Today we went to the Special Education School of Yangshuo, Guangxi, together with a group of students from Hong Kong. As Karstaway volunteers our job was to support the HK students to paint and fly kites with the children of the Special Education School.
As an introduction, the children with special needs had the opportunity to play around with painting, exercising their fine motor skills. During this step, they were asked about their personal tastes in terms of shapes and colours. By doing so,we wanted them to get at ease with the materials, while practicing categorical thinking.The students were asked to help them with the painting but equally, trigger a reflective thinking on their works by chatting with them.
In small groups the Hong Kong students then guided them through planning symmetrical patterns, with the idea of painting this same pattern on their kite. Those little teams were differing in terms of number, language and communication skills and in terms of motor skills and concentration. After the short playtime the teams were enjoying the kite flying time. After supporting the teams all morning, we could see that each child went through the ll process, and we were amazed to see them running, or not, hand in hand with their partners from the peninsula . Witnessing this meeting between very different young persons was a good illustration of how we can envision different meaning to the idea of success, or performance. Are motor skills congruent with communication skills? Are there other ways than language to express ourselves? This morning, our aim was that each child from the Special Education School created her/his own kite with the help of HK students, and it was a blast!