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Sue Krishna

Tower Building

This morning Mason shared he had been to a “learning” museum over the weekend. We asked him what he had learned on his visit.

  • Mason- I learned how to make towers
    Teacher: what did you use to make towers?
    Mason-Just some blocks…
    Teacher: what kind of blocks?
    Mason- like the ones we have here.
Acting on our invitation Mason proceeded to demonstrate what he had learned at the museum.
We watched as he built the “base” and then proceeded to carefully balance the blocks on the base.
We observed that he instinctively knew that balancing one block on top of another would not work for many reasons and therefore he built smaller towers on his base.
All this while Mason had a rapt audience that drew many breaths as they watched him balance the blocks and they offered very predictive declarations of, “it’s going to fall.”

All very fascinating to observe from an educator’s lens…
More often than not we are advocating for play, always trying to bring forward how “play” engages the child’s mind in developing a deeper understanding of any concept in any learning domain. And this is a perfect example of just that.


Mason and the rest of the children, conceptually knew what a tower is but constructing it to demonstrate their understanding is another matter altogether, right? They knew somewhere in there they had to address stability and balance along with figuring out how all that applied to height…. such a fine way to “play” with all these complexities, wouldn’t you agree?

We followed through with our roles as the facilitators would in any process. We offered the children multiple materials along with images of towers and encouraged them to play some more. The idea is to encourage them to revisit their ideas and share their theories so we can derive an understanding based on real-time experiences.

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