Our school wide intention this year is to explore childrens concept of Place.
I see children as very sensitive to their environment. They can create a relationship with it that is intimate and comfortable or fantastic and outlandish by turns. I think children interpret place differently than adults because of their unique scale, and their capacity for imagination.
In the introduction to her book Secret Spaces of Childhood, Elizabeth Goodenough compares childrens desire to find places that are magical (and all their own) with their creation of stories. "By assembling words -much like balancing twigs or arranging 'loose parts' for a little house" children "negotiate boundaries between what is real inside themselves and the world outside."
We adults may learn more about the relationship between place, story and magic as this inquiry goes on. I sure hope so.