Building Brain Power By Hand

During our exploration of insects, I challenged the students (during rotation time) to build a bug city at the Construction Center. It's amazing to me to watch what the students come up with when given a task like this because it's a clear demonstration of their level of critical thinking. For example, these pictures show what one of the groups was able to construct:

Notice how they have built up from the table, how they have made nooks for individual bugs, even how they have sorted the bugs by type to let bugs of the same family "live" together. 

It is of great importance to have activities such as this available in my classroom; because our hands are so important to our brains. By using our hands to build, to touch, to explore, we form connections that help us not only to understand the world around us, but to think about the world around us.

Here are some other skills the children are developing by working at the Construction Center:
--Respecting the work of others
--Making choices and decisions
--Negotiating ideas
--Using creative, divergent thinking
--Dialoguing and problem solving
--Determining how real objects fit together
--Experimenting with the properties of physical objects, such as gravity, weight, stability, and balance