This past Spring, a Calgary lawyer was gracious to lend Keeler school a life-sized kaleidoscope he had created in his free time. This invention is the definition of STEAM in real-life, while also being an incredible exaggeration on a typical real-life object most kids are exposed to in their childhood.
As a hook to engage their entire school in inquiry, along with the assistance of some classroom teachers, activities were designed surrounding “Kali” for each grade level to complete. While completing the task, student were each given a turn to look through Kali and explore the beautiful artwork her patterns and lighting creates.
In kindergarten and grade 1, the kids came down and snuggled around Kali – we did a “sketch Kali” in our sketch books paying attention to the different colours and patterns we saw.
The grade 2/3s were working on different plants and animals, so we tied Kali to this and art by having kids draw out different bugs, insects and animals. Then, after looking through Kali, we then use our inspiration to colour our animals using pastels, smudging them with our fingers.
Division 2 kids have been working on creative writing. Without telling them much about Kali, I asked where they though Kali should call home. Many talked about museums or art galleries with low lighting – some kids described a room that had stars on the ceiling – others, with more funky patterns and lights. Our favourite, however, came from a grade 6 student who recognized the possibility that the picture on the front may have some meaning in another culture. After a quick internet search, she was able to develop the most convincing argument of where Kali should call home – India.
The community of Keeler School are so thankful to have had this incredible invention visit us – it was amazing how many of these kids were drawn to its art and science. Their curiosity was contagious and exciting to see in such young learners.