In line with the ASIJ emphasis on Design Thinking this year, the Nursery team, who work with our 3-year-old children, decided to take a different approach when introducing “glue” to the children. In the past they may have modeled the appropriate use for glue. This time they provided a tray filled with glue for each child. The children were able to feel it, swirl their hands around, smell it and have conversations about “What is glue?”
The teachers recorded the children’s responses on an iPad. Next they gave each child a piece of cloth to put in the glue. The cloth was kept in the glue overnight. When the children returned to school the next day, they recorded their observations of the cloth in the glue. While some may have already known what glue is and how it is used, others realized that glue is used to stick things together.
The teachers then asked the question, “What can we do with glue?” Other kinds of glue (stick, paste, and liquid glue were introduced) so that the children could experiment with various types to glue objects on a large piece of paper.
This entire activity was rich in authentic learning, and empowering for the children because they came to their own conclusions based on their individual and collective experience. Design Thinking begins in early childhood! (Jean Caskey, ELC Director)