One of my favorite small education blogs is called “v. to put on one’s thinking cap: A reflection on social constructivism in the elementary classroom.” It recounts the learning and thinking of a class of elementary students who are consistently challenged to make sense of their world. Recently, the author described students’ representations responding to the question, “How has America’s story of immigration impacted you and helped make you who you are?” Here’s one example.
The teacher recounts:
These cups represent a happy life full of good things and a life full of darkness and struggle. The child who made this said that at first they thought their life was like the dark cup. As they started hearing the stories of immigrants, they realized there was more good in their own life than the child had realized. Hearing the struggles of generations of the past, gave the child a new lens for their own life and challenge. It has helped to reframe the child’s own experiences.
“When I studied immigration I realized that we are lucky to have what we have because there are people who don’t have what we have.”
I love this example of the power of metaphor. In seeking a representation for their ideas, students transformed them, finding new richness. If you’d like more examples of rich and creative thinking in young children, check “v: to put on one’s thinking cap.” It will make you put on yours! If you’ve found other blog accounts of classrooms full of creativity, I’d love to hear about them.