Video length: 2:22
There is no speech during this movie.
Climbing a tree can be an important accomplishment. According to Head Teacher Barb Gallick, climbing the tree on their playground is a rite of passage that typically happens sometime between ages 4- and 5-years-old: “The kids have to be able to get into the tree under their own power. We don’t put them in the tree. Once the children are tall enough and coordinated enough to climb the tree, that’s all they want to do. Kids have to ask for permission to climb so that an adult is aware that they are climbing the tree. A teacher and other children often sit on the nearby retaining wall and chat with the child who is in the tree. According to Barb, the playground tree is “a huge childhood memory maker” and an “important part of our center.”
Joe (4 years, 4 months) learned to climb the playground tree shortly before this clip was taken in the early fall. He experiments with his body in relation to the tree as he moves from branch to branch. This clip is a reminder that some of the best learning experiences for young children do not come in a box. We can support children’s learning by encouraging children, setting guidelines, and celebrating their accomplishments.
Joe exercised more than his balance and coordination when he mastered climbing into and out of the tree. For example, he exercised his problem-solving ability as he figured out how to turn his body in space so that he could climb down. His self-esteem was raised by independently overcoming a challenge.
Benchmarks & How They Were Met
- Joe pulled his body up into the tree multiple times.
- Joe turned his body and coordinated his movements to try out several locations and positions in the tree. He figured out how to lower himself to the ground.
- Before the activity shown in the video clip, Joe let a teacher know that he planned to climb the tree.
- Joe persisted in spite of difficulty getting into the tree, using several strategies to climb it and find a comfortable place there.
- Joe did not ask for help in spite of the challenges he encountered.
This video clip was made possible by STARnet Regions I & III with funding from the Illinois State Board of Education.