Summary of The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires:
One day, a little girl has the most MAGNIFICENT idea! She and her little pup get to work planning and preparing to put this plan into action. She tinkers hours which turn into days, but her design is never quite right. After each failure, she gets back up and tries again. Finally, she reaches her limit and decides to quit! The little pup suggests a walk to clear their minds and as they walk, the girl realizes that while each prototype has something terribly wrong, there’s also parts that are completely right! Such a discover motivates the girl to get back to work and soon, her magnificent plan is a reality!
Lesson #1: The Engineering Process
I love to use this book as a mentor text when we are learning about the engineering process in science. Throughout the story, student can identify the parts of the engineering process: finding a problem to solve, drawing up a plan, gathering supplies, working within constraints, building a prototype over and over again, and finally, taking the good parts that you’ve discovered from each prototype and putting them together to create the final product. Engineering is simply tweaking a product over and over again until it meets the criteria needed to solve a problem.
Lesson #2: Give Your Ideas a Try
When the little girl had her magnificent idea, she had no idea if it would work! However, she had a problem she wanted to solve and an idea of how to solve it, so she gave it a try! While it was a long and frustrating process, it was worth the joy at the end when the dream became a reality!
Lesson #3: Every Prototype Has Something Good
When building a prototype of any kind, don’t just focus on the bad parts . . . the parts that made the prototype useless. Instead, learn from the mistakes and then look for the good. If you look for it, you will always find something good to take away.
Lesson #4: It’s Okay to Take to Walk Away
Throughout the creating process, the little girl became increasingly frustrated with her failures. As she continued to get frustrated, her judgement became clouded, her ideas became stunted, and her excitement wavered. In that moment, her friend realized that it was time to walk away from the project. The lesson here? Its okay! Its okay to stop and walk away! In fact, sometimes we need to because our mind reaches a point where it can no longer think and generate ideas, therefore walking away is the next best step. BUT . . .
Lesson #5: Don’t Give Up!
Just because you had to walk away, don’t give up on your idea! Come back with a refreshed mind and a new perspective. You might be surprised by the new ideas that are generated from your time away. Whatever your creative journey looks like, stick with it and the end result may be more beautiful than your original thought!
I hope these lessons are beneficial to you and your children as you read The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires.
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