A Narrative at Block Play

I love to watch little narratives unfold during centers.  One of the best places to “catch” such a narrative is in the block center.  Here is the saga I captured today:

 Four boys are building a structure.  I ask what it is.  S replies, “It is a house.”  H chimes in and says, “It is Halloween and they bump their heads.”  “Who?” I inquire.  “The beyblades.”   One boy tells me, “It is a haunted house with a battle place.  You can battle on top of the house.”
“Some people do not know how to spin.” C explains.  S warns,  “They can bounce.”
H brings over some tigers.  S warns him, “No, don’t!”  H spins the tigers like a beyblade.  “Dude, you can’t do that.” S warns and then seeing H is not going to back off says,  “Pretend he got trapped and can’t get out.”  S slips the tigers under the block structure.
 Another boy adds, “The beyblades are sick and have to go inside.”  The boys make a place for the sick beyblades.   Another boy announces, “The tigers are killed.”
 H returns with a new creation.  “Here comes the Electric Shock Ball with two ships.”
 Another boy enters the play asking if he can join them with his car.
 S tells him, “Yes, we will make a home for you.”  S opens a section of the structure and J slips his car into its new home.  Meanwhile one of the boys declares “We all have the same powers.  When the beyblades spin, they shoot out fire.”
Placing a block over the car, S looks pleased.  “It is a new battle area!”
The narrative lasted the entire centers – nearly 25 minutes.  During that time many children entered the saga and left.  S, C and H remained the constant players.  It is so revealing to watch their negotiation skills and how they work out differences.  It was rich to see how others entered the play and then disengaged.

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  1. Cindy says:

    I love, love, love block play. I take numerous pictures throughout the year and by far the most photoed are the creations and children building in the block center. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law once taught at a school that had an entire room devoted to block play. They said it was so neat because the structures could be built on and would evolve over several days and even weeks.

    I, too, enjoy the ongoing narratives and collabrative work of the children.

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