I brought them paper and markers and asked if they would like to draw a picture of their structure, pointing out some basic shapes.
This was very quickly done with little attention given to details. I wasn't sure if this was due to a lack of interest in the subject, the medium, or something else altogether.
The next day I showed them the photo of their Ball Machine and asked them individually to tell me more about what the machine does.
Em: "It takes the ball out and put it back in. The ball do tricks. The ball can do kickball. You turn on the ball machine and put the ball in it. It makes it purple and green and black."
Ms. Erin: Can you tell me about the different parts of the Ball Machine?
Em: "The ball goes in here [points to the right side]. Then it gets paint [points to the middle, right]. This is where it comes out [points to the left]."
E was engaged elsewhere after that so I asked him about the machine the next day showing him the photograph of the ball machine. Here is what he had to say:
E: "The balls go in the holes so you can win. That’s the sixteen [points to the right side]. You get a present if it goes in there. If it goes over the holes you lose. Sometimes you shoot the balls then you win. That’s the flat [points to the middle]. If you land on the flat everyone loses. That’s where the ball comes out [points to the left side]. The one that loses gets a present too."
Ms. Erin: What kind of present?
E: "A big thing; a bike with no wheels. It goes. It’s a game."
Ms. Erin: Do you think you could build this structure again?
E: "No. The balls will be mad at us. We have to build another machine that’s not the same."
The following day I decided to see if E and Em would be interested in painting their drawing with watercolors. Em was interested. E was absent.
Hoping to bring more details of their work to their attention, I printed out the image of their final structure onto transparency paper and placed it in the light studio on the overhead projector. E was absent again but Em was interested.
When she got to her image, I find it interesting that Em decided to draw her face from memory instead of tracing the image projected with arms protruding from her head.
Em's final drawing:
I would love to hear comments and observations about where to go from here.