To play and to learn is natural and intuitive for all children. It is when these worlds are allowed to instruct each other and intertwine that more advanced learning can take place.
A fine example of this in our mixed age Year 1 and 2 class that resulted from an innate interest from a geography class.
The children began to study the world’s major habitat types and biomes and upon which continents they occur. Their first task was, as a team, to construct a 2-D world map. This involved coordinating their efforts to place the continents in the correct position and to get the right size and shape. A great deal of discussion and interaction ensued.
Naturally, the children followed this up in their play time. In the sand pit they constructed a huge map of the world, or began it by creating Asia and some of the countries within it.
It’s clever when we think about this - as the earth is made up of land and water and the students used sand (land) and water (ocean) to create a real-world working model.
Once again the encounter was a wonderful opportunity for them to communicate and discuss. Thereby enhancing their English language skills and social interactions. There are special moments all around us. All we have to do is see.