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Castles, Knights and Princesses

Castles, forts and royalty have been a hot topic of conversation lately in EY.

We have been watching some episodes of a cartoon from the 80's called Gummi Bears
and this has inspired various types of design and construction play in EY.

I found some books in the library to use as a further provocation to see if any of the
children were interested in inquiring further into the design and construction of castles
and even some of the history from that period.
Mary and Ella immediately made a connection to some building materials in Ms
Elaine's classroom. They worked together to drag the basket of construction blocks
from Ms Elaine's classroom into our classroom.

They straight away started to build a castle.

Manipulating the building materials engages their ne motor skills (pushing, pulling,
connecting), mathematical skills (manipulating shapes, understanding how shapes are
used to construct) and language skills (listening, speaking, vocabulary building).
Marwin and Karina also joined in the constructing process, however they chose to
work on their own castle. They creatively used the basket that is used to store the
castle building materials as part of their construction.

While this initial exploration and construction was happening I brought the library
books over to the building area to provoke further and deeper discussions about
castles and to encourage the children to think beyond the actual construction process
and think about why castles were built and who lived in them.
The books not only show pictures of castles and forts, but also artifacts from that
period in time, which prompted a lot of discussion about what these objects were and
what they were used for.

After the main group of children left castle play and went of to do other things Belle
remained.

Belle has been very interested in building castles for weeks now and has used many
di erent materials in the EY area to make di erent types of castles.

I sat with her and we looked at some of the castles in a book, decided on a design and
then set about building it together.
Throughout the day lots of visitors came and played in the castle, added to the castle
and changed parts of the castle.

This inquiry engaged the children in aspects of three of our PYP Units of Inquiry.

The building and construction elements form the basis of the How We Organise
Ourselves Unit of Inquiry.

The research and discussion about the various artifacts from that time period forms
the basis of the Where We Are in Place and Time Unit of Inquiry
Finally, by choosing to play, explore and inquire into castles forms the basis of the
Who We Are Unit of Inquiry, which is about their interests as a learner, the inquiry
process and questioning the world we live in.

Learning tags:
Communicators Cooperation Creativity Fine motor skills How We Organize Ourselves Inquirer

Knowledgeable Language Listening Reading Speaking Thinker Where We Are In Place And Time

Who We Are

Story date: 26 Oct 2016. Added by: Andrew Stewart.