Friday, October 19, 2012

Curiosity - where the spark comes from

Yesterday I was in one of the 2nd Grade learning spaces while the teacher, Scot, was talking to the students about curiosity.  He explained to them that everyone learns new things all the time, but that curious people learn on purpose.  He described it as being like a light bulb being switched on - they get curious and they really want to know things.

Once our curiosity has been sparked, we learn by asking questions.  He explained to the students that questions are like food for the brain - they are the things our brain likes to eat.  When a question comes into your mind, it means that this is what food your brain is asking for.  Pay attention to your questions as they are important to help you learn, and capture your questions because if you don't capture them and write them down, then they will just go out of your brain.  Scot explained that for curious people the questions are never really done.  These people listen out and notice for more questions to appear.

Today the students were writing about where the spark had come from for the questions that they are going to investigate for the Curiosity Project.  Here is what some of the students are curious about and why:

Crystals:  I chose this topic because I really like crystals.  And also one day I found a crystal in my 
own garden. And thats how I always was  wondering about crystals.  (Tisha)

Buoyancy:  I'm been curious about buoyancy because my mom said the word and I said to myself, "What is that?" It just flipped in my head! That's the story of how I became curious about buoyancy. (Reza)

Polar Bears: I first became curious about polar bears because I saw a big poster about polar bears in my room so I got curious to know abut the bears.  I got my idea when I was staring at the poster (Anjali)

The heart: I became curious about the heart and dissecting because I love science and you might see me with my friends making a frying pan with stones in playground.  And I love finding bones and dissecting things, and about dissection, I always see what's inside rocks. I became curious about hearts because I wanted to know what was inside them and how they work.  That's the story of how I became curious about dissecting and hearts. (Nirvaan)

Miniature gardens:  When it was the queens diamond jubilee, my cousin entered a contest where he had to make a miniature jubilee garden.  He won! Then when the curiosity project started, I thought back to that day, and decided to do it on that. That is where my curiosity started.  (Zainab)

Dogs: Everywhere that I go I see dogs. We are going to get a dog so I became curious about dogs. I became curious about different dogs because there are all kinds of different dogs, but the ones I like the most are poodles. That’s the story of how I became curious about dogs. (Shahd)

What occurs to me is that it is sometimes the tiniest thing that sparks curiosity, and that if nurtured this curiosity can turn into a lifelong passion.  As parents and as educators, nurturing this passion is an awesome responsibility.

Photo Credit:  Question mark by Leo Reynolds, 2006 AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike

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