Inspiration, Innovation & Information for school libraries and learning.
By Linda Mc
image used with permission
I used the phrase ‘the suspension of disbelief’ with one of the younger members of my family recently. She was absolutely entranced (not least by the big words), and immediately thought of a hundred books we had read together which needed us to suspend our disbelief to enjoy the story. Every time we read a book which has animals doing human things (Lilly’s purple plastic purse); every time we believe in inanimate objects coming alive (The Indian in the cupboard); every time we watch children performing superhuman feats (How to train your dragon); every time we are scared by witches or monsters, or enchanted by impossibly handsome princes engaged in impossibly chivalrous feats – we are ‘suspending disbelief’ and allowing the power of the story to absorb and entertain us.
Many people tell me they only read non-fiction. There are certainly some non-fiction stories that are both amazing and unbelievable. Readers who limit themselves to one type of genre miss out on a level of imagination, which is readily accessible to the fiction lovers amongst us. Suspending disbelief feeds, nurtures and develops the mind’s eye, encouraging readers to think outside the square. It allows them to explore possibilities and impossibilities, and helps build the cognitive links that encourage creative thinking.
Try the ‘suspension of disbelief’ phrase out on a young readers – it won’t take them long to come up with a list of books, which fit the bill.
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has just released its 2011 list of the top 25 websites – based on feedback and nominations from school librarians across the US. “The list honors the top Internet sites for enhancing learning and curriculum development for school librarians and their teacher collaborators - and were named because they foster innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration.”
Regarded as the “best of the best”, these sites are free, user-friendly sites that invite exploration and creativity on the part of communities of users.
I had a quick look at Dipity an appealing timeline creation tool. Among the timelines on their Hot Topics list is an excellent one on Nanotechnology – and interestingly, for a US-based site, another on Royal Weddings since 1900. By opening up to the full screen, and using your cursor to move the screen display from left to right, it’s easy to view content.
Take a look at their list, see if any are familiar, and choose one or two that might be new to you, to explore and share with teachers and students in your school.
Old magazines, weeded books, last year’s telephone books – see this amazing range of artworks created with imagination from thousands of printed items.
I’m not sure what happens to a small building created from 7,000 telephone books when it rains – but maybe it’s weathertight?
Other artworks include book ‘flowers’, towers, installations of different kinds, painted sculptures, lighting fixtures, and even a scorpion carved from the pages. Take a look at Amazing Book Sculptures here, at: Amazing Book Sculptures.
Could this inspire an innovative artwork for your library – using old newspapers, out-of-date magazines, any weeded items that will only be dumped…? If so, do send us a photo!
flickr image by al_green
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