Lower Lab Values Knowledge

May/June 2018

Thank you, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In the late 16thcentury, Sir Francis Bacon, regarded by many as the father of scientific methods of inquiry, wrote “ipsa scientia potestas est,” translated from Latin, “knowledge itself is power.”   Many people have repeated this quote, and many also feel that knowledge, defined as facts, information and skills, acquired by a person through experience or education, is often the key to success and opportunity.

As we come to the end of school year 2017/18, let us take some time to reflect and value the wonderful opportunities Lower Lab students had this year, to acquire knowledge in multiple subjects, through numerous experiences.  We frequently acknowledge the learning, through performances, assessments and publishing parties, but we must always valuethose who helped our students acquire this knowledge.

Thank you, Mr. Falker has, for a long time, been my favorite children’s book.  It is also the perfect book to celebrate and place value on the acquisition of knowledge and the educators who help make it happen.    Patricia Polacco, a very popular children’s author, wrote and illustrated this sensitive and engaging story, which one will discover at the end is autobiographical.

With the use of beautiful language and deeply rich scenarios, this book tells the story of a young girl who wishes more than anything to learn to read, supported by a family who loves knowledge, “knowledge is like the bee that made that sweet honey, you have to chase it through the pages of a book!”  However, her great love for learning is disheartening, when she cannot learn to read. After tremendous struggle, teasing and sadness, this little girl finally meets one special teacher who understands her problem, and everything changes…

This story will certainly launch some great conversations around struggle, perseverance, special relationships and tolerance for others’ differences and needs.  Some good activities and discussion may be yielded from the following:

  • If you could write a letter to the Patricia Polacco, what would you tell her? What would you ask her?
  • What does it mean “to have a thirst for knowledge?”What are you thirsty to know?
  • Do you remember a time when you really wanted to do something, and no matter how hard you tried you couldn’t do it? What happened next?
  • Think of something you taught someone else?Was it hard or easy?  What made it feel that way?
  • A familiar quote is “knowledge is power.”

For older students:

  • What does it mean to be a life-longer learner?

got knowledge?

Sandy Miller 2018