Monday, February 14, 2011

A creative thinking resource

"Mommy, a dalet is a seven!", my four year old enthused.  I was about to say that a dalet was a four and not a seven, but experience has taught me, that there is always a reason behind a child's statement, especially a very emphatic one.  It took  me a minute to process this, but then it hit me, the four year old has just figured out numbers and she was practicing  writing a seven and indeed if you look at the shape of a number seven it is somewhat reminiscent of a dalet.  Then the other day the seven year old remarked that the story I was reading to them is just like another story I've read to them a while back.  I quickly thought to myself and neither the author or the illustrator were the same for these two stories, but he was right, the plot device was indeed similiar.  These are just two examples but I've seen it again and again with my kids.  Children often think by analogies it seems and very creative ones at that, often not ones that would readily occur to adults.  So when I came across The Private Eye- 5x Looking/Thinking by Analogy on I was very excited.  It said that it's a guide to developing the interdisciplinary mind hands -on thinking skills, creativity, scientific literacy, etc.  The basic idea is that one uses a loupe to look at something, then change scale up or down and theorize about what it reminds you of and why and what are the implications of that for understanding whatever it is one is exploring.  That's how great thinkers think apparently.  That's how scientists often think and children too as my experience bears out.  It can be used with many different ages and across many subjects- science, poetry, social studies, engineering, etc.  It's full of great project ideas and wonderful quotes (copywork?).   It's really a very exciting resource and I'd love to incorporate it into our educational adventures. Here is the link to more information.  It seems that one can encourage this sort of thinking by analogy, to inspire kids to examine things closely and theorize about the world around us and why it works the way it does.  The book uses a loupe to do that.  But really one can also use a mangnifying glass, microscope or another magnifying device or even one's imagination. It's good for brain development.  This is a kind of thing that one really doesn't outgrow and the possibilities are really endless becasue it is so versatile.  I really like this kind of an idea and it can appeal to different types of learners because one can just tailor it to one's students' needs.  I love browsing through this book again and again for ideas and inspiration.  Great stuff !!!


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