Where is "copying" in the EYFS?
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  1. #1
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    Default Where is "copying" in the EYFS?

    Got a 3 year old girl in our setting who copies EVERYTHING another child does/says. She seems incapable of her own thought processes. And if I try and show her how to do something it's like she cannot understand it. This morning I drew stems and gave them flowers to glue and stick on to the stem I had drawn. She saturated the paper with glue, nowhere near the stems and randomly stuck flowers anywhere but on the stems. She was unable to follow my instruction or copy what was shown to her. I get this is an age thing and will come in to,e but nowhere in the EYFS does it mention copying. For example, one mindee has just started to draw a line to join up dots that I make. He can copy things I draw (or is trying) but I can't reference this to anything in the EYFS. Surely it's a vital part of their learning?

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    Look for 'following instructions' maybe... C&L 30-50 Understanding- 'responds to simple instructions'.
    Is it lack of understanding, or a strong will to do things her way and lack of wanting to cooperate!?
    What if you ask her to put her cup on the table etc?
    How is her hearing and communication generally?

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    Hearing and understanding generally ok. She does follow instruction just not when directing how to do/create something. I've had this with lots of other children. At some point they learn the ability to copy mark making things and develop a finer ability to create through copying - I'm probably not explaining myself very well. Just unable to place it in the EYFS and not really sure how to encourage their development in this area other than waiting for them to suddenly 'get it'.

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    I would not say copying is developing creativity.
    I would rather a child does things their own way, makes their own decisions about where they stick something, rather than just doing what they are told or only wanting to do things the 'proper' way. Celebrate uniqueness and offer less modelled activities, maybe- abstract collage, random shapes to stick as they wish. Why should a flower be stuck on the end of a stalk? Maybe she's the next Picasso.
    I avoid things where there is a set way it should look like (like so many of the parent-pleasing online craft ideas!) if they want flying flowers or a picture of a car with 10 wheels on the roof that's fine.
    Creativity is about expressing themselves on paper, in 3D, in sound or movement- it does not need to look like anything at all. It is the process that is most important and what the child is trying to communicate through their work- sometimes we have a messy, paint and materials type of creative session with no physical end result at all.

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    Absolutely agree with that and I'm not remotely trying to force a child into creating something meaningful. That is not my point at all. Children can develop and learn by copying. At what point does this skill kick in? Creating your own masterpiece in your own way is one thing but being able to copy and recreate is surely a skill children learn too - and at times an important part of creating? Not just creating but doing something by copying.

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    Very young babies will copy things like facial expressions and sticking their tongue out. Children copy all the time, mannerisms, little phrases, good manners I'm not aware there's a definite start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitrix View Post
    Got a 3 year old girl in our setting who copies EVERYTHING another child does/says. She seems incapable of her own thought processes. And if I try and show her how to do something it's like she cannot understand it. This morning I drew stems and gave them flowers to glue and stick on to the stem I had drawn. She saturated the paper with glue, nowhere near the stems and randomly stuck flowers anywhere but on the stems. She was unable to follow my instruction or copy what was shown to her. I get this is an age thing and will come in to,e but nowhere in the EYFS does it mention copying. For example, one mindee has just started to draw a line to join up dots that I make. He can copy things I draw (or is trying) but I can't reference this to anything in the EYFS. Surely it's a vital part of their learning?
    I think the fact that you are unable to find a specific reference to copying shows that in expressive art and design it is not a vital part of learning.
    As Moggy and Watford Whizz say copying in other areas develop from birth and isn't linked to EAD specifically but is a natural development so no real starting point and goes on into our teens. Mainly a social development area which is why good role modals are vital in children and young people's lives.
    I think there is a difference between 'create' and creativity. I see no development value in generating a copied picture that someone else has designed....it does make a nice created picture at the end possibly ...the same as every other child's in the setting....but this is not being creative, which is linked to imaginative, innovative and inventive ...like covering a piece of paper with an abstract design of stems and flowers.
    I have some click together flowers stems and leaves set which is part of my construction resources but great to help LO's understand the parts of plants concept, I also have simple tray jigsaw of a flower and you add leaves and flowers , taking apart dandelions, buttercups and daisies whilst sitting in the middle of a field is another good task to look at parts of the plant too or just observing and chatting about flowers in the garden or vases in the home would reinforce this UW area. Then, after lots of this type of hands on experience, give lots of resources and suggest she creates a garden of flowers and the flowers then may be attached to the stems.
    I have a LO who is 4, passed her test to get into an elite private school, can read, count, draw well, remembers flowers and plants names and recognises them and birds visually, copies older and younger children in their play ...and then extends it....give her runny white glue and she loves to cover her base with it, she loves the stickyness and ability to flow, sticking anything with the glue is not her priority usually as the sensory experience takes over.
    Last edited by FloraDora; 06-06-2017 at 05:10 PM.

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    Been pondering this all day. Everyone has zoned in on the creativity aspect but I was actually wondering about it in a more general sense. Like copying a demonstrated way to do something/anything. Take throwing bread to the ducks. You demonstrate tearing little piece off but they chuck the whole slice in! Have come to the conclusion they will copy when they are physically able to recreate/replicate what they see. So it's all bound in with physical development and understanding how things work. Sorry for any confusion - sometimes the simplest things can be made to seem so complicated!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitrix View Post
    Been pondering this all day. Everyone has zoned in on the creativity aspect but I was actually wondering about it in a more general sense. Like copying a demonstrated way to do something/anything. Take throwing bread to the ducks. You demonstrate tearing little piece off but they chuck the whole slice in! Have come to the conclusion they will copy when they are physically able to recreate/replicate what they see. So it's all bound in with physical development and understanding how things work. Sorry for any confusion - sometimes the simplest things can be made to seem so complicated!!
    Yes, I think that is all correct- they need to understand, want to do it and then have the physical ability to do so.

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    I think this is a really interesting thread Fitrix.

    The bread/ducks example made me chuckle! So many times I've sighed and privately rolled my eyes when a mindee has just lobbed the whole slice of bread into the water! When you start to analyse it there could be so many reasons why they do this (must be a common example, lol).

    Does the child imitate what adults do in their role play? So do they play appropriately with toy telephones, cooking equipment, keys, dressing up, bathing dolls etc?

    Maybe your gut feeling is that there is a general immaturity with the particular child?

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    You are absolutely spot on Maza. She does copy everyday role play and in most areas is developing great. I just thought that she should be able to replicate what I was showing her. Not that I wanted her to create a specific piece of artwork - it wasn't about that. It was more that she was UNABLE to replicate, not that she didn't want to and I believe she should be able to given her stage of development. I believe she should have been able to copy me then as in other situations (non creative) and there is nowhere specific to link this ability in the EYFS.

 

 

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