Suggestion for introduction
We create a motivating framework for the children.
For example, we can say: ”Today, we create a super stable and wide bridge that would be able to hold a truck (for example). We share the building materials and we need to work fast because the bridge should go from here (mark, e.g. a plate) to here (mark, e.g. another plate). We only have 15-20 min before the truck comes and needs to cross. We also need to be effective in our planning of building and in our collaboration.”
The activity can be adapted to the framework of one lesson and varied according to the time available and the children’s prerequisites.
We need some materials well suited for building bridges. We can choose one kind of material that the children like, or a mix of e.g. Lego, Kapla, Bakoba etc. We also need a mark of where the bridge starts and ends, for example a Lego plate. It is useful to have a testing driving device, which can cross the bridge to test its stability.
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:
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.
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 bridges?