"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Thursday, July 29, 2010


This is essentially a continuation of my earlier post.


Please note that all the questions that follow are not arranged in any particular order. They are specifically designed to spur your kid’s learning safari.

Exploration - or rather,braindancing, to paraphrase the author, Dilip Mukerjea - is the key to it.

1. Do you know why most stories often start with ‘Once upon a Time’?

2. Have you ever been close-up or seen a real beaver? A real mouse-deer? How much do you know about each of the animals?

3. In local Malay (also, Indonesian) folklore, a mouse-deer, which is found abundantly in our part of the world, is referred to as a pelandok or kancil”. It is often depicted as a “cunning, nimble, & intelligent” animal.

What stories have you heard about the mouse-deer in this respect?

4. In Malaysia, an image of the mouse-deer is used as part of the state emblem.

Do you know which state is that & do you know why?

5. Do a paper exercise on ‘Compare & Contrast’ between a beaver & a mouse-deer. You are welcome to use a graphic organiser, e.g. Venn Diagram.

6. How about doing another paper exercise on ‘Compare & Contrast’, this time with ‘Humans vs Animals’?

7. What is a dam? Have you been to a real dam? If affirmative, how about sharing some of your observations?

8. Do you know what or where is the world’s largest dam?

9. Are you aware that the building of a dam always changes the landscape ecology of the entire place, negatively as well as positively? What are your personal thoughts or feelings on this issue?

10. In what ways, maybe in small ways, are you personally contributing to the earth ecology?

11. How much do you know about the human brain?

12. Oftentimes, ‘brain’ & ‘mind’ are used interchangeably.

Do you think there is a distinct difference between the two, or do you just agree with the “interchangeability”?

13. According to the story, 'CHILDREN' are apparently the ones with the 'GREATEST EVER BRAINS'?

Do you agree or disagree? Why? You are welcome to share some anecdotes to substantiate your stand.

14. Having read the story, what connections do you see in the relationships of each animal to the dam?

15. Are there any questions in your mind as you think about the story?

16. What are the key lessons you can draw from reading the story?

17. In your own words, explain the meaning of the following words:

a) Brilliance;
b) Beauty;
c) Bedazzling;

Then, construct a sentence with each word.

18. How about crafting a simple story using all the foregoing three words in it?

19. What other words can you think of, say as a possible synonym (similar word), to each of the words? How about possible antonym (opposite word), if any?

20. From the story, you have learned that “ideas are just stuff made out of brilliance, beauty, and bedazzling brains!”

Elaborate on this statement. Can you share some useful examples from your personal experience?

21. When reading a textbook, you are supposed to pull out “key ideas” out of it to demonstrate your comprehension.

How do you do it? Share your personal strategy, if any.

22. You may have heard of the expression, “Ideas are worth a dime a dozen”.

What does that mean to you?

23. In the context of “humans”, how does one develop or enhance “personal brilliance”?

24. “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.”

What does it mean to you?

25. Describe a personal experience where you have been “bedazzled”.

26. Does your mother own a diamond ring? If affirmative, discuss with her about the concept of “brilliance” when selecting a diamond ring, & then share the outcome of your discussion.

27. What other good animal stories have you heard or do you know of? Share your stories by giving a gist of each.

28. If you were the author, what other animals &/or objects would you have used to illustrate the theme of the story?

29. How can you relate what you have learned from this story to your school work, especially from the standpoint of productivity & improvement?

Draw up an action schedule for implementing your ideas, if possible.

30. Is there any other new stuff you like to learn or know about based on what you have just learned?

Enumerate your wishes, say, in the form of a mind-map.

31. In today’s economic era, known as the Learning Economy, “ideas” are the driving forces.

Do you agree? What great ideas do you have that you strongly believe could really change the world?

By the way, the graphic illustration at the top of this blogpost, showing the beaver & the mouse-deer talking about the dam, exemplifies the powerful philosophy of "ideas build on ideas" as well as the robust concept of biomimicry.

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