arTree preschool takes some of its inspiration from Emilia Reggio, including the provocation station.
What is provocation? It may sound unfriendly but it is quite the opposite: it provokes thoughts, discussions, questions, interests, creativity and ideas.
How does it look like?
In May we talk about flowers and Claude Monet. So, our provocation station may look like this: a small table filled with artwork by Monet, wooden and glass bowls filled with small green gems, flower buttons, artificial leaves and wooden ladybugs. There may also be empty picture frames to provoke kids to fill them in.
It does not come with any directions. It is up to the kids to create what they wish. There are no right or wrong answers. It’s about imagination, creativity and exposure to new materials.
We do not glue our creations down. We just take pictures and play again. That way the kids do not feel pressured and the materials can reused as many times as they wish. Plus, we have a visual record of our transient creations that we share with the families and friends.
But these provocations go even further. They may encourage kids to learn more about dinosaurs: dig up dinosaurs our of plaster, explore real fossils or match dinosaurs with their skeletons. They may ‘ask’ kids to read words, do letter-based puzzles or spell with aplhabots. They may provoke them to practice their pre-algebra skills or to create an ocean scene with shells and beads. Possibilities are endless and we change them every day!
Do you want to try setting up these stations at home? An Everyday story has a wonderful guide you may find useful. Have fun!