Friday, December 19, 2014

Give Yourself a Hand - and a pencil.

How often does the average person think about thinking?  Seriously.  Aside from lying in bed at the end of the day mulling over the past events and how they might have played out differently, or standing, helplessly, at the top or bottom of the steps as you try to figure out why you went down, or up, the stairs, most of us spend very little time considering thinking, let alone considering the metacognitive process.  (Be honest, neither of those examples is about the "how and why" of thinking, it's more about retracing steps and words...)

Give Yourself a Hand.

My students have been studying the influence of right and/or left brain dominance -- because da Vinci said so.  Consideration has been given to the metacognitive process with regard to senses and thought, so it was only natural to consider the application of brain dominance in the way we think.  The students did some studying, took a survey (this isn't the one they took, but you'll get the idea), and then formed groups of like-minded individuals to create an experience for their classmates.

The projects, as usual, were varied and fun.  The profoundly-left-brained in the bunch had groups of students attempting to master Dutch Blitz (remember, this is Lancaster County, folks), while the right brained offered variations of Paul Torrance's tests of Creative Thinking, and a fascinating examination of the human hand combined with a challenge to the artistic process.

I challenge you to try it.  Position your non-dominant hand in a pose where you can view it well.  Using a pencil or black pen (no, I don't know why -- we scrambled to find black pens for everyone!), draw your hand in one continuous line, without lifting the pen point OR looking at the paper. 

Oh, and you have TWO minutes.

This concept is called Blind Contour Drawing and is often used as an observation exercise or warmup in art classes, we were told.

So why not think about how you think this weekend?  Take a break from plans and relax a bit. 

Oh, one more question.  (And we'll answer it in a later blog.)  Courtesy of Taylor's presentation:


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