Grasper by Paul Owen Lewis might be my favorite kids' book ever. A picture book about a little crab who is curious about the world outside his little tidal pool, adults will cheer his adventure as much as kids. Despite warnings that the world is a scary place and you must stay in your small but safe area, Grasper yearns to explore. He is told that when he is molting he is so vulnerable that he must stay put. After a wave washes him out to sea, he realizes that he can only grow so big in his home. The crabs in the open sea are huge and full of life and color. He returns to tell his friends and family, but they can not believe him or his new ideas.
When I briefly taught elementary school, I remember having similar discussions with my kids. The majority of them came from severely disadvantaged homes and literally had no idea of the possibilities of the world. Their goals were very low and adjusted based on what their parents (if they had them) or other kids had taught them.
I so badly wanted to wash them sea for a peek at their potential.
Prompt: We talked about what the world would seem like if we never left our house or neighborhood. We have been scared and vulnerable in our travels, but always appreciate the bigger world view - just like Grasper, and the risk is worth it.
Each kid used a large piece of drawing paper divided into two. On one side they drew a creature in a small habitat and on the other side illustrated a big, wide world. Simple.
As they drew, they talked about examples of constriction and freedom in their own life. And I internally thought of my own examples, both cultural and self imposed.