The Fire Flower: As told by the palaeontologists, archaeologists and finders of the Fire Flower.
The ‘Fire Flower’ captured our older children’s imagination in ways we couldn’t imagine last year. The children’s sustained and long term exploration and research about what they thought the Fire Flower might be took place with a group of 3 and 4 year old children, over more than 9 months.
How it interconnected with the things that they already knew and the thought behind what sort of feelings it might have, are wonderful examples of child led learning, and what a group of children are capable of when we truly listen to them and are mindful to give them agency in their learning.
For most of the children, The Fire Flower inquiry started in DaVinci Pre-Kindy under the exploration and fascination for fire and all things hot. From chillies to sun-dye, the concept of heat was ever present.
An extraordinary moment in their inquiry was the finding of the Gymea Lilly in the local flower market. The Gymea Lilly looked just like what the children thought a Fire Flower would look like!
It set the children’s imagination alight. Upon further research we found out that the Gymea Lilly was an Australian native flower that survives the most intense fires. The children actually found their mysterious imaginative flower just on the doorstep of their community! The real flower sparked the children’s imagination and prompted wonderful collaborative stories about it.
Settings such as the Volcano were an addition focus of the investigation and established a platform for their own version of the “Beginning of Time”, allowing the children to make sense of the world they live in and to explore fearful situations in a safe, inspirational and creative environment.
An Origin Story: Our Children’s Imagination Takes Flight
The children continued inquiring through the powerful role played by the Fire Flower, highlighting significant entries and ideas about the beginning of time and the twists and turns of the story plot. As the children’s story of the beginning of time unfolded, we witnessed how they easily developed a detailed knowledge of story structure, as part of their everyday learning experiences.
The Fire Flower as a character interested the children in a way that prompted them to use every tool they had to express themselves. Their emerging literacy skills helped them give meaning to their work. Characteristics, appearance, powers and many other elements were explored and linked to the children’s own sense of identity.
“Once upon a time there was a Fire Flower.”
“All the lava came out; the fire flower was in the volcano. She was helping the dinosaurs”
“The dinosaurs died and the smoke went into their nose that is how they died.”
“They went to the truck and then to the museum so people could look at them, and learn about them. The End.”