The Power of Vocabulary

I had the delightful opportunity to substitute in the Dragonfly classroom last month, where children were decorating picture frames by gluing on assorted items. Two girls brought over their completed frames, one covered uniformly with pompoms, buttons and sequins, and one with 1/4 of the frame artfully covered.  I said:  “This first frame looks symmetrical and this second one looks asymmetrical. ”  

This naturally provoked a question about what the words meant. To demonstrate, I said that God had made them each symmetrical with an ear on each side, and arm on each side, five fingers on each side, etc.  After demonstrating with their body parts, one of the girls turned me sideways and pointed to my face  and the back of my head and said “These are different so this is asymmetrical.”  This child had not only understood the concept but was able to apply it in a similar but different context! 

“Aha” moments like these are learning at its best — when an idea is assimilated and then put into practice by the learner. 

And this learning is fun! We all smiled at each other, happy with the concept, and the two skipped off to play in the sand table.