Friday, November 15, 2013

Creating Worlds of Wonder

"We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders." - G.K. Chesterton

One of the reasons why we all love observing kids is because they have this wonderful knack of finding and appreciating wonder. This gift empowers them to learn, to grow and to search for and create their own worlds of wonder.  In my opinion, we as teacher and parents should be using and leveraging this gift more frequently and liberally in their lives as well as in our own.

My goal this week is to present a few very different means of wonder I've recently found. The first relays the wonders of language and critical thinking; the second the wonder of pairing image with prose or verse, and the third is the wonder of leaving resisting the pulls and taunts of our digital world for the wonders of simple toys and joys!

I'd love to hear from you how you find wonder in your life in the comments below.


Gilbert Keith Chesterton lived 29 May 1874-14 June 1936 and was better known as G.K. Chesterton. He was an English writer, theologian, poet, orator, journalist who as Time Magazine (Orthodoxologist" 10/11/1943, retrieved 2008-10-12) observed, "...made his points with popular sayings, proverbs allegories - first carefully turning them inside out."

Turning common thoughts and observations inside out - "We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of refreshing! Not only does this reflect our need for wonder, it is a powerful example of the wonder and playfulness one can find with language.

Chesterton, by Herbert Lambert, 1920's
Chesterton wrote around 80 books, several hundred poems...200 short stories, 4000 essays and several plays...He was a columnist of the Daily News, Illustrated London News, and his own paper, G.K.'s Weekly;...wrote articles for the Encyclopedia Britannica, including the entry on Charles Dickens and part of the entry on Humour in the 14th edition (1929). His best-known character is the priest-detective Father Brown...while The Man Who Was Thursday is arguable his best-known novel...Chesterton's writings consistently displayed wit and a sense of humour. He employed paradox, while making serious comments of the world, government, politics, economics, philosophy, theoloty and many other topics...
Interestingly, (also from the same Wikipedia post another source):
Neil Gaiman has stated that he grew up reading Chesterton...and that The Napoleon of Notting Hill was an important influence on his own book Neverwhere, which used a quote from it as an epigraph. Gaiman also based the character Gilbert, from The Sandman, on Chesterton...


With our exploding digital age, the contextual message is ever more powerful, pervasive, and persuasive.  And, adding a visual component to the text can alter, redirect, and even misdirect our critical thinking.

Here's an example/experiment (please tell me what you think of this in the comments). This experiment builds on my first example, GKChesterton's quote "We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders"  where at The Quote Factory ( I numerous graphic displays of this famous quote (please visit the site for their full display)- here are my favorites:
We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.

We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.
We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.

EXAMPLE #3:  "DINOVEMBER" by Refe Tuma

Ironically, two of my three kids (who are living in different locations) sent me this link on the same day.  It is an outstanding example of how we as teachers and parents can continue to instill wonder, critical thinking, and pure unadulterated, non-digital fun into our lives and the lives of our kids.

The following post was taken and be found in its entirety at: . It was written by Refe Tuma, writer, community manager and cotributing editor at Paper Darts. Synesthete... FEAST AND ENJOY:

Welcome to Dinovember: A month-long imagination invasion.

Every year, my wife and I devote the month of November to convincing our children that, while they sleep, their plastic dinosaur figures come to life. It began modestly enough. The kids woke up to discover that the dinosaurs had gotten into a box of cereal and made a mess on the kitchen table.
Here are some images of their nightly dinoventures:

If you'd like to follow along with Dinovember 2013, join our Facebook page. If you'd like to join in with your own family, post your pics on Twitter or Facebook (set to 'public' so we can see them!), using the hashtag #dinovember.


Thank you, as always for your visit...

 I don't know about you but I'm off to the library to read some of Chesterton's writings so I can stay up and create some wonderment for my family...maybe I'll piggyback off of Dinovember or create some Decemberdrama....

What about you? Please share how you create and find wonder in the comments or simply leave us with your reactions.


  1. I love to see dinosaur photos, I wish that they come again in the world.

    Happy Wordless Wednesday! My entry is here.

  2. The second reference to Dinovember I have seen in recent weeks. You know what song your post reminded me of? Johnny Mathis doing Wonderful wonderful.

  3. Love the idea of Dinovember! Here, dinosaurs is covered in the kindergarten curriculum. By the way, thanks for your wonderful and kind comments and you have a great Christmas!

    abcw team

  4. I really like the first photo depicting the loss of wonder. I totally agree about the lack of wonder in so many lives.
    Dinovember is a kick. How exciting for those kids.