Author: Tânia Costa, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil

Co-author: Lara Mucci Poenaru

This paper is a result of a didactic sequence placed in a science museum, about the Antarctic continent. It aimed to recreate, from students previous conceptions, physical conditions, weather and animals that live there, considering the human presence in the continent. The sequence was developed in Itinerant Museum Ponto UFMG for over six months, with students between 6 and 7 years old. In the hopes of making evident how children build their own conceptions about the Antarctic, we have focused our analysis in written activities and drawings; audiovisual recordings and fieldwork notebook registers. The data was analyzed according to Vigotsky’s Imaginative Play Theory (2004) and Piaget’s Semiotic Function (1973). It was noticed that, first, the students’ conceptions were pervaded by fantastic elements related to imagination and fantasy, expressed as drawings of penguins riding a bicycle, or polar bears with crab claws. It was also found that some visual elements and previous experiences from the students with movie histories (such as: “Ice Age” and “Happy Feet”) merged. When we compare the children’s drawings made in the first couple of months and those made during the last month, it was evident the transition process from fantasy to reality. This process happened after the students were presented with scientific documentaries about the polar continent, travelling and literature books and group discussions. From the semiotic analysis of the last drawings it was noticed new elements, such as a military base, ships and human constructions. Therefore, it was possible to conclude that the children creative repertory was zoomed. The results of this research points out the importance of fantasy and imagination in the process of learning in the early childhood, and a start point to reframe the students’ misconceptions and to reinforce the relevance of drawing as an interpretative tool for the children’s creative process.