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November 08, 2009

Drawing Adventures from Malta and Poland

This collaborative project is part of an etwinning project ‘Colours of Life’ for children of ages 4 to 5 years old. During this project children observed colour in the environment, colour in food and colours of the seasons. The children were encouraged to be creative and to discover the link between shape, form and colour. The partner schools from Malta and Poland wanted the children to think, imagine, explore, be curious and express themselves. They wanted the participating children to feel closer together by working online in a common task. A Web2.0 tool, www.sketchfu.com, provided the solution. Sketchfu is a simple drawing tool where children start a drawing, send it online to their partners who in turn continue the drawing. The drawing can be sent back and forth until it is finished.
The sky and sea were chosen as topics for the drawings. The teachers from both schools agreed that they didn’t want to encourage the finished drawing but the process of creating it to build the children’s thinking skills. The children did four drawings collaboratively. Using video editing software the drawings were turned into a digital story. The children made up the story from the finished videoclip. The English language was the agreed common language. The narration was recorded in English. The children had a lot of fun making sound effects for the story.
The children were highly motivated and excited with the whole project. This video clip took some time to finish as each day saw a progression in the drawings and the storymaking. The children came to school enthusiastically and looking forward to open the drawings to see what their European friends had drawn and what sounds they had produced. The enthusiasm infected the parents also as the children happily recounted what they were doing with this project. A parent volunteered to compose the background music for the video which was warmly welcomed. The parents can watch the video on our project’s website.

This product was an experience in creative story ‘writing’ for these young children. They were free to fantasize, be creative and develop their thinking skills. Working together the children shared ideas, opinions and information. It promoted teamwork and it helped the children learn from and with their peers.

View our project at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSfZ8n5JQmE

Children participating in this project are Tysia, Jan, Martynka from Poland who are 6 years old. A whole class of 4-year-old children from Malta, including Nigel who is the narrator, also participated.

Miriam SchembriFgura Primary A
St Thomas More College
Malta