The Beautiful Stuff Project

Sunday, September 30, 2012

For the last two weeks we have been engaged in a new project entitled "The Beautiful Stuff Math and Literacy Project."  Thank you to all of the parents who sent in beautiful stuff with their child to school.

Mrs. Ham sharing her beautiful stuff with the class in our
Math Problem Solving Learning Area.

The question that we are investigating is as follows: 
What can we do with, and how can we learn from the beautiful stuff collected?

Thank you to the educators at Havergal College for inspiring this project.

More information to follow...


  1. Beautiful... I can't wait to see how this project unfolds. The many directions that it could potentially go is so exciting.

    Here is the link to the book "Beautiful Stuff - learning with found materials" that inspired and supported us.

    Looking forward to watching it unfold through your blog.

    Leslie Siegrist
    Havergal College

  2. Hi Joanne,

    It looks like your students have brought in some wonderful materials! I know from watching the project unfold here at Havergal it is one that the student's approach with such excitement and joy. I look forward to seeing what emerges with your beautiful stuff!


  3. Thank you Leslie and Britney for visiting the blog and for your lovely comments!

    Your team is such an inspiration!

    I love the "Beautiful Stuff" resource and should reference it within my next post.

    The students have really enjoyed exploring the beautiful stuff that they brought in. Hoping to share more about this process soon...

    Would appreciate hearing about how it turns out in your classroom as well!

    Thank you for always being so willing to share your ideas and practice with us. :) We've truly learned a lot!


    Joanne Babalis

  4. My last year's class LOVED this project. They visited the materials over and over again. It was such a success, we may revisit it this year. I can't wait to see the beautiful things your class does with them.

  5. I'm looking forward to the results as well too!!

    The students are starting to creatively intertwine the dot project and beautiful stuff project.

    Should be interesting!

  6. Hello! I work at a child care centre in Thunder Bay. My co-worker and I are very excited to try this project and we were wondering if you could give us any tips? What worked, what didn't work and what you would do differently. Please feel free to email me directly at Thanks, Mandy

  7. Hi Mandy,

    Thank you for your comment!

    I will post more about what we did with our Beautiful Stuff Project in the next few weeks. This has actually been something on my "to do" list!!

    Please check back in again soon!


  8. Hi Joanne,

    We had the book Beautiful Stuff, but have misplaced it. We wanted to do the paper bag collection. Have you got the peom that you send home with the paper bag at all?

    Thanks Trisha

    1. Hi Trisha,

      I left my book at school, though I never sent home the poem. Instead, I wrote to the parents a letter created by the students with a list of "beautiful stuff" that they could search for.

  9. I love this post. It remind me very much of a project I did this year with my Kinders inspired by a book called Something Beautiful. It's the story of a little girl that sees beauty in the broken and everyday items that are all around her. The kids were then asked to bring in a small bag of beautiful junk from their homes, out of which we created our version of beautiful people. Some very interesting conversations were had. Thanks for sharing. I will be sure to incorporate some of your ideas if I revisit the book next year.

  10. We have started this project.... As my class is large, we are bringing bags in 5 at a time. Each child will present their items to the entir class. We've set up a Beautiful Stuff centre where the children can explore the "stuff" as it comes in. Before setting up the centre, we discussed what we will do at the centre- lots of ideas (explore, describe, draw sort). Once wverything is in, we will sort and go from there! Interesting process to give over the lead to the children...