The Nourishing Words of Learning: Food for Thought ?

Food and drink are never far from our lives - the media bombards us with information and tempting recipes.

It struck me that the language of food resonates with how we talk about learning, knowledge and education.


We use food metaphors all the time without really thinking about it.  We talk about how we drink in things that some people tell us, how we gobble up the news when something really interests us and how we enjoy the delicious gossip in much the same way as the guilty pleasure of rich and tempting food.


The media is full of sound bites, enticing us to lap up some juicy morsel or to quickly swallow a nugget of news.


We have appetites for learning, a hunger for understanding and if you’re like me, half-baked ideas.


Many of us enjoy a meaty discussion and we are encouraged to digest the facts if we want it to repeat on us in the future.


If we want to inspire children to learn then we want them to have a thirst for knowledge and an appetite for new ideas.


Conversely, we don’t like it when children are spoon-fed or are asked to regurgitate information - or worse, have things shoved down their throats.


Our language is absolutely peppered with food related metaphors and can be a great way to get children to think about their own attitudes to learning.


Why not feed them a few titbits – food related words and phrases - and ask them to make their own recipes for how they think about their own learning?  It could be a great homework idea - to encourage a ‘meaty’ discussion over the family dining table.

Here are a few possible ingredients:  Chew, bitter, hungry, pickle, scrumptious, voracious, comfort, spice, crackers, tasty, craving, cook-up, toast.   Children will enjoy thinking of their own and creating their individual smorgasbord.


Have fun



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