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Simple Materials Can Hold Complex Ideas

Simple Materials Can Hold Complex Ideas


“Materials stimulate the senses, which
respond by developing networks in the brain that in time enable us  . . . to build relationships among complex
ideas.  Materials educate the hand, which
drives language, movement, attention, planning and scores of other brain
functions.  The combination of hand and
materials is essential to virtually every endeavor.” – Ann Lewin-Benham

  • How will
    deliberate, thoughtful exposure to materials support children to use these materials to express their complex ideas?
  • Will seeing the many ideas of others inspire new ideas within the self to explore and test a different idea?
  • Given the time to explore, in what ways will children discover the
    properties of masking tape and paper and their possibilities together?  How will these discoveries then translate and influence them when using other, perhaps more complex, materials?

Maille tape and paper3


It's easy. I made a 'X'.   – G.


It goes this way [opening her arms up like a 'Y']. -M.


I cut it. . . . I made a airport. -K.


It's a big one! . . .Now I'm adding another one. I'm making a big line. -B.

I used paper and scissors and tape and I made a grown-up [looking at the two 'legs' he cut]. -S.


I wanted to do that; what [he] did. -B.


I'm making a toy. . .  It goes around, and around, and around, and around, and around. . . -L.

I can cut it, too. . . This is what I made [pointing to each of her pieces of tape]. -I.

September 18, 2012