This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
This video is suitable for 5 years old children
A father gathered his quarreling sons together, gave them a large bundle of sticks, and ordered them to break the bundle. The sons strained and struggled, but none could break the sticks. Then he gave each son a single stick, and ordered to break–which they easily did. The moral the father shared is that union gives strength.
Educational potential / Learning Outcomes
By inviting kids to take on this open-ended challenge, giving them access to nature's endless materials, and granting them the freedom to design, test, redesign and build, you give them the perfect chance to work together as a team and develop creativity. Once they are inspired, kids also have to practice persistence in order to actually make something out of a pile of sticks.
“A father had many sons who were always quarreling among themselves. When he failed to solve their fights with his advice, he decided to give them a practical illustration of the evils of disunion; To this purpose one day he told them to bring him a bundle of sticks. When they had done so, he placed the bundle into the hands of each of them in succession, and ordered them to break it in pieces. They tried with all their strength, but were not able to do it. Next, he opened the bundle, took the sticks separately, one by one, and again put them into his sons' hands, and asked to break them. This time they could do so easily. Then he told them: "My sons, if you stay together and help each other, you will be as strong as this bundle, and no enemy can beat you; but if you are divided among yourselves, you will be broken just as easily as these sticks." The sons understood the message, thanked, and promised the father to always be together no matter what.”
One Lesson Plan
Introduction Activity: Show children one stick. Ask the students to predict if it would be easy or difficult to break the one stick. Show students many sticks. Ask the students to predict if it would be easy or difficult to break this group of sticks.
Afterwards play the video The bundle of sticks. After the video ends, discuss with children the lesson in the fable. Act out with children “A Bundle of Sticks”. Using small sticks let students see how easy 1 will break and how difficult it is to break a bundle.
Main Activity: Go outside in the kindergarten outdoor space and make 3-4 groups. Give to each team a bundle of 20-30 sticks, already prepared in advanced. Tell them to play together and build whatever they want out of the sticks and some rope.
Bear in mind, your job is to support, not to lead. Some kids may dive right into building and imagining. If not, let them play with the sticks for a while. The chance to mess around with new materials makes for great making. After a while, remind them about the note and the building. For example, ask, “What do you think we should build?” Once kids start making something, support them at points of frustration or stagnation by asking questions and making suggestions. Good makers may change their design and vision multiple times, so follow even a meandering lead. If you have a group, we suggest you let kids play, then call everyone together to share ideas and agree on one idea to try to build first. Assure kids who have other ideas that you can build many different things. If two camps emerge, suggest that the kids split up the sticks and make teams to build two different things. Celebrate and keep on building: Celebrate whatever kids build by playing with it, looking at it, taking a photo to share with grandpa, and, ideally, listening to them describe it. Be sure to praise their effort too. If they seem to have energy, encourage them to start over or build something new. We hope they realize that this activity can be fun to do again and again.
Debriefing: Why is it better to play and learn as a team?
Follow-up Activities: not needed
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.