Some schools are rediscovering block play. This story from the NY Times give some details about how a school in Manhattan is using blocks in their curriculum. When I was in 5th and 6th grade, I was part of a grand educational experiment - all grades were in pods surrounding the kindergarten area, no walls. In the center of the pod was a play area filled with Unit Blocks. As 6th graders we loved spending part of our day building elaborate structures. This was in a public school. They never tested us on that subject!