My nine-year-old nephew Caleb qualifies as a bonafide nerd—and I mean this in a spirit of utmost admiration. One afternoon recently when I was visiting he jumped-up and said “It’s time for me to read, now. This is my favorite part of doing my homework.” (His older siblings snicker about him in a proud way “you know how he is!”)
I was tickled. He didn’t want to be interrupted for 30 minutes or more. And yet, when I told him that I would use the 30 minutes to read a book of my own, he started to get chatty. Plus he wanted to read a few passages aloud from the book he is currently reading: Middle School: How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill by James Patterson and Chris Tebbet:
“So I just lay there in bed for a while, staring at the ceiling, wondering what to do about it. Well, I was actually staring at the bottom of Booger Eater’s mattress in the dark. Assuming Norman got his nickname for a reason, I could only hope he was more of an Eater than a Flicker. I’m no scientist, but I even know what gravity will do to something that gets flicked off a top bunk, with me down there on the bottom.”
“What is it that you like about reading?” I asked him.
“Well….reading opens-up my imagination,” he began, and kind of looked off into space the way you do….maybe, when….your, er, imagination is at work.
Read “Creating Successful Adults: Nurturing Imagination With Nature,” published two years ago on The Phipps Science Education and Research site.
In 2003, Karen Gallas published Imagination and Literacy: A Teacher’s Search for the Heart of Learning.