Express It to Get It


Inspiring young lives to express themselves through a variety of arts is a core tenet of Talking Hands Talking Feet. We’ve seen profound results over the years, where children and ‘teens have discovered a rare inner confidence to learn by creative representation, translation and transposition of nearly any subject. It is a powerful tool that encourages thoughtful, expressive and compassionate learners.

Here are a few of its principles:
1) Express it to remember it.
What’s the best way to remember a good joke?
Tell it!
That’s how memory works. When you move from reception (hearing, reading, seeing, feeling, sensing…) to expression (telling, repeating, reciting, writing…), you remember and retain the information. But true learning is much more than repeating information!

2) Express it to assimilate it.
Let’s say you are teaching THE WATER CYCLE.
Ask your students to show the different parts of the basic water cycle in movement choreography or hand movements or drawing, or sculpture… Find ways to play with the wonderful words: precipitation, accumulation, evaporation, condensation. Get into it. Act it out. Let your class become the water cycle! It will absolutely spark their curiosity and questions about the water cycle or whatever subject you’re getting into.

3) Express it to experience it.
One of our inspiring colleague teachers calls this ‘embodied, experiential learning’! To this we say -Yes! It’s all about the process! It’s about the joy of learning with your whole body!
If you want to learn about trees, become a forest! If you’re learning about water, get immersed in the wonders of water! Re-enact historical events and characters in tableaux theater. Inspire your students to make up hip hop verses describing the Earth’s major biomes!

4) Express it to connect to it, to really ‘get it’!
When we find ways to express what we are learning through analogy and metaphor, through verse and song, through comparison of inter-connected systems and relationships, it causes our faculties to reason in new ways and enhances our imagination. It promotes new learning perception and truly inductive reasoning.
It also brings minds together in creative collaboration, where we witness a synergy of spontaneous virtuosity. Remember, it’s about the process, not the product. But if the product becomes an inspiring ‘production’ you can share with others, that’s a wonderful bonus.

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