Your attention, please! I daresay I have found Mr. Imagine himself.
Truthfully, though… I think the point … that the following video makes abundantly clear… is that any of us who live with children are surrounded by the authentic Ms. and Mr. Imagine every moment.
There are a few other points that this video makes clear to me:
One is that the role of the adult — the relationship of the adult to the children, to the work, to holding the big picture, is critical. It is likely that this whole experience would have been lost to another whim between these particular incarnates of Ms. and Mr. Imagine had I walked away at the beginning, or had I done something like banished them from one another for the messing around with wet paint that they do early on. These options seem to be particularly popular in our work with children. Either we expect too little and throw up our hands at their silliness, or we shut the silliness down with such consequence that children learn to hide it away from the learning adults expect them to do. We forget about the role we can play to tie head and heart in the service of what we want children to learn. We forget to believe that in Mr. Imagine’s world, they are already tied. How do we invite him — whole — down the paths we feel it is important that he explore?
Another is about the role of collaboration and play. This particular Mr Imagine needed his counterparts to bring on his story. He needed provocateurs. He needed support. He needed audience. He needed playmates to bring his language to life.
Have a look:
Waking a Story from Susan MacKay on Vimeo.
After days of working on a story about watching fireworks, using many materials such a paint and collage, oil pastels and drama, OC was ready to move on to a new one. He had begun Story Workshop that day by looking for a new story in the block area. He played for a while and then wandered to the painting easel. Until his friends help him wake up a story he cares about… he doesn’t even know it is there.
What do you notice? What do you wonder?
These choices seem to be particularly well-known in our perform with kids. Either we anticipate too little and toss up our arms at their absurdity, or we closed the absurdity down with such impact that kids understand to cover up it away from the studying grownups anticipate them to do.