Meeting point

Topic
Icon data statistics
Data & Statistics
Icon mesurement
Measurement
Icon numbers operations
Numbers & operations
Age category
6 - 8 years

Students will study social problems in the playground. Could a solution to these problems be playing more games together? Students will design and build their own playground games for a meeting point.

 

Problem(s) to be tackled 

  • What kind of social problems are there in school breaks?
  • How can we prevent these problems?
  • Could playing more games together be one of the solutions?
  • Students learn to identify problems and propose solutions

Real-world motivation

Sometimes, social problems occur during in school breaks. For example, some children are bullied and some are left out of the group. Some children find it hard to make friends. This lesson plan tries to find solutions to these problems through playground games.

Skills

  • Student practises making mathematical observations and forms a table of those
  • Student practises making a histogram
  • Student practises social skills and teamwork
  • Student learns to plan the project
  • Student learns to identify problems and propose solutions
  • Student learns how to write a formal letter
  • Student practises critical thinking
  • Student learns some basic building skills (measuring, sawing, finishing with sandpaper, painting)

Knowledge

  • Student learns about the social problems that there may be in children's relationships
  • Student understands methods for solving social problems
  • Student learns basics of making and understanding a histogram

National curriculum

  • Student learns to carry out small-scale research (YM T5)
  • Student learns about social relationships, social skills and emotions (YM T10)
  • Student learns to collect and save data (MA T11)
  • Student learns to make and interpret simple tables and histograms (MA T11)
  • Student understands principles of measuring (MA T10)
  • Student learns to make observations from a mathematical point of view (MA T2)
  • Student learns different methods of working with wood (KS T4)

Introducing the problem

Discussion about social problems that children face during school breaks.

Defining different kinds of social problems with students. It's also important to talk about the positive behaviour that there is in the school playground.

Shadowing school playground

Students will form groups of three. Each group will have one break to observe and write down any social problems in the playground. Also. Positive behaviour should be observed.

Making a histogram

Each team gets to calculate how many times one specific social problem/positive behaviour has occurred. They will draw, build from Lego or use Post-Its to make a bar for a histogram. The class will combine all bars to create one large histogram. Also, a title and legends for the bars should be made. See example histogram.

Analysing the histogram

When the histogram is ready, the histogram is analysed together.

Finding solutions

Discussion as to why these kinds of problem occur. Kids can find their own solutions to tackling these problems.

The teacher introduces the meeting point with playground games as one of the solutions. The meeting point is a place where students can find new friends while playing playground games.

Building a meeting point

Groups start to think of a name for the meeting point. After thinking, the class votes on the meeting point names.

 

Groups get new tasks:

  • 3 or 4 groups start to design and build games for the meeting point (see worksheet 2). Games could be, for example, the Finnish game Mölkky (see building instructions and rules for Mölkky), dominoes or Yahtzee.
  • 1 group starts to design and build the meeting point area
  • 1 group starts to think about rules for meeting point
  • 1 group does documentation with iPads or mobile devices
  • 1 group designs an advertising campaign for the meeting point (this also includes asking permission from the head teacher, etc.)

 

Groups make their plans for working using the templates for children and start working.

 

This part can be also done with rotation of the groups to different tasks, for example every 20 minutes. This way, every student can work with all the tasks. When groups change their task, they continue to develop ideas other groups have started.

Grand opening

The meeting point is introduced to the whole school and the head teacher says few words. The rules of the meeting point are introduced.

Observation

After a couple of weeks, students observe the meeting point and make suggestions for improving it. There is also the possibility of measuring user numbers and of making histograms of the results etc. Students observe the meeting point and make suggestions for improving it.

Materials

  • Post-Its, paper or Lego for the histogram
  • Materials needed for the building part depend on what games children want to build.

Grouping

  • Groups consist of three or four students.

Useful questions

1.

  • Have you been alone in the school playground?
  • Have you noticed someone alone or being bullied?
  • Are there other social problems in the playground?  Are there other social problems in the playground?
  • What is the difference between bullying and playing?

4.

  • Which problem occurred the most and the least?
  • How many times did a single problem occur?
  • How big a difference is there from one problem to another?

5.

  • Why do you think these problems occur?
  • Have you been in this kind of situation? How did it make you feel?
  • What can we do to make things better for everyone?
  • If we have nicer things to do and children know each other better, perhaps there would be fewer problems.

6.

  • Coaching and useful questions are in worksheets 2A-2E

Adaptations (abilities of age group, within the group, etc.):

  • Children who complete their job quickly can design and build their own game

Assessment

Teacher’s assessment:

Assessment takes place in a formative way, especially regarding:

  • Working in a group
  • Problem solving
  • Making a plan
  • Working according to plan

 

 

Students' assessment:

Assessment takes place after every lesson in formative way

  • Did you use mathematics? When? Examples?
  • How would you evaluate the group work?
  • How did you help your group to work?

 

Tips & tricks

 

  • Other games that children can make are bowling, diabolo (from bottles) or easy games that you can make on the ground with chalk.
  • Excellent videos to get started on this project are:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFVbvk10TGU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mdEESYAuf0