“Oh, It’s Standing!”


At the clay area I watched this thinking/learning activity for thirty minutes.  When I arrived at the beginning of the activity, a large ball of clay had been flattened using a rolling pin.  Since much of our learning/thinking has revolved around deer provocations, I asked this Bitty Brown Bat to think about creating a three dimensional deer, specifically one that stood on its own.  That was all I said, and the challenge began.

I decided to draw his progress so I could in some way become more connected to the process.  The large bottom picture is his first attempt.  His deer lay on its side on the table.

Looking at the photos in a clockwise direction, the first sketched picture is his second attempt. It was a smaller version of the first deer that lay flat on its side.  It had shorter legs.  In that same picture you can see that he realized that the deer wasn’t standing so he flattened out the clay and started anew.  That’s when I really began to get excited.  This Bitty Brown Bat was feeling pumped up to complete this challenge.

In the third picture moving in a clockwise direction you can see that he leaned the smaller body and shorter legs version against a mound of clay – serving as a lean to.  He realizes that it’s not free standing; it’s being supported by the lean to clay mass.  And then he says, “Now, Darrell, we need four legs.”  After attaching the four legs, he says excitedly, “Oh,  it’s standing!”, almost as if surprised.  I’m feeling a happy dance coming on.  I am so excited about how he cognitively approached this independently.  The top picture is his finished (for today) free standing deer.

It’s worth of a happy dance!  Come on, do one, celebrate with me the power of a five year old child who chooses his own learning, commits to it passionately, and produces a finished product.


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