children drawing and playing
children drawing and playing

The Hundred Languages of Children

What are the hundred languages of Children?

Symbolic languages, including drawing, sculpting, dramatic play, writing, and painting are used to represent children’s thinking processes and theories. As children work through problems and ideas, they are encouraged to depict their understanding using many different representations. As their thinking evolves, they are encouraged to revisit their representation to determine if they are representative of their intent or if they require modification.

Teachers and children work together towards an expressed intent.
The Hundred Languages of Childhood

The child
is made of one hundred.
The child has
A hundred languages
A hundred hands
A hundred thoughts
A hundred ways of thinking
Of playing, of speaking.
A hundred always a hundred
Ways of listening of marveling of loving
A hundred joys
For singing and understanding
A hundred worlds
To discover
A hundred worlds
To invent
A hundred worlds
To dream
The child has
A hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
But they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
Separate the head from the body.
They tell the child;
To think without hands
To do without head
To listen and not to speak
To understand without joy
To love and to marvel
Only at Easter and Christmas
They tell the child:
To discover the world already there
And of the hundred
They steal ninety-nine.
They tell the child:
That work and play
Reality and fantasy
Science and imagination
Sky and earth
Reason and dream
Are things
That do not belong together
And thus they tell the child
That the hundred is not there
The child says: NO WAY the hundred is there--

-Loris Malaguzzi
Founder of the Reggio Approach