Shortly after the 1st Grade students went outside for recess last Thursday, it began to sprinkle from the rain clouds overhead and students sounded the alarm that it was beginning to rain. Several students found shelter around the playground. Soon others commented that they needed to build a shelter. Within minutes they were all working together in the building area to construct a shelter to protect them from the rain.
The cooperation was contagious: leaders emerged to direct where pieces should go, and scouts went out to check the rest of the playground to be sure everyone had shelter from the rain. Eventually almost the entire 1st Grade was involved as the shelter took shape.
Amidst the construction, a student found a caterpillar that they feared was injured. Within minutes they had found a log for a home for him and students gathered fresh leaves for him to eat as he too was placed in the shelter. The play continued throughout the entire recess.
In this spontaneous play ignited by the natural environment, the 1st Grade students had embodied the lessons we have been learning about cooperation, communication, compromise and empathy. It was a delight to witness!