Thursday, November 22, 2007

For my readers outside the United States, today is Thanksgiving. All across America, people are working with their hands to prepare a feast to be shared with friends and family. Some are sharpening their knives for carving turkey and ham. Some will use electric carving knives. We'll let that go by. Just for today, who cares. The chart above is from Susan Goldin-Meadow and Susan Wagner Cook's article How our hands help us learn. Today, at dinner tables across America people will be gesturing with their hands. Italian families will gesture a bit more widely and with a bit greater emphasis as their culture allows, but even if you are half-Norwegian like me your hands will be moving in the creation and expression of thought.

If the simple seemingly purposeless motions of the hands in gesture have been proved of their role in the development of human intellect, just imagine what it can mean to a child (or an adult) to spend time in a woodshop.

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