Understanding Space: a method developped and practiced by Delphine Brocard, a Teacher of Children age 4 to 5 at Kindergarten  Helene Boucher in Montgeron -France


How to develop the understanding of Space by Children: how to make them able to describe relative positions or movements of things or persons  using the correct prepositions  .

1st  lesson: Children are free to play with a new material

Evaluation : Children take much pleasure to handle this material and are very creative .

2nd  lesson :
 Put on the table the cubes box  and    large green cardboards.
Instruction to each Child : arrange the elements to your liking on the cardboard, I will  make a picture of your work when it is finished.

Evaluation : beautiful creations, but nothing is posed “on” something , I shall reformulate  my instruction so that several topological concepts can be studied.

3rd lesson : Describe  relative positions  or displacements with space indicators  referring to varied stable reference marks.
Instructions : arrange the elements as you like on your cardboard, but mind that  animals or trees must be laid on an element, I will make a picture  of your work when it is finished.

Right expression: I  have put the animals inside the barriers (only 2 pupils used the  word  "inside"). The Teacher  compares it to “in”.

Right expression: I have put fir trees on the barrier and a rabbit too. Right expression: I have put 3 yellow sticks and  the red sticks in the middle and I have put the animals on top .




Right expression: I have put three fir trees on the barrier.

Right expression: I have put the animals around the tower. There are many of them .


Assessment: During the search of the right expression, Children introduce concepts of quantities automatically, by counting the cubes or the fir trees which they lay on the table.

4th lesson:

Developing capacity to observe forms and  sizes:  Reproducing a group of simple objects . Reproducing the organization in  space of a limited  group of objects by handling them.

Instruction : here is a picture of what  Mario (or another Child) made last time (lesson 3) :  try to make the same.

ASSESSMENT: A large majority of Children  made it right . Each time I have asked a Child  an individual question ( for instance : “where have you put this tree?) he has been able to answer with the appropriate term (on, around, on the side, inside, outside ...)

I  have seen also many Children  counting cubes to make the tower , or animals they were  handling .

When a Child  makes a mistake, we recount  together. Sometimes another Child  reacts and says: “you must remove some…”

5th meeting:  Copy of models . 

Children reproduce the Models  and show me their result.

To see complementary work carried out by Delphine Brocard in motricity, click here.