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Pattern #2: waves!

episode 35

 Sarah Pottle

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A Series Introduction to Observing & Applying Patterns in Natural Systems


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One way that we can learn to no longer be hemmed in by capitalistic, mechanistic, patriarchal, industrial (ETCETERA AM I RIGHT!) frameworks is to just open our eyes and check out the patterns that are all around us in natural systems.

This week's pattern: waves!

Waves is episode #3 of a 9-episode podcast (#1 was the intro!) that we'd normally deliver in an online workshop, but, really, maybe you're sick of logging into Zoom AFTER work, and would prefer it coming through your weekly podcast feed? I dunno! We're experimenting here!

In this pod I share some observations I make about waves, where they occur, what their functions are, and then we take a look at how we can apply this structure to some of the areas of our lives that are causing us friction because, well, we're human beings, and perhaps the friction is because this part of our life was unconsciously (or consciously) designed to work like a machine.  This is where we have an opportunity, folks!  Where we can invite in a pattern where the functionality isn't something like, say, meeting a quota, but something else much more beautiful.

I hope you'll check it out. If it resonates, like, subscribe, share, all those things :) You can join the conversation by joining our free community (link above) and download the workbook (link above, too!)

Discussions are waves of ideas moving through participants. There's no reason why we can't learn from waves here. Let's dig more into the wave (ripple) discussion that was mentioned in the podcast.

Explain to the students, by way of demonstration or video and questioning, how the energy moves when you throw a pebble into a tub of water (initial big splash, ripples spreading out. If the disturbance is large enough, the ripples will bounce off of the side of the tub and head back to hit against each other and make a big splash again). 

Explain that the discussion they are engaging in today will function just like this energy pattern. The rock is the question that the teacher will lob in. They are the water, and the ripples/waves of energy are the ideas moving through them.


 (Disturbance) You will ask the big question (the rock) (Big Splash) 2-3 minutes: Your students will brainstorm, whole group, as many initial thoughts as possible in a disorganized word storm as you furiously capture their thinking on the board (likewise you could also have them type it on a Padlet or Google doc, but it doesn't have the same energy as calling it out loud).

(First ripple) 3-5 minutes: Small group discussion: take from the brainstorm, and respond to the question with your group.

(Second ripple) 3-5 minutes: Smaller/partner discussion: continue to refine thinking.

(Third ripple) 3 minutes: Refine idea independently.

IMPORTANT: This is where the teacher monitors to see if the idea has enough energy to bounce off the edges of the classroom and head back to the origin point. If it does, simply move in reverse: back into partners, then back into small groups, then back into whole group discussion to see how the idea has been refined. If the idea does not have enough energy, it's okay to end the process there. And, next time, perhaps, look for a different rock. 


Discussion idea:

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