Findings - Students
Curiosity Projects helped the first graders to further develop skills and
craftsmanship with materials, tools, and techniques while exploring an
artist, art medium, or an interest or idea of their choosing. In the
reflection of their project, students were asked about their biggest
challenges and what they learned. Nour-Rita, who created a pop-up heart
completely out of paper, said her biggest challenge was “To make my big
heart stand up.” She further stated: “ I learned that I should not use tape.
Instead I would have used metal because it is a stronger material.” Max
made a rocket ship out of found materials. When reflecting on his process
he explained: “The color got messed up on the first one. [ I learned] don’t
give up and to turn my art into something awesome.” Some children
learned how to use a new tool or medium that they had not yet explored
in other class sessions and this was their main take-away. Others who
chose to work in a small group noted the challenges of incorporating the
many different ideas they had during the project. But these students also
described learning how they worked successfully as a team. In my view
students’ engagement and learning extended far beyond what would
have been possible if I had each child complete the same type of project.
My Teacher Reflection
As a Reggio-inspired teacher, I am continuously reflecting on my own
processes and offerings I provide to help students learn. Learning from
my own experiments, in this case with the Curiosity Projects, helps me to
evolve as a teacher and adapt my practice. A few specific changes stood
out for me that I would alter for the next round of Curiosity Projects:
Have children collect materials at home for their projects.
Collecting additional materials for each individual project was
hard but it also provided opportunities for the students to think
creatively if we could not find a material in the arts space.
Next time I would make sure that children had learned a wider
variety of skills and an increased capacity to work independently.
A handful of students selected ‘arts and crafts’ projects from
books and required a lot of one-on-one help, especially with