Thursday, May 03, 2012

baby chicks...

Today in the CSS wood shop, the first, second and third grade students made wooden baby chicks in celebration of the real chicks that hatched last week. Their teacher suggested that they might want a wooden reminder of the wonders they had observed.

Students asked where I learned to make these. One student asked if I learn to make things by watching television. It is nice to see one's own ideas appreciated by kids. But inherent in the process is development of understanding. How to make, how to use tools and materials with care, how to use spatial sense, how to work together in teams... these things and more.

My friend Jan sent the following from a book about Brain Gym:
"What my wife, Gail, and I have observed over the last twenty years is that, whether it's a chopstick or a pen, people are no longer holding common tools with precision. Instead, they use something called the power grip. (The terms power grip and precision grip were coined by Frank Wilson in his book The Hand: How Its Use Shapes the Brain, Language, and Human Culture, which can tell you everything you might want to know about the subject.)

The evolution of the opposable thumb corresponds to the development of the frontal lobe of the neocortex, bringing with it the higher cognitive abilities related to creating beauty, precision, and art. The most refined human activities and aspirations have been made possibly by the precision grip and the finely tuned nervous system that underlies it.

Now, the advent of TV, cell phones, computer games and typing on a keyboard is causing young people to forego mastery of the physical art of writing. As a result, they're losing the opposable thumb and the skills that go with it." (p. 59-60)"
Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

  1. Those wooden baby chicks are adorable.

    I teach the upper elementary at my UU church. So I'm thinking a class could do this after interacting with any animal. And if you didn't have wood, kids could make brightly colored pictures.

    Either way, I love kids making the connection between seeing nature and creating art.