What do you see in the image above? When I do a “free explore” exercise with students, I walk around and see what they are drawing. Sometimes, it is apparent what they are drawing, whether it be a more abstract pattern or a specific object. But, in many cases, I assume they are “just” messing around.
I happened to have my son Aidan sitting on my lap when I was teaching him how to use the shapes program. He is in Kindergarten and I also do the Shapes free explore lesson in Kindergarten. Looking at his work, I am not sure I would have known the intent of the above drawing without being there. The object on the left is a caribou. We have been listening to a Joan Henry recording of Native American stories and Aidan has become interested in caribou. The rightmost third of the drawing is a maze and I find the 3 dimensional aspect of the maze interesting.
My point in all of this is that you learn a lot when you take the time to either work with children one on one or ask them about their experiences, which I did in the robotics interviews (see earlier posts). We miss a lot when we don’t.