Social Clay

Delivery Method: 

In this Thinkprint, eight 15-month-old toddlers explore clay together while seated at a large table. They occasionally pick up an idea for what to do by watching a friend across the table. After a while they make singsong noises together which acknowledges that they have formed a group. Listen to the initial call of one child and the response of a few, followed by a pause. Then the call changes to a new sound and more of the children answer including the teacher. Then yet a third sound, more intense, and the call blends with a group chorus. Listen to the way children invent a proto-conversation. The large table and open-ended materials facilitate this sense of group membership. This Thinkprint reveals the teacher's and the children’s “likely thoughts\" to give you an appreciation of how young children co-construct their knowledge of what clay can do and what it can become. Group play offers us a window into children’s social, emotional, and language development. The master video clip (8 minutes) can be used to launch a discussion about the teacher's role in these free wielding settings.

Keywords: Ones, Clay, Children-Teacher, Communication, Modification, Thinkprint

Length of Thinkprint: 16 paragraphs, 11 video subclips
Length of stand-alone master video clip: 8 minutes