What is a story?
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." ~Albert Einstein
At Opal School we hope to nurture citizens who are thoughtful, creative thinkers and problem solvers who are willing to take risks and not shy away from challenges. Citizens who are willing to welcome uncertainty and who stay open to possibilities. One of the ways we do this is by posing many questions to children as a way to nurture their thinking and imaginations. We are not asking questions that only have one possible answer, but we are asking questions that we hope will engage their minds and offer them opportunities to practice theory building, to seek connections and relationships, to pose their own questions, and to make meaning of the world around them.
"Expressing our theories to others transforms a world which is not intrinsically ours into something shared. Sharing theories is a response to uncertainty. This is the reason why any theory, in order to exist, needs to be expressed, communicated and listened to by others." ~Carlina Rinaldi
When we ask children to share their theories, we are asking them to embark on a journey into uncertainty. And we are asking them to become comfortable with that uncertainty. Through this sharing and through listening to other's theories, their own understanding and beliefs become more fluid, and begin to change and grow in ways that wouldn't be possible if done in isolation.
Recently we asked the children in Opal 2 to share their theories in response to the question:
What is a story?
Here are some of their theories:
ZB: A story is all different things. It can be a made up story, it can be a true story, it can be anything that you want it to be. If you want it to be a story, it can be a story. Why a story is fun is that it's fun to read, it's fun to listen to, and it's fun to look at!
CR: I think just “yes” is not a story, but what I think is a story is well it has to have a character and a setting and they have to do something.
JP: A story is something made up in your mind that you can imagine.
PK: A story is your life. A story gets told over and over. A story is a legend. A story gets stuck in your head.
NL: A story is like something you did. A story can be something you made up. A story can be true. A story can be anything.
SB: It is a story you put in a book and sometimes you can publish it and it can travel across the world.
SS: A story can be a word like hi, but a story could also be something you say. Or something someone publishes and cares for and takes the time to write it down or think about it or both.
LD: People can write and first you think, then you write it down or put it in a book or you can also put them on their mind, you just think of something in your life and remember it for a while. That’s how you make a story.
ABM: A story is what made your life because if it weren't for stories there wouldn't be a world.