Monday, March 7, 2011

Zoo, Year 2

Last year I posted about the zoo that a group of boys created. Here's a picture of that zoo.

(See more pictures of last year's zoo by clicking on link above.)

This week I put out the animals and ZOO sign again with the blocks. Since this group is so interested in blocks, I added a few other elements for them--rocks, small play trees, and our "river" pieces. (I'm glad I saved those wavy blue pieces of paper!)

This group approached the idea entirely differently. There was some negotiation about which animals would go where or who would use them. (This was similar to last year.) But then the kids seemed to create individual displays rather than a community one.

They interacted with each other and traded animals. They helped each other and contributed ideas for making each area better. But the project wasn't as much a group effort as last year.

I was glad to see the additional elements added to their play.

I always say that I get a group of kids each year that will help me learn more/new things about teaching. This group seems focused on teaching me to use the block center in a variety of ways. I have learned that a few additional props can enhance ideas or lead ideas into new directions.

And I'm learning that two groups of children--even the same age--use materials in entirely different ways. I wonder what they will have in store for me next week?


  1. I'm glad they played with the same materials differently this year Scott. I like that your children keep you guessing! :)
    Donna :) :)

  2. Me, too, Donna! If they always did exactly the same thing - where would the fun be? :)

  3. Looks like lots of creative fun! Zoos are one of our favorite things to build with blocks -- later, my girls like to pretend they are zoo keepers, which leads to lots of great questions about what kinds of foods different animals eat, and how best to take care of them. Great learning fun!