Child: Mr. Tooshkenig, I got to get my dinosaur out of those sticks.
Mr. T: How did you dinosaur get in the sticks?
Child: I don't know. It just did.
Mr.T: Okay. What do we need to do to get the dinosaur free?
Child: We need to put these sticks in that pile (pointing to a near by pile of sticks).
Mr. T: Do you think it might be a good Idea to sort the sticks? We can put the skinny ones here and the medium one here and the boards over here and the very bigs ones over here (pointing to various places for each pile).
A couple more children came over and asked the child what he was doing. He told them about the dinosaur in the sticks and that he was getting him out. The other children asked if they could help and their help was welcomed.
"That don't go there. It goes over there."
"I found them."
"This rabbit lost his fur in the sticks."
After sorting the loose parts into categories, these areas became new play areas.
"This is for my prizes."
And the play carried on...
The initial activity was to find the lost dinosaur amongst the sticks. With an adult suggestion it turned into an activity of categorization. Other children had become involved which then made it a social happening. Cooperation amongst the children accomplished the initial endeavour.