At the beginning of his talk last night, Professor O’Neil mentioned how the ancient Greeks and Romans believed that all living things had a soul.  Therefore, if you cut down a tree, instead of having wood, you would have a nymph!  In my experience, the young children now believe the same thing.  To them, the forest is full of fairies.  I am curious about when this idea goes away, or gives way to scientific thought, and how these ancient cultures were able to keep it present for all of their lives.  Many educators who work with young children think about the ways in which the school system forcibly removes the imagination from young children.  I wonder as an educator how I can help children maintain this imagination and creative thought process throughout their lives.  By encouraging creative activities and non-traditional assessment, teachers can encourage their students to become higher-level thinkers.  Were the ancient Greeks and Romans higher-level thinkers because of their imaginative understanding of the earth?