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Re: Unimaginative Kids...
At 09:28 AM 1/21/2003, Toni Geoly wrote:
I volunteer in the Discovery Room at the Smithsonian's Natural
History musem (which actually lacks any dinosaur stuff, but we won't
go there this morning ;) ).
Cool job! The ROM's Discovery Room has a T. rex cast, with separate casts
of leg bones to touch and an excavate it yourself Parasaurolophus (minus
the limbs). An excellent "touch and feel" place. I could take my class
there for a week and still not feel like I hit everything properly. The
kids love it.
I think in general, kids are full of wonder, curiosity and
imagination - you just have to know how to key into it, which is
incredibly easy (any little weird or gross tidbit draws them in and
just let them start asking questions from there). The hard part is
breaking through to some of the parents, who are just looking for a
place to sit down after their kids have dragged them through the
museums all day.
The one thing that you are lucky about is that at least all of the parents
who brought them there cared enough to do so. I have had students whose
parents didn't send them on the trip because "the museum is
boring". Sometimes the kids are the ones who said that and others, it is
what the parents believe. My reply is always "That's because they have
never gone with me". Then we go as a class, break down into smaller groups
(each with a parent volunteer), and the parents wander aimlessly with their
group. Often half their trip is standing in the museum shop. Neat stuff,
but the REAL THING IS ONLY ONE FLIGHT OF STAIRS UP!!! Sorry.... God love
them for volunteering, but you can't relay on all of them to give top notch
To set the record straight, I love children. I even have 1 and 3/4 of them
of my own. I think taking them to the museum is fantastic. My daughter is
2 and she has been. It opens their minds to things they often didn't know
existed. There is nothing like standing under a Tyrannosaurus rex's mouth
to inspire awe in a young mind. The frustration of the trip is always the
twelve minute attention span and the fact that they are used to t.v. and
pushing buttons. They want the skeletons to be remote controlled. They
don't want to look, they want to touch, feel, and experience and they must
be taught that this is not always appropriate.
Darryl Jones <email@example.com>
For information on tyrannosaurids and
cool activities and information for kids,
visit my webpage at: