Children from age 3-5
material: objects made of different materials and with different colours as well: a yellow hat,  sheets of paper,  yellow and red  balls , pieces of cloth, a pictures of  grapes, apple, cucumber, carrot, a  pen, a bag ,  a shirt, a box, a doll, an orange etc.

Pupils sat in a circle and I showed them a big bag, i which I had many objects. Each of the pupils could take an object and we looked at it. i asked questions about what it was, what kind of a thing it was, what we could  tell about it and how we could describe it.  The pupils told about what the object was, what it was made of, what the colour was etc. When they pointed out the colour, I asked them what else there would be of the same colour.
They were asked to try grouping the objects. Whoever had an idea, could sort them. They tried : big objects-small objects, paper-cloth-plastic-natural, you can eat it-you cannot eat it, yellow-red- (the colours). With each of the proposed way of grouping, I waited first to organize the group on their own, when there were problems; I picked an object and asked about the feature. Then we put it as they told.
We focused on the colours. I picked an object with a certain colour and asked what the colour of the object was. After the response, I asked, same as before, what else there would be of the same solour (e.g. What is the colour of this? – Green. What else is green? ...).
A ‘magic finger’ game.
I had some pens with different colours. Each pupil choosed one and I drew a small dot on the finger.
They could move freely around the classroom, but on a sign they had to stick to something in the classroom that would match the colour on the finger.
Since they were ‘glued’ to the thing, I came to each child and asked what the colour was. They got ‘saved’ when they answered.
We played the game a few times more and changed the colours on the fingers and added some more movements.
I planned to finish with a drawing task, but they were tired so I skipped it.
During the holidays, I had a chance to make a little task again. Since it was holiday time, there were fewer children and the age range was from 3-6. So I had just a short task to make remember and repeat, not too much thinking involved, but I can describe it: We were sitting in a circle and there was one chair lacking. I gave each child a little sheet of a certain colour. The one standing in the middle of the circle told out loud the colour he had and all those with the same colour had to move to another place. They tried to get a seat, but each time there was one that had to stand in the middle. I changed the colour papers frequently.


# Alexander Sokol 2011-03-06 17:04
Alenka, thanks for this and welcome to the site.
Can you please say a few words how you see the development of children's thinking skills when working on the above tasks? It'd also be interesting to know which things worked better (you managed to do what you wanted or even more) and what didn't work well enough or at all.
# Alenka Moze 2011-03-22 16:07
Well, I think the development of the thinking skills is in reflecting on different parametres and then how those have different values, in this case, colours. The collection of materials for grouping was diverse, and as it seemed that I would get no response at the beginning, they came up with some interesting solutions. The idea I tried to stick to was not to help them too much and leave some time and room for thinking.

The above task worked o.k. (But it is also true that the children were quite familiar with the colours already.)

However,I quite often found myself surrounded with complete silence or ignorance :) (in several occasions, in fact, and it was quite frustrating!). I am trying to learn what I can do with the age they are in and I see myself often expecting too much.
So what worked and what did not:
- Games, naturally, worked.
- Working with concrete materials, things and pictures - especially pictures - worked very nice.
having a small circle gathered around me (rather than children being further away or drawing on a blackboard) was also good.
- I had difficulties with the lenghth of the tasks - children quickly got tired of "thinking" and could not follow.It also made a big difference whether it was in the orning or later on.
- Children were not used to thinking and they often didn't want to think a bit. They haven't really been asked to so far, however I believe that most were and are capable of doing it. I must point out it was a bit tiring for all to have my English instructions translated into Finnish and to play it that way.
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