Where have all the flowers gone? Encouraging deep thinking

My 6 year old daughter came into my room this morning singing a protest song she heard on the radio. ‘Do you know this song, mummy?’ She asked, almost as if she had a nugget of gold to share that only she had found. ‘Yes, young girls pick them one by one…’It’s a war song.’ We then started an amazing conversation about how flowers could be the soldiers and what happens to them.

What I am learning about my girls is that they are only restricted in their thinking by what we choose to give them to think about. If I allow them to watch Disney films all day without looking into the background story then they will only ever look for the surface meaning. If we give them the tools to probe then they can do it just as easily. It only gets difficult as they get older, and have not practised this when they were small.

I took my daughters to see an amateur production of Oliver! Last night. The same daughter listened to ‘As long as he needs me’ and commented that it was stupid to fall in love with someone like Bill Sykes. I haven’t had chance to ask her why, and I think she would think I was stupid because to her, the relationship is obvious. He is a dangerous man and you should stay out of his way.

Looking for the deeper meaning is something I love doing. Sometimes with young children we avoid it because of the complex nature of issues; but I would still encourage it because it is only with practise will we have a nation of enquirers, philosophers and future engineers.


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I have been teaching English for 20 years. HOD. T and L. Runner.

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