This project work amongst the girls emerged from their attempts to make “slinkies” out of wire and exploring the concept of languages as sound. Their idea to use coiled wire as a visual representation of sound not only stimulated ideas about how sound works but also how sound could be produced by the "slinkies."
As they worked:
I: Ok we know not to use this because they are too wirey.
F: Because they’re too hard and don’t make a sound. They smush and don’t spring back up.
I: We made a real spring. It actually works. I made a two more springs. This one sounds crunchy and this one sounds like a hummingbird.
The girls later become interested in making their springs into birds:
I: This (bird she has made previously) with the slinky will make a slightish sound. But I can’t make sound with a drawing….Oh! Actually—
K: You could draw the sound.
l: I could draw the sound.
The girls were very attracted to the little cardinal decorations that were placed next to the art materials to stimulate thoughts about nature and flight. They began trying to make birds with straws, colored feathers, and corks. After listening to the 100 Languages poem, B. made a head out of pipe cleaners, with a pipe cleaner bird on top.
|The red squiggle on the top? "I've got birds on the brain. I'm thinking about birds."|
I. and F. began developing this idea further – “bird is a language that we know” (both girls began sharing their bird calls with one another).
Other children became intrigued about bird as a language/bird languages as well: