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Applied Developmental Theory Activity
Transcript of Applied Developmental Theory Activity
Rocquel Bogue, Vanessa Conama, Jennifer Cook, Tara O’Brien, Shannon Steyer, and Brandy Winteler
August 19, 2013
design by Dóri Sirály for Prezi
Town/Village Building Activity
Purpose: This activity breaks students into groups to design different buildings that would be in a town or village. In this activity students must decide what buildings are most important to a town/village, design them (simple or complex depending on age), and then come together as a class to build and combine them into a town/ village square.
This activity encourages students’ to use logic, work together as a team, and work backwards to fix any mistakes. The developing skills of classification and seriation allow students to conceptualize the town they are creating and think about what will be needed in an objective manner. Hands-on activities are an excellent means to support the development of this stage of cognitive growth.
Concrete Operations Stage within Cognitive Development
A key characteristic of the concrete operational stage is notable cognitive growth. This is when language and other basic skills drastically accelerate. Classification and seriation develop in this stage. Both aid in the understanding of complex concepts. With seriation, children gain an ability to order objects by increasing or decreasing length and classification gives them an ability to group objects based on common characteristics.
These developing skills will be used in the following activity to create a town scape.
Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development is the progress children go through. It is a series of four key stages of development marked by shifts or concepts in how they understand the world. Piaget did not view children’s intellectual development as a quantitative process where only add more information and knowledge to existing knowledge as they get older; instead there is a fundamental change in how they think.
It is important to explain the time period your students will be working in. We will work with a simple town design as an example. To fit into a history lesson, the teacher can take a time period approach.
Decide if your time will have cars, horses, or if people will just walk. If there are horses, remember to hint to students as they design where the horses will be tied up, where they will drink, and so on.
Include jobs in the town, if desired, so that every student also has a “job” within the town. They will have to explain their jobs individually.
The teacher must walk around and check work so that the students have the ability to restructure design as necessary before building. After building, the project will again be assessed for functionality.
Our example is based off of a class-size of 20 students who will be divided into five groups of four students.
Our example is based off of a modern day town that uses cars for transportation, electricity, and running water. Each group will be responsible for constructing one or two buildings for their segment of the town. The older the students are, the more complex their town can be.
There are two ways to complete the design, paper and pencil or a CAD (computer aided drafting) program. If using a CAD program please be sure to schedule time in computer lab or have at least one computer for each group. CAD should be used for upper level children. In this example we will use paper and pencil.
What you will need:
- Drafting/ large construction/ poster paper for each group
- Pencils and erasers
- Small blocks or Lego (tm) bricks (as a visual aide)
Ask the students what buildings and jobs they believe are most important to the town. Make a list so that you can narrow them down. You may combine buildings if you need/ desire for students benefit. For example a fire house/ police station, grocery store/restaurant, and so on. It is up to the teacher to let the students discover the priorities, and help restructure as necessary through questions. For instance, if the students are lacking a grocery store, ask “where will people buy their food?”?
Give the students time to work out their design, taking into account what the structure should be made of: doors, windows, horse or car parking etc… (make as simple or complex as needed)
Assign or allow students to pick their teams design project and individual jobs
Divide the class into groups, as even
as possible. Groups should consist of about 4 students. A class of 20 would have 5 groups. More students mean more buildings!
Ask students to make a description of their individual jobs.
Designing the buildings
Does the building need to be located off a busy street? Does it take up a large amount of space, or can it be surrounded by other buildings?
•Can people walk there? Where will they park their cars? What size should the parking lot be?
•What jobs are available within the building? What will employees do?
•What will the building look like? Should it be one-story or higher? Does it have windows? What colors will it be?
•Is there a sign? How will people know what it is?
When the group has completed collaboration, the team will begin to design the building and surrounding areas.
•Use provided Lego(tm) bricks or small blocks to construct desired size of building.
•Move the building around the poster board to determine the best location
•Determine where the parking lot, sidewalks, and roads will be
•Team members work together to draw various locations on the poster board
Each team will receive a poster board with four outlets for roads. The road outlets will allow piecing the town together after completion
The group will collaborate on the details of their
pre-chosen building design.
Why is this building important to
What service does this building offer? Is
it more than one service?
What should the size of this building be?
Do many people go there on a daily basis?
Completion of building segment:
Once each team has completed their poster board, the class will meet as a group to discuss the geography and building locations of the town.
•Where should these buildings be located within the town?
•Are there any buildings that should not be located next to each other?
•Should any of the buildings or roads be located near the neighborhood?
Piece the poster boards together and have the class vote on the most suitable combination.
More about Cognitive Development
Four Key Stages of Cognitive Development:
Sensorimotor Stage: birth to age 2; infants and toddlers acquire knowledge through sensory experiences and by manipulating objects.
Preoperational Stage: age 2 to age 7; kids learn through pretend play. They still struggle with logic and point of view of others.
Concrete Operational Stage: age 7 to age 11; children begin to think more logically but thinking can be very rigid; they struggle with abstract and hypothetical concepts.
Formal Operational Stage: adolescence to adulthood; increase of logic, ability to use deductive reasoning and understand abstract ideas.
Stages of Cognitive Development
Schemas: describe both the mental and physical actions involved in understanding and knowing. Schemas are categories of knowledge that help to interpret and understand the world.
Assimilation: the process of taking in new information into previously existing schemas.
Accommodation: a part of adaptation which involves changing or altering existing schemas in light of new information.
Equilibration: all children try to strike a balance between assimilation and accommodation. As children progress through the stages of cognitive development, they maintain a balance of previous knowledge (assimilation) and changing behavior to account for new knowledge (accommodation). Equilibration explains how children move from one stage of thought to the next
Key Concepts of How Children Learn and Grow
Berk, L. E. (2012). Infants, children, and adolescents. (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon
Cherry. K. (2013). Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development: background and key concepts
of Piaget's theory. Retrieved from WWW.psychology.about.com/od/piagetstheory/a/key
El Civics. (2007) [Photograph of a grocery store]. Retrieved from http://www.elcivics.com/
Ojose, B. (2008). Applying Piaget’sTheory of Cognitive Development to
Mathematics Instruction. The Mathematics Educator, Vol. 18, No. 1, 26–30. Retrieved