Thursday, September 13, 2012
Sticks and Stones and...Support Beams?
What do SVS kids do all day? Well, yesterday I was shown around a small village of "homes." Created by sticks, rocks, and leaves; woven together strategically according to one young boy (about 9 years old maybe?). The three buildings of various shapes were almost four feet in height. They extended several feet back, the longest may have been five feet long. Inside the kids had created seats made from rocks, and they were collecting "valuable slate."
Alli was intrigued. Clubs are her new favorite thing, like many children her age. "Can I join?" she asked one of the boys who was continuing to improve his structure. "Sure," he said, "just come to a council meeting tomorrow." With a smile Alli asked, "what time?" "10:00am," the boy answered.
Meetings? These boys created their own village and were conducting meetings. Not for the purpose of being exclusive. He welcomed her willingly to come learn more about what they were creating in the woods on campus.
Any teacher in a public school understands the coordination and effort it seems to take in order to get children to get along and to construct something meaningful. Here they were, these elementary aged children, creating their own village and their own community of participants in their village.
What did they learn from this experience?
These kids learned about construction. They learned about base support and angles. They wove the branches together to improve the strength of their structures. They explored density. Most importantly, they learned how to negotiate with each other around their ideas, to collaborate in order to create something together that alone would have seemed impossible.