triplo viso strano

gregorio, 8 y.o.

Participants: 6 children (6-8 years old)

Duration: 90 minutes

A theme that emerged at scintillae during children’s investigations and explorations of physical and digital materials regarding the theme of play and learning in the digital age was transformation.

In order to explore what transformations could be produced by linking analogical materials and digital tools and materials, and to what extent this new context could generate amazement, play and learning, we offered contexts that included digital devices (iPad with an application that created a kaleidoscope effect) and various unstructured materials (fabric, plastic, paper, fibers, etc…).

To introduce the experience, we discussed the theme of transformation with the children and posed the following questions:

what does “transformation” mean?

what can we transform?

what can be transformed?

The group of children had many ideas about what could be transformed or what transforms, especially linked to nature and natural processes.

a caterpillar that becomes a butterfly _susanna, 6.5 y.o

plants, from seeds to grass _carlotta, 8 y.o.

a chameleon that changes color _giulio, 8 y.o.

light transforms into a rainbow _carlotta, 8 y.o.

One of the children answered the question what is transformation? by stating

everything changes! _giulio, 8.y.o.

So we asked them to think of and create transformations together, by exploring and experimenting with the materials and the settings.

Gregorio was fascinated by the fragmentation and projection of his face onto some materials on the table, made possible by an iPad and an application with a kaleidoscope effect.

It’s like 1000 eyes!


gregorio, 8 y.o.

The wonder of seeing his face multiplied, fragmented and changed amused and intrigued him. He moved his face and body, turned the iPad around, changed his expression: opened his mouth, widened his eyes, stuck out his tongue. He  played freely in a way that could not have been foreseen.

His initial amazement soon turned into a personal investigation of his own face as it changed and the tool that allowed this to happen, interconnecting amazement, play and learning.

from digital to analog

His investigation led him to ask the atelierista for some small mirrors and other reflective materials. He started to recreate the kaleidoscope effect, which he had observed and experimented with in a digital dimension thanks to the iPad, but in an analogical way.

He took his time to experiment, observe and try out different angles and set-ups, and while he was working he commented out loud on his observations, theories and discoveries.

the mirrors divide my face!

…my eyes are here and my mouth is there!

gregorio, 8 y.o.

from one to two

Some of the other children noticed what Gregorio was doing. One of them, intrigued, approached Gregorio to find out more. Gregorio’s experiment also inspired Pietro, who decided to continue the exploration together with him.

wow! how did you do that?

I look different!

giulio, 8 y.o.

Solidarity between children in supporting each other in their different investigations promotes the circulation of their ideas and experiences among them.

from the small to the large group

Finally, each child had the opportunity to share and explain what they had discovered.

Gregorio, together with Giulio, presented his project and the uniqueness of the object he created: Triplo Viso Strano.

Thanks to this exchange of experiences, Gregorio discovered a new way to observe himself and the world around him. The transfer of knowledge among children, in small groups or all together, is, in the educational experience of Reggio Emilia, a quality that promotes learning in children and adults.

The new knowledge and questions that emerged (that afternoon with that group) will allow us to continue further research with other groups around this focus that had previously emerged: transformation.

This first investigation highlights the relationship between different spheres and disciplines that intertwine physical and scientific knowledge, in line with the cognitive processes of children.

it’s triplo viso strano!

there are 3 mirrors and you have to put your face on the middle one, and the others… it’s all strange and deformed, or else you can see some pieces!

gregorio, 8 y.o.