The children were interested in building a castle with the acorns that were donated to our classroom. Mrs. Shawana noticed that they were struggling to keep the acorns in a pile.
Mrs. Shawana: What materials do we have in the classroom that could help keep the acorns contained?
E.D.: We need to put something around it.
M.R.: We should use sticks and rocks.
So off they went to get sticks and rocks from the Discovery Center.
The children decided to use a stick in addition to the rocks to contain the acorns. However, they noticed that the stick wasn’t strong enough to hold the acorns in the pile so they problem solved by using the magnifying glass to keep the stick in place.
P.T.: That is still not working…We need to get a bigger rock.
E.D.: I added sticks to make a bridge.
J.M.: If it’s a castle then you need a flag.
E.D. and J.M. proceeded to the classroom window and looked at the flag outside.
E.D.: We need something like paper because the flag outside looks like plastic.
E.D. walked over the Art Studio and made a flag for the castle.
T.G.W.: (Came to the castle and started to blow on the flag.) Look, I’m doing it. E.D. joined in and helped her make the flag move.
At meeting time, we talked about the castle.
C.K.S.: I think we should name the castle “The Nut Castle.”
E.D.: I named it “The Castle Maker.” Maybe we should name it the “JanelleEmmet Castle”, because Janelle made it too!
M.A.: You forgot to put the Canada Leaf on there.
E.D.: You know how the flag moves. (Starts blowing on it to show the class)
M.A.: Why did you use the shells?
E.D.: So I could put the castle tips on the shells.
C.K.S.: Every castle has a drawbridge because their might be alligators in the water.
E.D.: The acorns are the water and the shell is the castle with points.
E.D. encouraged his friend J.M. to share because she worked hard on it too!
J.M.: I found the tape to make the flag.
After the class meeting, the children went outside. Upon arriving from outside, M.R. came to show us what she found. She said, “I found the perfect thing for our castle – because it’s the Canada Flag and it’s red”. (Holding a red maple leaf in her hand!)
Wow! So much transpired from our beautiful acorn gift! We are so excited. After school Mrs. Shawana and I did some reflecting. Since the children built the castle right in the middle of our meeting carpet we had to do some thinking about our Discovery Center. They clearly enjoy using the natural materials but obviously need more space to work. Hence, bringing all the natural materials to the big round meeting carpet. So, based on these observations, we decided to remove the “discovery table” from the Discovery Center and put a carpet on the floor instead. This will allow them the space they need to explore. This is what our new space looks like…
We hope the children will enjoy their new space to work! We will continue to discuss castles tomorrow and we are going to talk about how we can move our castle into a “safer” place in the classroom. Safer because the big round carpet is used for meetings and sharing books at other times in the day and it is a rather “busy” place. It will be interesting to hear the children’s ideas!