Preschools in Vancouver, WA · Preschools The Marigold School of Early Learning

Oil Pastel Provocation

Oil pastels have such a soft texture and so much pigment!  As you can see below in the picture frame, this four year old child was very happy drawing with about four different colors of oil pastels.  This particular child did not use water to smudge the drawing, but rather his fingers, however the effect, I thought, is very similar to water color crayons.  Don’t you think?

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For this provocation I thought it would be fun to change the medium in which the art is applied to.  A super thin board in the shape of a rectangle so that two children can create at once.  Now that does not mean two children will have the same or even complimentary ideas, it does mean that this whole board will be decorated though! 🙂  Depending on the two children, each may decide to collaborate and create a story together, or their creations may briefly be made with similar thoughts in mind as they communicate back and forth with each other.  Most likely, though, each creation will be independent of the other and stand alone as a unique creation.  Either way, the effect in my opinion will be a masterpiece.  I love children’s artwork because it is so pure, innocent and expresses such joy for life. 🙂

As for changing the medium in which the tools are applied, that is something thought provoking for a young child.  At first both children may ponder what exactly to do, but once they’ve had time to assess the scene they will begin to create.  I don’t usually rush in and give an explanation, because I want to allow the children to take in what they see and make a decision themselves.  If I see the provocation to be too difficult to decipher, then I will give a clear explanation through dialogue.  Each child is different in how he/ she interprets a provocation and I accommodate for each style of understanding and communication.

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Using a picture for a small space and reducing the number of children from four to two in this interest area is great if you have other equally engaging interest areas set up around the learning environment.  For more students to engage in this type of provocation you may also want to try to post a larger picture or poster on the wall and provide a larger table or floor space for each child to have elbow room.  There are many ways in which to increase or decrease the number of children engaging in this provocation at a time; the choice is entirely up to you. 🙂

Please share your provocations because I would love to read them!  🙂

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning


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