The children already have an awareness of The Learning Pit and how challenge leads to enhanced learning. Collaborating with others is also a constant focus in LC1 as we learn to navigate our way through different relationships with our peers and adults alike.
This week we set the children a challenge.
Build the strongest bridge you can with the following materials -
1 glue stick
8 sheets of newspaper
18 lollypop sticks
1 plastic tray
1 pair of scissors
The children's prior knowledge of what a bridge actually is came in to play here. Along with what they perceived a bridge should look like. And then there was how can we make a strong bridge with the materials we have? How do we make it stand up off the ground because that's what all bridges do right? Alongside that were the challenges of what to do when you perceive that members of your group don't listen to you. When no one wants to use your idea. And when you want the scissors but some else doesn't want to hand them over. ALL of these challenges plus many more made it very easy to NOT keep trying even when it gets difficult!
BUT, no one gave up and we did end up with some bridges. Some stuck to the brief and created a group effort. Others produced their very own bridge!!
Of course we then had to test the bridges which lead to a very interesting discussion about standard and non-standard units of measurement. In the end we decided to test the strength of our bridges by seeing how many farm animals it could hold!
We made predictions based on whether we thought the bridges 'looked' strong based on it's design features and then tested away! There was joy and there was disappointment in almost equal measure.
The testing process lead to lots of great discussion about what makes a strong bridge and how the materials we were given could be used to make the strongest bridge possible. We also shared ideas about how to deal with differences in your group and how to communicate your ideas effectively. So much learning based around one activity!!!
Watch this space because the children are keen to repeat the activity again next week based on their new expertise in bridge building!
Pop into our learning common to see the bridges and some reflections from the children.