Rebuilding or Building Anew

Delivery Method: 

This clip illustrates the ways in which children work in a group. Henry identifies the parts and functions of his structure – the roof and the place where people stand. Henry exits after Sawyer asks for a turn. Ben remains at the light table. Sawyer unintentionally knocks over Henry’s work. Perhaps assuming Ben made the structure, Sawyer consoles Ben, patting him with his hand, and saying, “Sorry, Ben. You can build it again.” Sawyer sets his objective to use the elements in the original structure, but comments several times that it is okay if the rebuilt structure is not identical to the original. So is he rebuilding for Ben or making a new structure for himself? Notice that Ben focuses his attention on joining two straws rather than focusing on Sawyer’s work on the fallen structure. Sawyer continues to use only the fallen elements even when the teacher calls his attention to other materials. Notice when another child comes over and asks Sawyer what he is working on, Sawyer stumbles on the pronoun, alternating between “we” and “I.” What does this ambivalence tell us about Sawyer’s framing of why he is building or his sense of working together? Where in the video do you think he shifts from building for Ben to building for himself? Play allows this sort of license and makes it possible for children to experience flow and success since the specific goals can change without much fuss.