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5 - Little factory of literature in the garden 1. from sensory exploration to the word palette
Thursday 12 April 2018
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This project on writing takes into account the works of OULIPO to stimulate literary imagination and ’free the word’ of disadvantaged learners by combining it with visual activities reported in a ’garden notebook’
The garden is a territory for literary imaginary where to create a ’word palette’, a poetic inventory set up starting from a sensory approach to the garden.

This methodology was experimented and drafted at Quinta Jardim do Lago in Funchal (Madeira, Portugal) with European teachers during a peer-to-peer training mobility from 20 to 24 February 2019.
Similarly, it has been the subject matter of activities with different types of learners: Young people from the local Mission, pupils from the pre-primary and primary schools and college students from the municipalities of Saint-Germain Boucle de Seine.
See the related report in the section ’Expansion’ here below. _ Visit also Herbiers sans frontière and Carnets de jardin sans frontière realised by the learners.

- Communication in the mother tongue
- Social competences and citizenship
- Humanist culture and expression of sensitivity

- To contribute to a better use of the mother tongue by improving the vocabulary through the usage of visual sensory tools in the garden. The ’word palette’ will be the source from which little texts can be drawn and written individually or collectively in ’garden notebooks’
- To create confidence and situations apt to empower learners to express their points of view as of their first exploration of the garden
- To develop relationship by making learners work in pair, dialogue, recite or read in front of other fellows their poetic set of words

Quinta Jardim do Lago in Funchal (Madeira, Portugal)
The Gardens of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (France)

Mirrors, frames, notebooks and crayons, cameras, Kaleidoscope….

First of all, place the activities proposed in the history of contemporary literature.
This ’Little Factory of Literature’ is based on the works of OULIPO, acronym of Ouvroir de Literature Potentielle. It was the project of an international association of enthusiasts of literature founded in 1960 by the writer Raymond Queneau and the mathematician Francois Le Lionnais, which was joined by artists such as Italo Calvino and Georges Pérec.
1.Find words to describe perceptions
The students in pairs are invited to explore the garden, its textures, colours, etc. and to spontaneously express their feelings.

The frame
Explore the garden framing different details of texture, colour, material in order to improve the perceptions, and express them spontaneously using words as they come to mind. Create a ’verbal palette’ throughout the exploration of the garden

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The mirror
Enhance this verbal palette by using a new way of framing which makes glints of detail appear. Photographing these details allows for the introduction of new manipulations capturing the images in a more desirable way. Working in pair in this context facilitates situations of dialogue and confrontation

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The kaleidoscopes
This tool offers the possibility to transform and repeat the details like on the pattern of abric. The details appear in different ways according to the manipulation (turning the kaleidoscope, holding it while walking…). The kaleidoscope, a particularly playful tool, enables a further implementation of the word palette of the garden, the more so as it is possible to capture the images issued and preserve them as a gallery of photographs or a film.

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2.To communicate by using the word palette of the garden. To voice the words selected
The learners are invited to read or dramatize their words in a specific space of the garden. It’s a way to take possession of the garden by means of verbal or body language.

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The images and the words produced allow for the awareness of the ’colour palette’ and for telling the garden starting from the abundance, variety and brightness of the colours of the plants. The vocabulary will grow with the reading of literary, poetic and scientific texts, for instance by pointing out the names of the plants.

With the pupils of the pre-primary and primary schools, in the ephemeral garden arranged in the Jardin des Arts in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (France) by the association Paysage et Patrimoine sans frontière with the help of the young from the local Mission and the students of the Lycée Agricole and of the town,
- write texts reusing the word palette of the garden, minding the spelling
- reproduce the texture and the transparency of the plants using painting and collage

See the experimentation of this file at the nursery school Alsace, Saint-Germain-en-Laye


See the collective text elaborated at the Giraud Teulon nursery school, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, in Sylvaine Bourrat’s Moyenne Section class

The whole of the notebooks will be object of an exhibition at the Vera Museum and at the Alexander Dumas Theatre, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, in June 2019

EVALUATION It takes into account the ability to
- master the oral and written mother tongue: report both orally and in writing the vocabulary related to the garden, broaden it to produce the text of the garden notebook minding the spelling
- develop social competences: dialogue with fellow students, communicate the word palette of the garden
- develop awareness and cultural expression: build up a personal inventory of the garden with words and pictures, re-use them. Get excited about the texts and pictures produced in a garden, a source of inspiration for many authors and artists.

Aline Rutily
Jean Soulier
Association Paysage et Patrimoine Sans Frontière, Saint-Germain-en-Laye

Mary Gino
Association Acquamarina, Trieste, Italie

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