As the children played with the blocks building homes for the animals, they showed interest in the structures they were building. When Lucie saw the curved blocks she immediately thought of bridges but used them as slides to connect the homes. The structures and connections were quite important to the children as they worked through the activity.
I placed a representation of water (blue poster board with fish stickers put randomly on it) on the floor of the block area. I then placed different large blocks near the “water”. As the children approached I asked them, “Who would like to help me? I want to get from this side of the water to the other side without stepping in the water. What can we do?”
The children quickly went to work to build a bridge. Soon it became a very wide bridge that took up the entire water. Lucie and Myles used the bridge as a source of protection. Lucie saw the edge of the water sticking out of one side and immediately started covering it up with ceramic tiles. Myles walked very carefully over the bridge, taking great care not to fall off. If there were blocks that started to separate then he would point it out and wait for someone to come over and fix it. In the end Jack and Myles enjoyed removing the sticker fish from the water.
To expand on this experience, I would like to repeat the same activity using smaller blocks. How will the bridge structure be affected by the use of smaller blocks? I would like the children to explore more structures where it pertains to bridges. Will they cover the entire water or make thinner bridges? How will they utilize the bridge they build?