Thursday, 5 May 2011

The Hundred Languages of Children - A Poem

I've just spent a magical day with my little girl outside in our garden. We had nothing particularly special planned, just a spot of gardening & free play, but as I observed her exploring, discovering, & engaged in her imaginative play, this poem by Loris Malaguzzi
came to my mind.


The Hundred Languages of Children

The child is made of one hundred.
The child has
a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.

A hundred.

Always a hundred
ways of listening
of marveling, of loving
a hundred joys
for singing and understanding
a hundred worlds
to discover
a hundred worlds
to invent
a hundred worlds
to dream.

The child has
a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
but they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
separate the head from the body.
They tell the child:
to think without hands
to do without head
to listen and not to speak
to understand without joy
to love and to marvel
only at Easter and at Christmas.

They tell the child:
to discover the world already there
and of the hundred
they steal ninety-nine.

They tell the child:
that work and play
reality and fantasy
science and imagination
sky and earth
reason and dream
are things
that do not belong together.

And thus they tell the child
that the hundred is not there.
The child says:
No way. The hundred is there.

Loris Malaguzzi
Founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach

I hope the hundred stay with my daughter for a lifetime!

6 comments:

  1. You have one lucky daughter x

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  2. Lovely! You girls have a really adorable and now you've got an award to prove it: http://best-toys-for-toddler.blogspot.com/2011/05/really-adorable.html

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  3. Michelle you are so kind - thank you so much :) I happen to think your blog is pretty adorable too!!

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  4. I love this poem. Thank you for sharing it.

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