Billie admires the first stanza of Loris Malaguzzi’s poem, The Hundred Languages of Children. She knows this stanza well, as she proudly points to the word “hundred” and tells me, “This first part of the poem is my favorite.” Billie, along with her peers, has embarked on a profound journey to uncover the deep meaning of this poem, having already learned that Malaguzzi was a teacher who lived in Italy in a city called Reggio Emilia, and that he wrote this poem as he wanted the whole world to know what he thought about children. As Billie studies words in the first stanza, she softly reads them out loud to herself:
is made of one hundred.
The child has
a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.”
Later on that day, KMS Atelierista Alden and I asked Billie and her peers, “What kind of school do you think Malaguzzi wanted to create for children?
Billie replied by drawing this picture:
She elaborated by explaining, “Malaguzzi wanted to create a nice school that kids could have fun in and enjoy the free time and also the things that they had to learn and they don’t even notice. There might be something they don’t want to do and the teachers turn it funner and they turn it different and they turn it fun so they don’t even notice they’re learning.”
Here is a link to the full poem by Loris Malaguzzi: