Case Study Starts in Earnest

It rained yesterday so I had indoor recess duty with the kindergarten students.  The current K class will be my case study class.  I have 2 students, who are twins, as case study kids and will be looking for some others.  One thing I am noticing right away is the the K classes are full of engineering opportunities for kids. See the gallery below for some of the examples I saw at yesterday’s recess.

Why do we stop in K?  We must think that this is only play and that it is only for little kids at school.  I was thinking of doing  a survey of elementary classroom teachers in our district to see what engineering materials they have available.  I know when I taught third grade, I usually had a take apart center with old typewriters and electronic devices for the students to take apart.  My theory is that we need to support and continue children’s natural interest in engineering and building throughout school.

I noticed right away that Reid, one of the twins, was making some sophisticated Lego creations, in this case a vehicle.  When I asked him about the vehicle, he clearly had a story narrative to go along with the truck.  See the video below.  This supports the idea that kid’s engineering is frequently closed tried to creative or fantasy play.  An interesting question is what comes first:  do they build to support the fantasy they have in mind, or do they build first and create a narrative around that, or is it simultaneous and co-evolving?

Explanation of Vehicle from John Heffernan on Vimeo.


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