We had our first sensory workshop with our new project Co-Researchers from Reading College. Students from the LLD/D (Learners with Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities) department visited MERL Museum of English Rural Life for the workshop session. From left to right they are Sian, Guillermo, Rachel, Rachel, Skye, Luke and Rumena (who is not appearing in photos or videos, but is very active in the group and taking a lot of the photos you see here).
The group walked to MERL from Reading College with their teacher Cathy and support workers Matt, Natasha and Lin. When they arrived they were served some orange segments by Robyn (who is providing food during the workshops) and who thought this would give them energy like football players at half time after their walk to the museum. See picture below.
The picture below shows images of an EYE we use to SEE with, a HAND we use to TOUCH with, a TONGUE we use to TASTE with, a NOSE we use to SMELL with and an EAR we use to HEAR with. We used these images talk about our senses and which parts of the body we use to experience the five senses.
During our workshop we used all our senses to explore MERL, find out about its collection and its relation to us. We took photos, listened to and made sounds and had a farmers lunch. The picture below shows our Co-Researchers being introduced to instant cameras and sound boxes. Isabel, a curator at MERL who later took us on a tour of the museum, is standing on the right.
They soon got the hang of the camera that produced instant photos and the sound box that played 6 sounds by twisting the knob and pressing the button. We asked the group to play the sounds if they saw something in the museum that related to the sound. We asked them to take a photo of the object that made the sound. Between them they made lots of sounds and took lots of photos. Sian and Rumena took a lot of the photos while Skye, Guillermo, Luke, Rachel and Rachel matched sounds to the exhibits. The picture below shows Sian watching her photo develop she really enjoyed watching the picture appear while Skye explored the soundbox.
The picture below shows Guillermo he got on well with using the sound box.
The picture below shows the group finding out about a wooden fork, the prongs were grown as separate branches, described by Isabel during our tour of the museum.
The picture below shows Sian waiting for image to appear, she took lots of instant pictures during the tour of the museum, she liked the wheels on display.
The picture below shows an instant picture taken by Rumena or Sian of Luke trying out some of the costumes MERL have of what farmers used to wear.
The next two pictures below show both Rachels becoming part of an old Victorian photo.
After the tour we had a farmers lunch prepared by Robyn, during lunch we discussed how different foods are produced.
Robyn made a cake with cream and berries see picture below.
After lunch we reviewed the sounds made by the sound boxes from the morning. The group used images to match the sounds they had heard.
Then the group chose which were their favourite instant pictures using smiley stickers. The picture below shows Cathy giving Skye some stickers Rachel looking at the photos and Guillermo about to attach a sticker.
The picture below shows the instant pics with 4 smileys or less chosen by the group.
There was one very strange pic see below we are not quite sure how this head appears in the horses harness?
Next we watched some old silent farming films one about cheese making, one about ploughing and one about sheep sheering. The picture below shows the group testing out sounds they could make for the films, Rachel at the back with a horn, Rachel in the front making a whirring sound with a fan and also created a machine sound using a bicycle pump, Guillermo had a go with coconut shells to make a horse clip clop sound then he made a sloshing sound with water in a jug to sound like milk being churned to make cheese, Skye turning a handle to make a mechanical sound and Luke with a hammer to make the sound of metal on metal.