did. He took the knarled piece he had just finished cutting (largest size board) and began lining up unit pieces along the side of what would become the hull of his boat.
Many of the children understood what to do after seeing Adam's boat and they began building their own versions, based on their own capabilities, with guidance from the teachers. The strongest boy in the older group built at least four boats. Some children were quite happy to build a single boat. All of the children especially enjoyed painting their boat/s.
Thank you's to all of the teachers, who helped with this project all year long, and to Dominique for her constant safety surveillance !!!
Our Founder, John A. Hiigli answers the age old question... why art?