Thursday, July 30, 2015

Play-Doh, Child Development, and Take-Out Boxes

So over a year ago I posted about using brightly colored take-out boxes (available at your local craft store) for project supplies, and promised to write about how we used the Play-Doh I stored in them in a later post. Well, here's the later post!
To review, the take-out boxes are not only a fun storage container, but being sealed and opaque they are also great for "secret" supplies and surprise projects. One thing that many students struggle with is understanding the differences between physical, intellectual, social, and emotional development (in particular they have a hard time teasing out social and emotional). In fairness, they are all of course interrelated, but I need them to understand each as a stand-alone as well. Because they have such trouble, my challenge is to take these abstract concepts and make them as concrete as possible, so I thought "Why not have them make physical representations of each?"

I divided the class into groups, then sent them back to the kitchens so they would have lots of counter space to work with (and also to get them physically moving around, get those brain juices flowing!). Each kitchen was given a take-out box (in the color that matched their kitchen, of course), which they were delighted to find contained Play-Doh! I explained that even though they were in groups they would each be making their own creations (haha to those who thought they could just watch! Boy, lots of exclamation points in this paragraph!). We quickly reviewed the different areas of development, and then I said "Okay, everyone create something with your Play-Doh related to physical development." And off they went! We did a few rounds each of physical, intellectual, social, and emotional. Check out some of their ideas:

I walked around as they worked, and asked them to explain what it was they produced and how it was related to that area of development. This was an important component because:
  1. not all of them were great Play-Doh artists and I'm not always the best mystery solver
  2. some of the creations could be applied to multiple categories so I wanted to hear their reasoning for their choice
  3. it forced them to not only think about what they were making but how they could explain what they were making to someone else
  4. viewing others' creations and listening to others' explanations deepened their understanding of the concepts and helped them apply the concepts to a wider range of objects/ activities/ relationships/ etc
They learned, they started performing much better on other assignments/ assessments related to areas of development, and we all had fun. And, I got to use the awesome color-coded take-out boxes! Slam dunk!

1 comment:

  1. You are brilliant and I love these!!! Unfortunately, I can't find how to download them and they aren't on your tpt site anymore (from what I can see)! Would you be able to help?