Rock Thoughts seeks to empower children through art and collaborative storytelling. The underlying goal of this initiative is to teach children how to use their creativity to connect with others and the world around them in a meaningful way. With that in mind, we have designed Rock Thoughts as a learning resource that enable us to enhance children’s development academically, personally and creatively.
In addition, Rock Thoughts supports children’s key educational and developmental goals:
Reading Comprehension and Critique
Rock Thoughts promotes key literacy skills by offering access to continued free, varied, and child-appropriate story content from storytellers all over the world. Not only does this format provide a dynamic and engaging stream of reading material for children but it exposes them to a vast array of unique narratives that foster deeper reading comprehension.
In addition, children are encouraged to provide constructive feedback and suggestions on the stories that they read in order to assist their fellow storytellers in developing the existing narratives. This exercise promotes critical thinking and invites children to become mentors to one another.
Rock Thoughts is a very practical tool for self-directed learners who work independently in crafting their stories but then have access to a community of creative peers for evaluation, critique and continuing development. In addition, the many collaborative opportunities we offer, encourage children to explore different ideas as they develop their own, and to work with others in creating something new and meaningful.
One important feature of Rock Thoughts is that by giving each participant an opportunity to become an author, we are enabling them to understand that they are capable of impacting others in a meaningful way through their written efforts. When those being impacted are members of a diverse and global community, the authorship role becomes infinitely more complex, requiring participants to articulate their ideas in novel ways, appealing to a broader audience. This act alone is a valuable way of teaching children the power of language.
Strategic Use of Technology and Digital Media
Our virtual platform means that children and educators anywhere in the world can access this learning tool at any time, making it a resource that is readily and broadly available. In addition, the stories that we post can be in varying digital formats, giving children an opportunity to explore creative expression in different ways. Finally, children have access, within a safe and engaging environment, to a vast and global community of peers with whom they can collaborate, an experience that goes a long ways towards developing a positive global and virtual identity.
Understanding of Other People’s Perspectives and Cultures
By offering children the ability to connect and create with individuals from different demographic in various countries and in multiple languages, we are promoting cross-cultural interactions and collaboration. In addition, by offering stories from all over the world, children are exposed to different cultures, ideas and life narratives.
Innovative Thinking and Problem-Solving
The act of storytelling is fundamentally one of problem-solving, it requires envisioning new problems (or re-iterating problems in novel ways) and innovative solutions, and presenting them in meaningful ways. Rock Thoughts enhances this experience in two ways: first, by giving children an opportunity to craft stories based on art creations (whether originated by them or others), encouraging them to connect with the world around them in more complex ways; second, by fostering a community rich in diversity, one that offers different ideas and approaches to the problems we face.
Rock Thoughts helps inspire creative development by promoting the making of art and stories as ways of connecting with others in a meaningful way. In addition, we bring together art and literature as constructive tools of self-expression. Finally, Rock Thoughts provides a global forum in which to showcase children’s creative work product, honoring each child and reinforcing the importance of the creative experience by publically celebrating their efforts.
Development of Positive Identity
Our identity is the ultimate exercise in storytelling. The narrative we tell about ourselves is shaped by the words and acts we choose to embody. Forming our identity is a truly empowering experience and one that requires thoughtful consideration and an understanding of the way we connect with others. Rock Thoughts promotes positive identity formation by teaching children how to become meaningful storytellers. In so doing, we seek to help them understand the importance of the words we use to shape our life story and the acts with which we embellish it.