Please enjoy this ‘enlightening’ learning story from Richland Academy’s Senior Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Daniel.
The children continued to be drawn to playing with light. It captured their imaginations, and sparked their creativity. Their delight is seeing lights spots in the classroom, developed into a need to learn to create with the light. It was as if it is a new language to them, that they longed to master. Their stages of learning ‘The Language of Light’ mirror that of any language acquisition. The first stage involves observing the light, ‘listening’ to it carefully, but not yet ready to ‘speak’ with it. Then they enter the second stage, and begin experimenting with how to move a light spot across the classroom ceiling, and around the room. As in learning to speak any language, they are trying to acquire control. They want to create a ‘picture’ using both light and shadow, and slowly direct the light so that it shines past a beaded star hanging from the ceiling. They are able to move the shadow of the star into the circle of light. Their self-directed goal achieved, they share, “See, we did it!”
New ‘vocabulary’ learned, they begin to speak in ‘sentences’. Stories and games are created with the light. They play “Hide and Seek’, one child maneuvering the light, whilst the other tries to spot it in the room. A game of “Chase” quickly follows. Two children create light spots, and these light spots chase each other around the room.
One child reflects, “The light is dancing around the room, and it’s just like fairies.” I marvel at the complexity of their thinking, and wonder where their investigations will take them next. How will this language play into the other “One hundred languages of children”, and how will they continue to deepen their understandings. I am struck by the thought,
“What will these children ‘speak’ to us about in the future, that will have never have been ‘heard’ before?”