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Exploring Learning Stories
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September 19, 2016
Green Teacher

Originally appears in the Fall 2016 issue

Credit: Lotje Hives

“Stand aside for a while and leave room for learning, observe carefully what children do, and then, if you have understood well, perhaps teaching will be different from before.”1
Loris Malaguzzi

Scenario One: As a part of a study of early settlements, in a wooded area, offer groups of grade 5-6 students a provocation: to create a shelter using only a small blue tarp, a length of rope and found materials. Caution students that they cannot destroy living plants, but may use any natural objects lying about. As facilitator, spend the time listening, noticing, naming and encouraging, as well as taking photos and videos as the students work to make their thinking visible. Occasionally ask questions intended to clarify the students’ thinking as they build – then record the notable narrative either on camera or in a notebook. “So Talia, tell me about why you are using that log with the forked branches?” “Jarrie, I noticed that you wound the tarp around the tree. What made you think to try it that way?”


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