What do a sandbox, messy workbench, junk drawer, costume chest, crayons & blank paper, etc. have in common? For a young mind they are evocative tools. What evocative tools do we make available to students? How much time do we give students to "play" with them? If you were to design time for such tools and have the funds, what would you choose? Would tools that come with recipes/plans/directions count if they could also be evocative of other possibilities? (Think LEGO kit with directions.) Or, would having the directions there limit their evocativeness? Are the recipes a form of scaffolding, leading to a higher ceiling or are they a crutch that ultimately hobbles the user? Could that limitation be overcome by a classroom environment that encouraged hacking, tweaking, personalizing, synthesizing of any recipe like projects?

Evocative Tools
  • Wooden blocks
  • Paper and pencil (or markers or crayons or paint)
  • Wood, nails, hammer, etc.
  • LEGOs
  • Scratch
  • Wikis/Blogs & Multimodal tools
  • Cameras & Video cameras
  • Musical instruments
  • Ball and a place to play
  • Word processor and a printer (or blog or ...)
What else?

How does this connect with:
  • Froebel Gifts
  • Bricolage/Tinkering
  • 20% Time, Genius Hour, Thinkering Studio
  • Studio based learning
  • Makerspaces
What else?