17 January 2009

zombies, mummies, big, and bigger

Skuli: I'm gonna draw a zombie. One small eye and one big eye.
Skuli draws a small circle and then a bigger circle next to it.

As Skuli draws, his concepts expand. He demonstrates an understanding for the way that a circle can be used to represent many things. The zombie eyes can easily become a mummy family.
This [the dot] is the little brother mummy, this [the small circle] is the big brother mummy, and this really big one is the daddy mummy.
Silas: Well actually, that's medium, that's not big.

Skuli: I can draw a really big one.
Skuli starts with a circle and then continues around and around -- as his drawing spirals inward his circle gets filled-in [see filled in circle on the right side of the page]. Thus in this case the biggest circle is not the one with the greatest circumference, but rather the one holding the potential to make the largest circle should the lines unravel.

Skuli then moves on to draw "paths" around the mummies.

Silas, who has been watching from across the table, grabs a green marker and goes over to join in. This spontaneous collaborator seems to go unnoticed by Skuli, who remains focused on the changing field of ideas expressed in his drawing.

1 comment:

  1. Megan Brand, educatorJanuary 31, 2009 at 3:41 PM

    I love how you captured Skuli and Silas's playful exploration of the concept of size and the term "big". What does big mean to these young children? It seems that Skuli may equate "big" with the either the concept of fullness or the concept of more. The spiral fills in more blank space on the paper, and as you said, if it were unraveled, it would be much larger.

    Silas, on the other hand seems to be looking at the concept of big in proportion to the size of the paper. To him, a circle may have to almost reach the edges of the paper to be considered "big". It is interesting that when he joins Skuli, his green marks seem to be reaching for the perimeter of the paper.
    I wonder how Silas would classify a circle that nears the perimeter of a much smaller sheet of paper.