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Through fantasy, children face their fears and become braver

The Guardian – Cornelia Funke

“I am often asked – always by grown-ups, never by children – why I write fantasy instead of realistic prose. Of course this question raises another one: how do we define reality? Is Shakespeare unrealistic because he makes ghosts and witches take the stage? What do the magical adventures of Harry Potter reveal – quite brilliantly – about British reality; class, racism and the roots of fascism? In my opinion, the reality of this world and our existence in it can only be described as fantastic. The more we learn about our reality, the more we realise that we don’t understand it at all. We have learned to build ourselves better ears and eyes to find out about the universe that contains each of us like a grain of sand. We’re rightfully very proud of our new instruments, but we’ve distanced ourselves from nature.”(more)

‘Maker Spaces’ and Literacy Instruction: Playing With Story

Education Week – Jackie Zubrzycki

“Is storytelling a kind of making? As the maker movement, which encourages hands-on, open-ended learning, becomes increasingly common in K-12 schools, some argue that the spirit of exploration that drives the movement is just as useful in literacy instruction as it is in the STEM fields with which making is more commonly associated… The White House is hosting a “Week of Making” later in June, and a slew of organizations and educators are advocating for schools to embrace “making” and “maker spaces.” But Laura Fleming, a library media specialist and former classroom teacher in New Jersey and the author of Worlds of Learning: Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School, says that despite its growing popularity, people too often assume that the maker movement is limited to STEM. Fleming said that her own path into the maker movement was through literacy instruction. As a librarian, she encouraged students to “play with stories.”…Fleming said that while “maker spaces” —areas designated for free-form exploration or building—are often associated with 3-D printers or engineering stations, she believes a “maker space” is about facilitating creativity and open-ended learning, not the technology.”(more)