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The Powerful Crystal Stick of Egypt

Our 3, 4, and 5 year olds are all involved in long-term investigations related in some way to observing the building of the new School of Education, Health & Human Performance across the street. The 3’s are really interested in construction vehicles; the 4’s have been studying different kinds of buildings; the 5’s are developing their understanding of their ECDC neighborhood and the concept of ‘bird’s eye view’ that is a necessary pre-requisite for understanding maps. At this point in the EHHP construction process, footers are being dug, laid with rebar, and poured. The kids have learned that the purpose of using rebar is to reinforce the concrete to make the foundations and walls very, very strong.

One of our families, the Hagoods, brought in a large quantity of PVC plastic pipe for the kids to play with in the sandbox as they explore and develop their understanding of this part of the construction process.

After a couple weeks of digging trenches and experimenting with putting the PVC ‘pipes’ together in various ways, several of the children launched this building project that they named, “The Powerful Crystal Stick of Egypt!”

It emerged from an imaginary scenario – as Betty explained, “we’re in Egypt and Bad Guys were chasing us and so we needed to build something really strong enough to make them go away.”

As you read their words and look at the pictures of the construction site and then the structure that they built, it is clear that these children are transferring and applying what they know and have observed first-hand about what rebar is and how it is used.

Updated: June 8, 2009 - this site meets Section 508 and WCAG standards.

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