My husband is using his spare time to listen to the entire This American Life catalog. I'm not sure how he chooses them, but we just listened to "The Rookie", a story by Adam Gopnik reads from his book, Paris to the Moon.
In "The Rookie", Adam, a North American, is living in Paris and realizes his son has never experienced baseball. And so he begins telling him the story of the rookie at bedtime. His son creates his own images along with the words, and then begins to demand very non-baseball things from the rookie (such as having a time machine in his suitcase).
I felt a real connection with the piece, and it was a bit of an eye opener for me. What do we assume children know? When do they have to create their own understandings? I think its an important thing for young children to do - to work through possibilities and gather clues - and it is something that really defines the potential of this time in their life. How can we celebrate those moments and those inventions, and how can we make them more meaningful? What do our students want to know, and where do those curiosities come from? Where can we take them without taking away the natural ideas children have connected with a concept?
Have a listen to the audio on This American Life. And of course, please, share your thoughts.