Building Support

Delivery Method: 

Sammy and Lincoln, both three-years-old, are working to build supports on which to balance a large board. The boys initially have different ideas about where Sammy should place the rectangular block he is holding. Sammy says, “I want to put it right here” (1:01 – 1:04). Lincoln replies, “But that’s too close to you” (1:05-1:07). Sammy explains, “But I want it close to me” (01:10-1:12). A few moments later (01:32), Lincoln moves the long board into position and says, “You can put right under (points).” Sammy contentedly moves his block under the board. Why does Sammy change his mind? What do you think encourages him to collaborate?

Sammy notices that the end of his block and the bottom of the board do not meet (1:41). Why is this a problem for Sammy? What does he do to try and fix it?

At time code 1:51, Lincoln says, “No, I want more space. I want yours to be right, right here (points to spot half way between his block and the end of the board). Explain how Lincoln’s idea may or may not make sense with regard to the function of the block structure. Explain how Lincoln’s idea may or may not make sense from an aesthetic perspective.

At time code 2:04, Sammy says, “Look! See, it doesn’t touch it (points). I want it to touch it.” In what way does Lincoln respond? Do you think he wants to help Sammy solve the problem?

The boys soon encounter another problem – the board falls (2:37). What strategies do you notice the children using to move past this minor setback?

Lincoln prefers to use a toy car instead of the ball that Sammy was trying. Think about the differences between these two objects and identify the different strategies used to make them roll all the way down the incline.

Reflect upon the ways the children relate to each other throughout the episode. How would you characterize the boys’ relationship? Do you think they play together often?

Do you think the boys have a specific goal in mind, or do you think their play is more fluid? Give supporting details from the video.

Around time code 4:38, the boys express a sense of shared success. Sammy claps his hands and says, “Yah!” Lincoln says, “Yeah!” What are the children celebrating?

After watching the full episode, give your opinion about whether the children think it is more important to collaborate with each other or to successfully complete a block structure. Explain.

Keywords: threes, children-object, communication, negotiation,  collaboration, ramps, practice video clip

Length of video: 5 minutes, 45 seconds