The Pink Tower
- Ten solid wooden cubes varying in size from 1 cubic centimeter to
- cubic decimeter. These are pale pink or plain wood. A strong pink
- not be used. If it is used, children are more aware of color than
- size. If in plain, lightly varnished wood, a very good hard wood
- be used.
- 1) Visual and muscular perception of dimension leading to an
- understanding of size
- 2) Awareness of dimension leading to intelligent observation of
- the environment
- 3) Coordination of movement
- 4) Perfection of hand movements
- 5) Preparation for mathematics
- a) There are 10 cubes because 10 is the basis of our number system
- b) The largest cube would hold 1 liter, the smallest 1 cubic
- c) Preparation for cube root
- Eight of the smallest make the second cube (23).
- Twenty-seven of the smallest make the third cube (33).
- Sixty-four of the smallest cube make the fourth cube (43),etc.
- One thousand of the smallest cube make the tenth cube (103).
- 21/2 to 5 years.
- The teacher asks the child to spread a dark green mat on the
- which to work. She shows the child how to carry the cubes (two or
- at a time) and place them at random on the mat. The teacher sits
- the child and builds a tower in order of size starting with the
- cube. Each cube is placed concentrically on the one before in one
- movement. She pauses and looks at the cubes. The child sees that
- deliberate choice is being made. The teacher must not, however,
- adjust a cube after it has been placed in position as a child may
- this is part of the lesson and copy her movements. Therefore, the
- teacher must have worked the tower until she can build it
- before giving the lesson.
- The cubes are grasped from above with fingers and thumb on four
- In this way, it is possible to judge size by touch as well as by
- The child may need to use two hands to put the largest one in
- but the teacher can grasp them all correctly and the child can
- all those he or she can in the same way.
- With developmentally delayed children, every other
- cube may be given at first. It does not matter which five the
- works with. The difference between any two cubes in succession
- twice as great as when using all ten, and the child will have
- succeeding. When the child can manage 5 well, he or she can have
the ten cubes.
- The child with serious difficulty in motor control, can grade the
- pieces in a row rather than building them into a tower until his
- movements are more controlled.
- The child builds the tower as shown. He or she will make mistakes
- will gradually perfect the ability to judge size with practice.
- teacher must not interfere. If the child obviously has not
- lesson, then the teacher will give him or her a new lesson
- he or she starts using the material. New lessons can also be
- child improve in handling the material.
- The tower must not be knocked down as the edges and corners are
- spoiled when this is done. The child should take it down block by
- When the child does Exercise 1 easily and well, he can be shown
how to build the tower with one corner of each cube exactly above the
other all the way up, with the corner and two faces of the cube exactly
flush. There will be two ledges, 1 cm. wide, on the other two sides of
the tower. The smallest cube will fit on these ledges. The child is
shown to run the cube along each ledge in turn. This exercise
demonstrates the relationship in size between the cubes.
- a) The child can usually see his or her errors when looking at
- completed tower.
- b) If the tower is very badly built it will fall over.
Once the child has worked with the
material for a while, and is discriminating the differences in
dimension, the "Three
can be used to introduce the terminology as
- large, small
- large, larger, largest
- small, smaller, smallest
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