Students study social problems in the playground. They 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?
Sometimes social problems occur during 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.
- Taking initiative, being responsible, making decisions, solving problems, ... (to develop a meeting point as good as possible to resolve social problems)
- Social skills (willing to help others, working together, being discreet, ...)
- Communicating (formal letter, reclame, presentation of rules)
- Planning (defining a strategy to develop a solution (meeting point))
- Critical thinking (evaluating and optimizing the use of the meeting point)
- Making observations from a mathematical point of view
- Making, analysing and interpreting simple tables and graphs (histogram)
- Using principles of measuring
- Carrying out small-scale research in daily life
- Collecting and saving data systematically
Technology - Engineering:
- Different technical basic skills (depending on the choice of organization of the meeting point (e.g. sewing, painting, ...))
- Drawing a design for a certain solution (meeting point, playground game, ...)
- Making choices in relation to the problem during the design and construction of a solution for the problem
- Making, using, evaluating and optimizing a technical solution (meeting point, playground game, ...)
- Social problems that there may be in children's relationships
- Methods for solving social problems
- Graphs, tables.
- Measurement of length, ...
Technology - Engineering:
- Relationship beween technology and society (here: solving social problems)
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.
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.
The meeting point is introduced to the whole school and the head teacher says few words. The rules of the meeting point are introduced.
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.
- Post-Its, paper or Lego for the histogram
- Materials needed for the building part depend on what games children want to build.
Worksheet Meeting point
- Groups consist of three or four students.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
- 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 takes place in a formative way, especially regarding:
- Working in a group
- Problem solving
- Making a plan
- Working according to plan
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?