Provocation and a Child’s Interest

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I’ve talked before about how young children sometimes will be curious about a provocation or not.  I’ve also talked about how using the materials you have is a great way to incorporate recycling into your curriculum.  Above I had set up a small provocation using boxes, blocks and wooden dolls, our fairies.  And I used a piece of fabric to place them all onto.  I had no idea if this would be an interest or not, but I tried anyway.  

It turned out that one of my students chose to remove the blocks from the table and take them to the construction/ block interest area to build with.  The boxes, dolls and fabric were all left behind.  So I decided to follow this child and put the boxes and dolls in the construction/ block area too.  At first block building dominated and no interaction with the dolls took place.  However, just as I was about to give up on my provocation entirely, this student decided the dolls needed furniture. 🙂

2008-01-01 12.27.51  It turns out that the provocation wasn’t a fail as I thought it was.  This child made it her own and took it in the direction she wanted.  She moved the blocks to an area she could build, then she used the blocks to make furniture for the dolls.  She explored, constructed and planned using her own timing and ideas.  I mentioned the word “planned” second because often times young minds construct first and formulate ideas and plans as they go.  Constructing knowledge as they engage in hands-on projects enables their young minds to experiment with the many ideas running through their heads.

Sometimes it can be very difficult as a Teacher to sit back and wait.  Sometimes it is important to follow the child’s lead and then step back again.  Waiting, watching and listening are all part of  the documentation process and of being a Teacher, Mentor and Facilitator.

100_8294  As this child started to story tell about the dolls/ fairies she used our wooden tool bench, tools, and alphabet puzzle pieces and incorporated them into her story.  This child was also integrating the content areas such as mathematics when building, for example, measuring, comparing sizes, shapes and balancing each block.  She also entered into literacy development when she started story telling. Allowing young children to express their individual ideas and creative thoughts is all a part of a strong learning foundation.  This simple example is what enables children to take risks with their learning as they grow older.  We want children to have confidence and the ability to make difficult decisions as they grow into adulthood and become responsible citizens.  It all starts in the early years of development.

Heidi Scott, BA & MIT 🙂

The Marigold School of Early Learning

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