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Learning Panels

A child walking into a library is faced with endless learning opportunities. He or she can flip through a picture book about the planets, consult a history book early America, or study the glossy pages of an underwater sea creatures book.  These are traditional purposes for which libraries were created, but as they have adapted to the meet the needs of their communities, educating their youth, caregivers and parents, libraries are faced with the task of engaging children with topics and activities that go beyond the standard storytime.  TMC’s Learning Activity Panels and Interactive Learning Spaces are designed for children, ranging from infancy, when the literacy journey begins, through 3rd grade, enhancing the topics and concepts children learn in school. Our mission is to provide an outlet for creativity, discussion, hands-on interactive, inquiry and inspiration. The Migration Panel pictured above, for example, poses the question "Where do I go in the winter?" The child sees the map of the United States and Mexico. He or She can move the Monarch Butterfly, Sandhill Crane or whale up and down, tracing their routes. A parent or caregiver might ask their child, "What happens in the winter in the north? Why would a butterfly travel south in the winter?" What starts to emerge through inquiry and discovery is the concept of migration. When learning is taught by doing and questioning, discovery and narrative begins. Our Learing Panels are accessible to babies too. The act of them moving the butterfly for example, helps inform them of the up and down concept. This kind of "unconstrained" approach is key to our Learning Panels philosophy. Libraries may also augment the concept of migration with book that further illustrate the magical voyage of some living creatures.