Outdoor Art

One of my favourite activities outside is simply to ask children to work in pairs or small groups to use natural objects to make a picture of the story. I find it works best if I give them a small sheet of material to use as their ‘paper’.

Yesterday I watched a class make pictures from Daniel and the Lions Den. It was lovely to look around and see all the different learning happening.

For some children just learning to talk to your partner and agree on what picture to make was a huge first step! And as the children brought different natural objects over they had to negotiate on what was going to be what in the picture. Was their lion going to have a grassy mane or a leafy mane?

There is of course activity as we run and hunt for objects. We’re learning to move around on an uneven surface with lots of obstacles around. What is a natural object and what isn’t? How do we look after nature? Should we pull things of trees? What is this we’ve found?! What natural objects should we stay away from? Nettles!

We’re recalling the story, considering what was our favourite part. Or sometimes I ask them to make a picture of what they think is the most important part. As they make one picture (in yesterday’s case usually a lion or Daniel), they can be prompted to think more about the story by asking questions like ‘what is happening here?’ ‘who else would be in this part of the story?’ ‘what would the background be like?’

Once we’ve finished we can move round our pictures like an art gallery. Can we explain to our friends what we’ve made? Can we ask questions about each others work? Can we be encouraging to each other?

All our Daniel and the Lions Den resources are here There isn’t much in them yet for outdoor learning – but watch this space, it’s on my to-do list!

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