During free time, a table was set up with four, small work surfaces. Each work surface had a wooden, square plate and 5 bowls of materials that included flat rocks, corks, spools, wooden rings and cubes. A prompt card with the question, “How high can you stack it?” was also at the table.
Four girls used the materials differently, but all were purposeful and intentional in their actions. They were patient, focused, and worked methodically to build their structures, with very little interaction; all seemed focused on their own buildings, and were not influenced by what others were doing.
One student (off camera, but you can hear her) seemed most interested in the sound the rocks made when she banged them on the work surface. Another stacked the corks up high until the structure fell over. Another built 4 low, identical, structures on her plate, while another, had a plan and built a more complex “town;” she stayed at the table the longest and went on to construct an even larger structure.
These materials were kept out for two weeks to give the children time to reexplore, reinvestigate and rebuild.