Grandma's Elevator

Delivery Method: 

Blocks are excellent tools for open-ended construction that can serve as props for invented stories. Children can work alone or with others. Often their invented stories motivate and guide their constructions. In this videative, two boys, Andrew and Edward, have different orientations to block play. Edward wants to arrange the blocks as props to support his story about grandma's elevator, including grandma herself (the column block). Andrew seems more interested in making spatial motifs, such as a triangle on top of every column. Watch how flexible Edward must be to rename the block structures when Andrew changes them. On two occasions, grandma (the column block) becomes grandma's house (triangle on column) because Andrew has added the triangle.

Supported by the nature of these wooden blocks, the two boys have found a way to play together in a fluid manner. This fluidity is facilitated by the symbolic ambiguity of the blocks as well as by the fact that the boys are, after all, only pretending.

Through the process of co-construction children learn that a single block can have multiple meanings, depending on its location within a structure. How similar is this sort of literacy to knowing that a given word can have multiple meanings, depending upon the sentence in which it is placed?

Keywords: Threes, Blocks, Pretense, Co-construction, Symbolization, Child-Child, videative

Length of videative: 4 text pages, 8 video clips
Length of stand alone master vido clip: 2 minutes 50 seconds