Using mirrors to develop emotional language and understanding of the green cog.
Using mirrors to develop emotional language and understanding of the green cog concept in an Early Years Outdoor Environment.
A crucial part of early years learning of the green cog concept is body parts vocabulary – heads, eyes, feet, legs, ears. Children require this knowledge in order to label where a behaviour or action is taking place and to describe what the action is.
This Early Years setting used mirrors in their outdoor space to promote early emotional language for the green behaviour cog concept. The mirrors were placed at different heights and spacings to accommodate the varying heights and sizes of the pre school children and to allow space for more than one child at a time. Symbols showing body parts were displayed along side the mirrors at the appropriate heights (e.g. feet, toes and legs beside lower mirrors; forehead, eyebrows and tongue in the upper mirrors).
Staff modelled how to interact with the mirrors, labelling body parts whilst looking at the mirrors: “look at my nose!”, “Shake your hands like this!”, “I can stamp my feet in this mirror!”, “Who can make the silliest face?”. Children joined in with the actions and were soon creating their own actions using the mirrors. As children became more independent in this activity, staff focused less on creating interest and modelling actions and instead began to label behaviour language, drawing attention to the symbols as needed. Over time, less consistent adult input was required and children led this task themselves.
Children also liked experimenting independently with the mirrors, looking at themselves from different angles, touching body parts and making shapes with their body and silly faces.