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The Power of Look

The Power of Look
June Pepper

In inquiry, the children reflected on our observation walks around campus.  “What have we been doing?”  I asked them.  Their answers danced around the notion of seeing:  we were “wondering,” “investigating,” “thinking,” “discovering,” “noticing,” “searching,” the children said.  Collectively, they were a veritable thesaurus!  Then KB offered a thought:  “When you look at something, you’re using your power of look.”  Those words gave me pause.

Intrigued, I asked the children what they thought the “Power of Look” meant.  Their answers went much deeper in nuance and meaning than any thesaurus could:

  • It’s like a mental image.  It is a memory to share about.  – TR
  • The Power of Look means to me that we can see everything that we wish we could see. There are things we can’t see. [Like what?]  Things that are in our dreams.  – AA
  • It means I’m looking at everything.  [Can you tell me more?]  I see things that I didn’t notice before. – LK
  • It’s a knowledge.  [tell me more.]  Knowledge means it is something that you don’t always have, but you have to be responsible for it if you have it. [How could you be responsible?]  Take care of it.  Use it in a good way.  – TR

Keeping in mind the notion of the Power of Look, the children then thought about journeys.  Specifically, one that they go on almost daily:  the journey from home to school.  How would they describe it?  

After some musing, the children came up with their drawings and explanations of their journeys.

EG’s journey

EG described her journey as having a feeling, of noticing spiky trees, and of feeling a breeze at a certain point along the way.

LZ’s journey to school.

LZ described her journey by recounting the physicality of going over speed bumps along the way.

LS’s journey.

LS’s journey is told mainly through nature: a tree, bees and bugs, bushes, bees, the sun, and rainbows.

The Power of Look encompasses a knowing, a memory, an image.  It is a feeling,  It is at once something permanent and also something fleeting.  It is so much more than synonyms for the verb “to see.”  We will continue to explore this idea of seeing that is the Power of Look.

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