Children are affected when they realize that other children go to school hungry. Children feel empowered when they realize that you as a parent have no idea that a cow and a mushroom could jointly stamp out hunger in this world. Their ambition to be to be part of this solution is further supported when they learn that children in Colombia and Zimbabwe are using agricultural waste to farm mushrooms. They can learn that this project provides an income to HIV orphans.  These orphans then teach others how to establish this kind of system to meet their needs and developing their communities. The ability to see practical applications of ideas that they have heard about in stories empowers young learners and motivates them to continue dreaming.
Through the fables, children are introduced to the science that makes these solutions possible, but with out the jargon. This allows them to engage with advanced science in simple, creative, and instinctive ways. The content of these 36 stories will seem like fantasy to parents, but is very much reality for children, and most importantly, is all based on tried and tested scientific research and implementation. These fables expand the child's learning basis, creating a never ending interaction between the sciences, fantasy, vision, and concrete action on the ground.
The fables draw on, and combine, a whole range of sciences - biology, physics, and chemistry - in such a way as to allow children to make some rather advanced connections. Yet they will not even realise they are doing so as the story lines motivate them to engage with the content in an active and varied way. As children are drawn into the story by characters with diverse emotional responses, they are motivated to formulate questions as they listen, and to search for their own answers. Discovering scientific knowledge for themselves in this way will make learning science far more memorable for your young children.
The learning system co-evolves with the reality children are exposed to every day.  The science behind the fables will lead to connections with a whole range of information and stimuli - this could be information that you present them, facts they learn in school, or personal discoveries they make while playing.  The science in the fables not only provides children with ideas that they can integrate into their growing web of life experience, but also with inspiration for dreams that they can apply to their lives as they grow.
Each fable contains a detailed Teacher and Parent Guide that will help you to help your child get the most out of these fables. You can use this to help you structure your child's learning. These guides help you to direct your child in developing the five intelligences (academic knowledge, ecoliteracy, artistic expression, emotional intelligence, and the capacity to implement).
‘Did you know that...?’ is a section that uses questions to relay interesting information, relevant to the story. By using familiar concepts and examples, and making comparisons with everyday experiences, children have easy access to the new ideas that each fable presents. This approach makes the information engaging and memorable and enables children to associate science with their immediate surroundings.
‘Think about it….’ introduces the emotional content of the story. This section poses questions relating to emotional intelligence.  Emotional intelligence is a vital and yet undervalued skill. In this section, children may recognize some of their own emotional responses. This material provides a safe platform for exploring these issues.
‘Do it yourself!’ suggests an experiment inspired by the fable. Hands-on learning is vital for a complete understanding of subject matter. These experiments are simple, and can usually be done easily in your home.
‘Academic Knowledge’ is a table that details the scientific content of the story, broken down into various academic disciplines. This table shows potential avenues for further study, to help you build on the content of the basic story. You might want to use this 'jargon' to help you and your child research the ideas that the story presents.
‘Emotional Intelligence’ provides a guide to the emotional developments of the characters. It supports ‘Think about it…’ by tracing the interactions and outlining the behavioral strategies employed by each character.
‘Arts’ is a self explanatory section for multi-media activities that will engage your child and enrich the experience of the fable. Multi sensory learning not only has proven results in improving information retention, but it opens up science subjects to learners of all aptitudes.
‘Systems: Making the Connections’ is where children are encouraged to recognize how systems based on natural principles can inform the way in which people develop technologies and processes. Modeling nature can lead to creative, innovative, highly productive, and sustainable man-made systems. This section explains the intention behind the fable, and will help you to encourage your child to dream of a better future.
‘Capacity to Implement’ supports 'Systems: making the connections' by offering practical ways of starting to develop exciting, alternative processes, technologies, and systems.  These supplements help children to appreciate scientific knowledge as a tool at their disposal, rather than as a set of rigid principles with little practical application. The world around them is revealed as a place of infinite possibility.
‘This fable is inspired by…’ provides a summary of the work undertaken by the scientist who has inspired the story. Each scientist is an expert in their respective field (Click here to view the scientist that inspired the ZERI Fables and their background).  This section can help to give children a vision of their potential. It helps to make them aware of the range of opportunities that there are in the world. As a parent you could use this section to help children start dreaming about what they want to do with their lives. This section shows children that they can be creative in their approach to their future; they can do anything they want if they put their minds to it.
The ZERI learning initiative is based on real science. Yet unlike traditional science learning, these fables and their supportive guides present this knowledge in a way that your child will engage with enthusiastically.  Science is no longer dry, dull, and inaccessible – it’s a creative tool that your children can use to dream dreams that they can realize!


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