A basket of an array of animals sits on the top of the Science shelf. As circle is dismissed, two or three children rush to retrieve that basket as their first work choice. A little boy is the first to
choose the basket. He spread out his work rug in the circle and digs out the four labels: fish, mammal, amphibian and reptile. He lays them out at the top of his work rug, side by side. He then dumps out the animals and begins to sort through them. He finds a crocodile and places that underneath “reptile”. The boy creates a pile of frogs, then places them in a line below the label “amphibian”. He examines a lizard and rubs his hand over it, feeling the texture of the skin. He places the lizard beneath “reptile”. He continues until all of the animals are sorted in four lines beneath each label.
He then finds a teacher and points to his completed work and whispers excitedly, “it’s done!” The teacher examines the work for a few minutes and then looks at him and asks if he would like to play with the animals for a little while. The boy’s face lights up. He picks up the crocodile and a snake with a growl!
We ask the children in the Pre-Primary classroom to complete a work before using the objects in a work for any sort of open-ended play. The children attain the purpose of the work and also take part in the joy of playing with the fun, little manipulatives!