Checkerboard Play

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What You Need

  • Checkerboard
  • Small blocks and/or toy figures

What You Do

  1. Invite students to play in pairs with small toys, such as blocks or toy figures (animals, dinosaurs, people, etc.) on the surface of a checkerboard.
  2. Allow students to play in whatever way they choose and observe them to see how their play develops.
  3. You will likely observe that when students play on a checkerboard surface, they tend to organize and move the toys in a linear fashion.
  4. After they have had some time to develop their play scenarios, ask them to reflect on and discuss the experience. “How is playing on a checkerboard different from playing on a plain tabletop?”
  5. Write down the students’ reflections. Ask follow-up questions that challenge students to describe how they moved the toys from space to space. Was there a pattern? Were there rules?

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