The video Eating Snakes is a great example on how adults can categorize the kind of thinking that a child has in terms of their age, knowledge, judgment, and communication abilities. The child in the video is portraying a symbolic or dramatic play that transpires during the preoperational stage, considering Jean Piaget's three stages of cognitive play. In this stage, the child is not yet able to think realistically but he is able to converse by using the proper language. He is still in the phase of having perceptual imageries based on his own intuition like eating snakes, which is very unusual in real sense. This phase can be the period of inquisitiveness or curiosity. Since they are fond of exploring and experimenting even if they don’t know much, they tend to make their own perceptions on the things they see (“Jean Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development”).
On the other hand, based on Sara Similansky's four types of socio-dramatic play, functional play looks as if it was the kind of play that the child in the video was revealing (Jackman 332). The teacher organized a functional play and served as a facilitator by encouraging expressive and imaginative phrases from the children and by asking the children questions in order for them to think and be able to explain what they were doing. This showed how the teacher monitored the dramatic play to ensure that everyone participated. In the video, she asked the child about how he came up with the choice of cooking and eating the snakes. At that point, the teacher in the video has been successful in encouraging the child to answer and say what he thought. In particular, the child asked questions like what they will do with the play snakes and how they will be able to cook and eat it. She managed to also provide the needed props for the dramatic plays like the play dough, utensils, condiments, toy oven, and others.
Dramatic play is a necessary approach to the education of young kids. Prop boxes are collections of playing materials that are prearranged by themes. They consist of simple things that can trigger the children’s thoughts. Most importantly, they aim to enable the teachers to hand pick objects that are significant and appropriate for each age range of pupils or child learners (“The Prop Box: Setting the Stage for Meaningful Play”). Dramatic plays can become more successful in showing child’s behaviors and critical thinking through the creation of different themed prop boxes that can be brought out in class for the purpose of exploring different topics or objects and for gauging their interest in a certain theme.
In view of this, a good example of a theme for prop boxes is one that boosts a child’s investigation or view on things and that increases their understanding. In particular, this can be a pro box of Community Helpers. The list of materials included in this Prop Box includes the Children’s book, which describe community helpers. Examples are My Town by Rebecca Treays and Community Helpers from A to Z by Bobbie Kalmanand Niki Walker. Other props would include puppets that wear the uniforms of each community helper, as well as the tools or gears that they use. The community helpers can be the firefighter, baker, policeman, teacher, postman, doctor, construction builder, and the like. They would also be from various racial backgrounds to teach the children about cultural diversity. The children can play or create a situation where they can use the materials in the prop box and act as one of the community helpers. That way, they can also learn what the roles of those persons in their community are. Also, it can prompt their ambition to be one of those community helpers when they grow up. In this way, a simple prop box of themed objects helps the children appreciate their surroundings and realize what interests them the most.
Jackman, H. (2011). Early education curriculum: A Child's Connection to the World. Cengage Learning. Print
The Prop Box: Setting the Stage for Meaningful Play. educationworld.com. Web. n.d.
Jean Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development. icels-educators-forlearning.ca. Web. n.d.
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