Suggestion for introduction
We create a motivating environment for the children.
For example, we can say: “Today, we are building together under one shared theme. The theme could be a zombie invasion or the animals of the forest. We decide for ourselves but there are 2 rules:
- We collaborate on building something together that everybody enjoys and is relevant for everybody.
- What we are building has to tell a story with a beginning, a middle in which something exciting happens, and an end.”
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:
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 are building together?