We are fast approaching the end of the school year, and for most of that time the block area has been dominated by the boys of the class. Whether legos, unit blocks, magna tiles, or marble mazes, the boys quickly fill the space with the allotted number of participants, and have made that space their terrain.
Last week we decided that it was time for the girls to hold forth in the block area, so we declared Thursday (and extending on into Friday) would be Ladies Day in the blocks. The girls cheered with joy at the opportunity to make the blocks their own for a while. Even though they had never been denied the chance to spend time in blocks, they hadn’t had the occasion to “own” the blocks for Choice time. The girls lost no time in getting to work, for they had a vision they wanted to fulfill. It would be a city, with the Bank of America building as the unifying structure.
As they worked, they talked about what they wanted to create, and they were of one voice in that they wanted to build the city that we explore each week as we walk uptown to Imaginon.
They used an assortment of materials as they worked, from Kapla blocks to recreate the Bank of American building to magna tiles to make the Linear Park and Trinity. They were cooperative throughout their process as they decided which of them would be responsible for each building. The girls labeled each building and carefully taped the name to the structure.
Determined to build something worthy of remaining up for a while in blocks, they followed the instructions to keep their building within a confined area so that they would be able to continue to work/develop their city on Tuesday. The collaboration that was evidenced in their work was a delight to behold for they were able to manage the give and take that unlocks group creativity. There was no one who hijacked the group to make the creation their own.
It is good to remember, even now as the year folds into a close that it is important to mix things up. Send the boys to spend the day working with clay at the art table, or spend the Choice time making a Vet’s office in housekeeping. Finally when they come back together as a group, each gender will see that the other has ideas that can enrich their own creative sparks. Together we are better, and we applaud the vision each child brings, and the ability to bring that vision to life.