Week 1 — Introduction

Get an overview of facilitating creative learning — and how it fits into constructionism more broadly. Onboard to running PLIX activities (and others inspired by the PLIX approach, perhaps of your own design). We'll engage in a lot of peer learning 👯 with our fellow course participants, too!

Week 1 Quick To-Do List

Nothing is mandatory, but you'll get out of the course what you put in!

Introduce yourself and learn from your peers on the PLIX Forum.
Join the Community Gathering Tuesday at 12 noon ET (UTC-4).
Listen to this week's PLIX Conversation Starter with Claudia and Avery.
Create a Space Food project—perhaps during the Make'n'Meet on Thursday at 3pm ET (UTC-4)—and post a picture to the PLIX Forum.
Read the articles about the basics of creative learning, listed in Things to Think With (Reading, Listening) below.

Miss a session? No worries. You'll be able to find Zoom recordings of our Community Gatherings and Make'n'Meets on the PLIX Forum.

Featured Facilitation Technique

PLIX has seven facilitation techniques, and each week we highlight one, two, or three of them.


👯  Encourage peer learning: Avoid positioning yourself as the only person in the room with answers. When running your workshop, you'll encourage patrons working next to each other to support one another. Similarly, we ask you to turn & learn from your fellow FCL students! Everyone in the room (whether it's IRL or on Zoom, or the PLIX Forum) has something to teach and learn, including you as the facilitator (or us)! When you are leading an activity, don’t be afraid to work together with a patron to figure something out. We're not!

Things to Think With (Reading, Listening)

We've identified some readings that relate to the themes of the week. Read as much as you have time to read and head over to the PLIX Forum to share your thoughts.

Recommended Core Reading / Listening


PLIX Facilitation Techniques by the ML Learning Initiative (2019, 1 page) Each week, we will look at up to three of these seven tips for how PLIX suggests library professionals approach facilitation. The PLIX Facilitation Techniques provide the overall structure for our four weeks together. You may want to print out this one-pager or copy the text to your own document where you can take notes as we explore each technique in our Conversation Starters, Community Gatherings, PLIX activity Make'n'Meets, Forum discussions, readings, and more.


Creative Learning: How the MIT Media Lab Learns, and How Everyone Else Can Learn This Way Too by the ML Learning Initiative (~2014, 1 page) A brief summary of the 4 Ps: Projects, Peers, Passion, and Play


All I really need to know (about creative thinking) I learned (by studying how children learn) in kindergarten by Mitchel Resnick (2007, 5 pages) This article predates Resnick's seminal book Lifelong Kindergarten, yet it covers the Creative Learning Spiral (imagine, create, play, share, reflect) in the context of Scratch and the Cricket microprocessor (similar to micro:bit).

Week 1: Claudia & Avery PLIX Conversation Starter

PLIX Activity Repository Spotlight


Space Food by the PLIX Team in collaboration with Maggie Coblentz (2020, 3 pages) We've included the activity of the week because we think it's a great Thing to Think With too! Be sure to read this PLIX Space Food Activity as well as the Cosmic Picnic prompt for this week. As you do, think about how the 4 Ps, the Creative Learning Spiral, and the peer learning facilitation technique show up in what we've written.

Cosmic Picnic (Zero-Gravity Cookbook)

Deeper Dive Reading (Optional)


photo Ben / Unsplash

What We Mean by Learning by Edith Ackermann with Aaron Falbel of Sunderland Library (~1995, 10 short pages) This short white paper booklet was written for Dacta, a research arm of the LEGO company.


photo Jeremy Thomas / Unsplash

"Stars" (from Evocative Objects: Things We Think With) by Mitchel Resnick, edited by Sherry Turkle (2007, 5 short pages) A tradition in MIT learning-focused courses has been to write about an evocative object. An earlier form of this essay originally appeared in Resnick's first book Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams. Read this and spend a few minutes writing about an evocative object in your childhood or learning life.

Things to Make With (Materials)

While the first week's prompt will be doable with household materials, suggested materials for PLIX activities in weeks 2 and 3 are harder to find. Order now to make sure you have your materials in time.


photo by Claudia Haines

various craft materials: You may need a variety of craft materials, but no specific materials in particular. In fact, the specific prompt we've chosen (recipes) can be done without any materials at all! But if you want to prototype your meal/utensil in 3D, any craft supplies or recyclables will do. We recommend using recycled materials that would have otherwise been sent to the landfill.