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Growing an Idea

Growing an Idea with Faculty at The College School

“I liked being with my idea. It made me feel more alive like I could do anything. It encouraged me to think big….and then, to think bigger.” -Excerpt from What Do You Do with an Idea?

Inspired by the book What Do You Do With An Idea?  by Kobi Yamada, we recently engaged our community in the practice of growing an idea. 

In the critically acclaimed children’s book, readers meet a young child who comes across an idea (beautifully illustrated by Mae Besom in the form of a gold egg wearing a crown with legs). At first, the child wonders where the idea came from and even temporarily denies its existence. Without giving too much away, by the end of the story, we learn that ideas can become big, brave, beautiful things. 

After a summer of adventure and rest, our faculty and staff came together one morning in August to grow ideas. After a group reading of What Do You Do With An Idea?, small teams were given a small object (i.e. an idea) such as a rock, shell, or gemstone. The task was to then work cooperatively with this small object and grow it using recycled and natural materials. 

Some teams sat for several minutes and brainstormed what their idea was and what could become of it. Other teams went immediately to a nearby set of tables to gather materials to grow their idea.

Afterward, we walked around as a large group to see each team’s idea and to hear how their work came together. What we found was that each team approached the activity differently, and we all had different interpretations of how to use the materials and design our idea. But what we all did was grow our ideas into something bigger and more beautiful. 

This activity gave our faculty and staff the perfect opportunity to reconnect, but also to practice what we hope our students will do: work collaboratively, think creatively, show and explain their thinking, listen to others’ perspectives, and reflect on learning. More so, we want them to know that their ideas are important and can change the world if they take the time to grow and care for them. 

We loved the experiment so much that we recently shared the same activity with our new families during orientation night. As we look to the year ahead, we can’t wait to see what our students do with their ideas.

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