Mr. Hrin began class by showing a painting he had previously introduced to the students (Right). He then asked what word we had used to describe the boy’s attitude. “He is engrossed in the book”, declared a little seven year old girl, using a word that Mr. Hrin had introduced to them previously. As Mr. Hrin had explained, the boy wasn’t just “focused”, but he was focused on something that he was really interested in… and there was a word for that: "engrossed."
As I sat observing the class, I started thinking about Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller from the play, The Miracle Worker. Annie wants to teach the blind, deaf, and savage six-year-old Helen the concept of language, because words could be "her eyes to everything in the world outside her, and inside too." (SPOILER) When Helen suddenly grasps that words are concepts that refer to reality, she eagerly gropes around wanting to know the words that name everything she notices in the world around her.
Like Helen, Mr. Hrin's students were eager to learn the new words that would help them understand the world before them. No wonder they were engrossed in this artwork.
*A Boy Reading an Adventure Story by Norman Rockwell