Pamela is doing many wonderful things, and I especially love how her language is suddenly blossoming. I suspect the association method gave her the mechanics, while RDI helped her become more self-motivated about sharing what she thinks. In RDI, we have been working on showing her how to give a big picture statement about a picture. Before leaving the conference, our consultant was ready for a slightly more abstract step: instead of drawing what she describes, I write down sentences. We follow the same process as before only Pamela dictates what I write, not what I draw.
Before leaving for the ChildLight USA Conference, something hit me! Why not use this as an opportunity to do picture-talks a al Charlotte Mason? I cut out eight pictures by Monet and Pamela picked one called Madame Monet in Japanese Costume. The video shows Pamela narrating what she sees and me asking questions so that I could better visualize what she said.
Our Collective Narration
"The woman wears a red dress. She is holding a big, white fan. She is dancing by herself. She stands on the peach and gray checkered floor. She has short, orange hair and a white face. Some fans are on the wall everywhere. The lady is Japanese. Her dress is decorated with small butterflies. It has a strong man with strong arms on the back. Two fans are on the floor. "
(Pamela's original words are red.)
I thought it might be helpful to adapt my lesson plan to the example Charlotte Mason gave in Home Education (pages 309-311).
1. To start a study of Monet's pictures.
2. To develop interest in Monet's works.
3. To practice giving a gestalt first (big picture).
4. To practice providing details about the subject and background.
5. To help Pamela see what I am seeing by the words I write and questions I ask.
6. To share what it reminds us of.
Modifications from Charlotte Mason:
1. Since the focus is language development and experience sharing, she will describe what she sees while studying the picture. Eventually, we will transition to her studying the picture for a few minutes and putting it away.
2. Since we are helping her with theory of mind, I will write what she describes and ask questions about details so that she can see what I am thinking.
3. I cannot give a preview of the picture because I do not know which picture she will pick. So, I will begin the next lesson by asking her to recall the previous picture. Then, I will tell her the story behind the previous picture to link the known (the last picture talk) with the unknown (the current picture talk).
1. Select and cut out eight pictures by Claude Monet. Let Pamela pick one without me knowing what it is.
2. Tell her that the artist is Monet and write his name.
3. Ask her to give me the big picture sentence. Write it down so she can check my work.
4. Ask her for the details. Ask questions for more clarity. Write it down for her to check.
5. When finished, let her read what I wrote to correct anything.
6. Look at the pictures and talk about anything we missed.
7. Go to the computer and look at a larger version. Talk about what the picture reminds us of. Make it the desktop until the next picture talk.
Before we do tomorrow's picture, I will link to the known (the Japanese lady) by telling her that artist (Claude Monet) lived in France. Sometimes he painted his family and friends. One day, his wife Alice tried on a Japanese dress called a kimono and Monet painted the picture of her.