Learning Story: Creating Paper People

By CDDH consultant, Amy Hiew, B.Ed

*Bold font indicates connections to the Draft Alberta Early Learning and Care Curriculum Framework*

When I arrived, you were excited to see me and came up to greet me on the stairs (Belonging: Respectful and Responsive Relationships-forming close relationships with a range of adults). You were wondering what toys I brought and I told you that I didn’t have any toys today (Emotional Health and Positive identities: Sense of self and others-being curious and questioning). I said that I had a big roll of paper that we were going to do something with. I asked what you think we could do, but got no response. When I told you that we were going to lie down on the paper and trace ourselves, you were happy. I asked Yolanda for some markers and she gave me a green one and a blue one. You said that you wanted to be traced in blue because it’s your favorite colour. I traced your friend first and you watched and waited patiently. Then it was your turn! You helped me unroll the paper and made sure it was long enough for you to lie on.                


When I finished tracing your body, you were eager to decorate it with all sorts of different craft materials that Yolanda had brought out. You started with the hair and said that you needed black (Emotional Health and Positive identities: Sense of self- developing recognition of self; co-constructing their identities).

You were carefully looking at all the materials that were available and how you could use them in creating your paper person. You saw the buttons and made a shirt for yourself and used a Q-tip for your mouth (Physical Health: Body and Movement-increasing fine motor capacities).          

 You found feathers for your shoes. After you glued them on, you told us that they were “Colombia shoes” (because they are the same colours as the Colombian flag). I was wondering what you were going to add next. You took some material to make pants and put it across the waist of your paper person. When I asked if it was a belt you said no, it was pants. After a few minutes, you asked Yolanda what a belt was and she explained to you in Spanish that it was something that went through the loops of your pants. You also added mittens to your paper person. I wonder if it’s because it’s getting cold outside? 


Play and Playfulness At A Glance: Flexible and Fluid thinking-seeing people places and things in new ways; expressing unique and imaginative ideas.

Playful Explorations and Problem Solving: Explore properties of objects- playfully exploring and investigating the properties of objects.

Communication and Literacies At A Glance: Communicative Practices-Form relationship, learn conventions of their language, extend ideas and take actions using language- growing in their understanding of vocabulary; developing confidence in using languages; growing in their understanding of how others use languages; experiencing and developing diverse linguistic repertories; using language to express thoughts, feelings and ideas; using language to make friends, to share materials, and to structure, negotiate and create imaginary worlds; using language to ask for help or information, to argue, persuade, clarify, celebrate, instruct, or to tell stories.

Multimodal Literacies: Use a variety of sign systems, engage in multimodal meaning making- engaging with symbols and the practice of art.

Diversity and Social Responsibility At A Glance: Inclusiveness and Equity-Appreciate their own distinctiveness and that of others, engage in practices that respect diversity-becoming knowledgeable and confident in their various identities, including cultural, racial, physical, spiritual, linguistic, gender and socioeconomic; forming positive inclusive relationships with all children; learning about differences, including cultural, racial, physical, spiritual, linguistic, gender, social, and economic.

Democratic Practices: Learn to be responsible and responsive members of the community, practice fairness and social justice-respecting the materials, equipment, and spaces shared with others; voicing their preferences and opinions, and developing an awareness of others points of view).

Yolanda then found some bigger pieces of tissue paper. You wanted to it for your shirt, but had already put buttons on your paper person. You easily solved this problem by taking the buttons off, gluing down the green paper, then gluing the buttons back on the green paper (solve problems).

You were so happy with the finished product and said it was the best!

Now What?

Questions for Thomas:

What is different about your paper person and your friend’s paper person?

Why does your person have mittens on?

What do you like most about your paper person?

What else can you add to your paper person?

Why did you call the shoes “Colombia shoes”? Where have you seen these colours together before? 

Do you think everything that has red, blue (and white) together represents Colombia? 

What else can you tell me about Colombia?

What is your favorite thing about Colombia?

Can you tell me more about your paper person?

Who did you visit when you went to Colombia? 

What did you see when you went to Colombia? 

Questions for Yolanda:

How can you extend this activity and the children’s learning? 

What are you going to do with the children’s artwork? 

What other materials would you have provided if you had known about this activity sooner? 

Coming from Colombia, do you and Thomas’ family share similar traditions and celebrations? 

In what ways can you incorporate yours and Thomas’ culture into the dayhome?

What kinds of cultural celebrations from Colombia can you bring into the dayhome?

In what ways can Thomas teach the other children about Colombia?

Questions for the parents:

Does Thomas talk about Colombia at home? What does he talk about?

Do you have anything that Thomas can bring from home to share with the dayhome children

so we can learn more about Colombia?

Has Thomas been to Colombia before this recent trip? How often do you visit Colombia? 

Does Thomas get to keep in contact with people from Colombia when he is in Edmonton? How?

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