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Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. ― Albert Szent-Gyorgyi 


As the children shared images and reflections of their trip to the Portland Farmer’s Market, they stumbled upon a discovery — that there were many unexpected surprises of all kinds within our trip together.

We wondered: How might the sharing of their different perspectives invite them to consider the diversity of perspectives that live within our shared experiences?


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BJ : “When I got on the train, I had a worried surprise.  It felt like I was going to fall off the tracks.  What helped was my mama holding onto my hand and I found out that we didn’t fall.”

CB and IS : “I also had a scared surprise, it felt like the train was going to go off the tracks!”

NM: “My surprise was that the train feeled like there was a rumbling sound.”

FD: “I had a happy surprise, I had a secret window and I sawed smoke out the window.”

MT: “I had an excited and bad feeling surprise — I saw a monster!”

AB: “Me too, a wind monster!”

AG: “My surprise was that the tracks were turning.”

NM: “I also had a silly surprise — there were squiggly peppers!’

NF: I had a happy surprise, My mom and me tried some jam and it was so good!

Me too, me too!

EF: My mom let me have two kinds of cookie (samples) and they were so good, that was a yummy surprise!”

MS: My surprise was that me and my mom saw wiggly leafs, red and black!

AB: A blue guy was helping me and I saw wiggly cookies!

FK: I tried something new, I really liked it and it was meat.

YUM! I liked that!

KW: I wouldn’t like that!

NM: It’s not a nice surprise for the birds.

PM: My dad had a sad surprise, he thought that they didn’t have any gourds, but then I showed him and he realized that they did!



How might opportunities to share perspectives and interpretations open your mind to unimagined possibilities and support uncovering assumptions?

What kinds of shared experiences might be catalysts to crack open new perspectives in your community?

How might you reflect on multiple perspectives together in order to generate an open and flexible mindset that respects diverse ideas and stories?

“When we establish human connections within the context of shared experience we create community wherever we go.” ― Gina Greenlee, Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road


One response to “Surprises

  1. I love the way the children characterize their surprise — happy surprise, scared surprise, silly surprise, worried surprise — and that you offered this invitation, this lens, for reflecting on the field trip! I wonder: How might this idea, that we have different perspectives on shared experiences, be a reference point for the children as their understandings of empathy and agency grow?

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