I first learned about legacy pieces while visiting a colleagues preschool classroom. I was inquiring about a beautiful work of art that was hanging from her classroom ceiling, admiring the beading that the children had done. This piece of work, was something that her students added to at the beginning of each year and served as a legacy to the children that she had taught in the years prior. Beautiful!
I immediately wanted to do this in my own classroom, and it was fantastic. I decided to tackle this idea at the beginning of the year, while children were attending the Kindergarten open house. As families entered to visit the classroom and meet me, I had them venture out into the outdoor classroom or find a spot at one of the tables where there were bowls of beads and wire available.
As parents beaded with their Kindergarten child, I circulated, taking poloroid photos of families and hole-punching them so they could attach them to their beading project. At the door of the classroom, I placed a basket asking parents to leave their work of art.
The pieces were so beautiful. It was an opportunity for the children to take part in project with their parents or grandparents in a way that was going to contribute to the environment of the classroom and allow discussions to be had about our families. On the first day of school, we shared stories of our families, before hanging our work on branches that acted as a chandelier, fusing together nature and child-made art. I loved it and so did the children. They often looked for their family photo, commented on others, and shared stories of beading with their parents that day.
As other children came in and out of our classroom that year, many looked up at the photos hanging, asking questions of the students about their family members. This chandelier will serve as a fixed piece within my classroom. Each year, a new group will add their memories of their first day of Kindergarten and it will continue to grow.
Here are some other examples on Pinterest that may help you create your own legacy piece in your classroom!
I am in love with these “new-age” polaroid cameras. They are so adorable and gave me the opportunity to take photos of the children throughout the year, and post them right away outside our classroom door, or next to a piece of work the children completed that day. You can find them to purchase here.