Collaboration – Role-building with negotiation

In this variation of 'Build a Model', we build a model together from instruction and roles.
The task

Together, we build a model (a building set) together using instructions. We each have a role, but we can negotiate with them. The purpose of the activity is that we practice negotiating by exploring how the roles are meaningful to us.

Collaboration – Build a Model We create a motivating environment for the children. 



Suggestion for introduction

We create a motivating environment for the children. 

For example, we can say: “We practice building together, and we try to use what we have already learned to reflect on the activity together. Maybe we’ll learn something new about each other today, like how to compromise. The activity is about building a model together based on instructions. We each have different roles. It is up to us to agree on which roles we would like to have and what is needed for the activity to be fun. For example, we can decide that the ‘Reader’ sits with his back to the others, that the ‘Builder’ must not use words, or that the ‘Finder’ hides the bricks in a box, hidden away from the Reader and the Builder. We can also come up with other roles.”


The activity can be adapted to the framework of one lesson and varied according to the time available and the children’s prerequisites.


We can use small Lego sets that we are familiar with, or wooden blocks, plus-plus, magnetic tiles, paper, or something else – as long as we have preprinted instructions or a model that we can follow. All that matters is that the material motivates us.

During the activity

During the play session, the children encounter challenges and successes, where we can stop and help spot what is difficult or what is going well. We can do this in several ways:

Reflection routines 

When we get the opportunity to reflect together with the children on what challenges or discoveries arise along the way, we can use one or more reflection routines. It could be, for example, a learning metaphor with a social strategy that we practice, an emoji that describes the feeling we have right now, or a rating of how well we think the building is going. In this way, a reflection routine can help to show and put into words the experiences that the children have during the play session.

Facilitating questions

We can ask facilitating questions to the children along the way, as they naturally arise in the building process. In this way, we facilitate the play session so that we continue the play and at the same time learn something from it. For example: 

  • I see that you have stopped building. I wonder how we can continue from here? 
  • I see that you have encountered a challenge. Should we try to solve it together? 
  • Try to notice what you are doing right now. Do you think this is a collaborative strategy? 
Show and Tell

Finally, in the play session, we give a Show and Tell of our construction, so that we have the opportunity to share our experiences, reflections, and feelings about the construction process.

First, we talk about our model and the process of building it. During the Show and Tell, we can use reflection routines and reflective questions to support the discoveries that have been made. For example:

  • What went well? 
  • What was difficult?
  • Is there anything that you want to do differently the next time we build a model?
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