Early Learning students ask big questions

Children in Early Learning have been exploring the concept of 'love' in different languages.

They’ve asked “What colour is love?” and “What does love look like?”

Their questions were prompted by a book they read last term, Love from the Crayons, by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers.

“Love is red. Because love comes in all shapes and sizes. Love is yellow and orange. Because love is sunny and warm. Love is black. Because sometimes love isn’t always bright and colourful,” the book reads.

The children have since revisited the book independently, and have often asked for it to be read again.

“It became one student’s favourite book,” Early Childhood Teacher Victoria Willett said. “He carried it around to different areas of the classroom as if it were keeping him company.” 

“His mum sent us a message about a wonderful book George made at home.”

George constructed his own copy of the book, and even spelt love without any prompting.

“George brought his homemade book to school and read it aloud to the class group in English,” Victoria.

“This inspired others to recreate the story. We created a writers’ table with the story book as a prompt, pencils sorted into the colours of the rainbow and paper books. We often talk about authors, illustrators, the book cover, pictures and words.

“Through repetition of key phrases the children became confident in the pattern of text. They explored telling their own version of the story and began to connect that they knew some of the colours in other languages.

“Another student became inspired to tell her story in French, and the children took turns reading their books to each other.

“They demonstrated their knowledge of their chosen language. Some children confidently spoke sentences. ‘L’amour en rouge.’ Others spoke single words, labelling the colours, ‘gelb, rot, grün.’

“Some children were engaged in translanguaging – the mixing of two languages to demonstrate their consistent understanding and emerging vocabulary. ‘Love is 緑 (Midori).’

“These experiences are so valuable as children engage in demonstrating their knowledge and skills and transfering them to different contexts.”

Victoria added that embedding the use of languages in all aspects of the classroom consolidates their learning.

“The children can move freely through the phases of language acquisition; listening, understanding and expressing their thoughts and ideas in multiple ways.”