Saturday, October 29, 2011

Building Literacy and Planning into our Construction Area

Although the building center is one of the most popular areas in the classroom, with so many children this year we have found that the children have found it difficult to organize their ideas and build a cooperative, recognizable project together.  On Friday we read a story about a construction worker who uses plans to help his team construct a building. We engaged the children in a discussion after the story about what building plans would look like and be used for, and then added a 'building plans' book to our construction center. We encouraged the children to create plans before building anything, hoping this would provide a purpose to their play and add some literacy to the construction center.

The children were eager to use the book and decided to build motorcycles. They collaboratively planned together before building.

After the children were done planning, we discussed with them each part of their drawing, helping to engage them in rich discussions using specific vocabulary. The motorcycles each needed steering wheels, engines, mirrors, kickstands, pedals, throttles, rims, and windshields.

The children then got to work building their motorcycles. They referred often to their plans, helping to keep them focused and working on a purposeful creation together.

Notice the children looking over their plans and discussing them as they are in the middle of building the motorcycles!

The children even created working parts to their motorcycle! Check out these handlebars with moving gas and break parts!

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