By Joy Roberts, Preschool Administrative Assistant
This spring the Purple Room Preschool children are learning about building. And last week they invited me to take part in a story and a special building project!
As I came into the classroom, everyone was gathering on the rug eagerly anticipating the story of “The Three Little Pigs”. Excitement was in the air as Kirsten, Purple Room Head Teacher, pulled up her chair, opened the book and began to read:
“Once upon a time an old sow sent her three little pigs out into the world to seek their fortune. “Now be sure to write,” she said. “And remember that I love you.”
As they settled in for the story, a couple of Purple Room friends expressed some concern about the wolf and whether or not he should eat the pigs. After a quick discussion the group decided that in our story, the wolf would not eat any pigs. Whew!
From there it was all tension and excitement! There were houses built of straw, sticks and bricks. There was huffing and puffing and houses blown down! The wolf tried to trick the pigs so he could eat them. But in the end, the big bad wolf… well, you probably know the ending!
After the story, we separated into three groups to see which material would build the strongest house. One table of friends worked on constructing a house of straws, another a house of sticks, and a third built a house of wood bricks. Each group carefully planned and collaborated, working together, each coming up with a house that would stand up to all that huffing and puffing!
When the houses were finished, we all walked around the classroom looking at and admiring each group’s house. The children explained to one another what they built and how well it would protect the pigs from the big bad wolf. All of the houses had chimneys, and one even had a “chomper” at the front door to keep the wolf out. Well done!
“We believe that children’s play is an expression of intelligence and growth, and that young children learn best through hands-on, concrete experiences. Play is the essential work of childhood and an important part of developing cognitive, social-emotional, and problem-solving skills.” – BFS Preschool Curriculum Overview, 2020-21
The Purple Room building project is a wonderful example of young children learning through Play. The imaginary world of the Three Little Pigs and that problematic big bad wolf provided an engaging scenario where the children could immerse themselves in creative problem-solving while having a really good time! As they examined each others’ houses, they had lots of insightful observations as well as praise for their peers’ work and strategies for keeping out the wolf.
Working together and collaborating on a fun project is an important part of learning to navigate relationships. Children learn to respect one another as they listen and consider other opinions and strategies. Observing how others choose to solve the same problem sparks the imagination, adding depth and enrichment to this beautiful and organic learning process!