Year 5 are used to tieing knots and using sticks safely, so now it was time to create a raft. This weeks task was to join pieces of bamboo with twine and add a centre mast with leaf flag.

Working in friendship groups of about four, they selected their materials carefully and then began to work out how to join the sticks together. For some it was a bundle while others found a way to keep it flat.


Mud was used to secure the corners and provide a base for a flagpole. Even Y5 needed to squash mud all over their fingers! It’s easy to forget that this play is part of the exploratory process.

Once the raft was ready it was time to test in a tray of water. If the raft appeared to sink then the team had to make readjustments to the model. Each group only had about twenty minutes to make the raft which meant teamwork was essential. For those that managed the task it was time to create a story.

A stormy sea and sailors at peril, or monsters and lifeboats…

This could have gone on for a very long time because the opportunity to reflect on the task through storytelling gave everyone the opportunity to be an author as well as technically answering the question ‘will it float?’