How to Cultivate Curiosity in Five Simple Steps

How do you cultivate curiosity in your classroom? Kids are naturally curious, and in this post, Carla shares five easity to implement strategies for tapping into kids' curiosity. Check out the post for more information.
Children are naturally curious, so why not tap into that curiosity to up your engagement? Cultivating curiosity not only drives kids to want to learn, but it also can lead kids to deeper reading, inquiry based learning, improved vocabulary, and a thirst to read more. In this post, I'll share with you five teacher tested methods that hook kids in.
Are you a drama king or queen? Kids love drama, and it's just one way we can use curiosity to increase student learning and retention. Check out this post on cultivating curiosity to learn more.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION

You are the movie star of your own movie! Dress up as your favorite book character, prepare your script, and come with plenty of props. Will they stare? You betcha! Will they giggle? Of course! Will they be waiting with baited breath on what you will do? Yes! And they will watch with intense scrutiny to see what you have up your sleeve. Grab them! Hook them in, and then, drive them where you want them to go. 

Using theater is a very effective way to not only grab attention, but is also a great way to teach. Using reader's theater and partner plays make reading fun and allow students to work on fluency, deepen understanding, and develop their own acting style too. 
Have you ever heard "It's in the bag."? Mystery bags are one way to tap into curiosity. Check out this post for other ways you can build curiosity in your classroom.

IT'S A  MYSTERY

Do you have a paper lunch bag, an old gift bag, or a cute box? Well, that is all you need for this activity. Throw any item in a bag, gift bag, or box, and let your students figure out what it is and how it relates to your lesson. In fact, you could choose something that is random and keep the common thread for the end. If they can connect the dots, then they win the prize!
Two truths and one lie is a great activity to use to help kids get to know you, but it's also perfect for building curiosity for other topics too. Check out this post to see how we can tap in on kids curiosity using this strategy.

TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIE

Another fun lesson hook to use is two truths and one lie. Present them to your students and let them put their guess in a jar. Then, have your kids prove which are the truths and which is the lie through research. Kids love this game, and the activity can certainly be for more than just a fun get to know you, right. The kids can get to know their curriculum this way too.

To make things go smoothly, you will want to gather books for research and get kids talking it out as they're researching. If needed, you could give two truths and one lie to each cooperative group and have the groups share out at the end (Jigsaw)  or any variation you can think of.
There are many variations on KWL, and they work very well for guiding curiosity. Check out this post for more information.

KWL VARIATIONS

There are lots of variations of the old standby KWL chart. The key is questioning, research, and learning. On any give topic, you can have students share what they know, come up with questions on the topic, research the questions, and record what they've learned. My favorite way to guide learning with any of the variations is with column notes. Column notes work beautifully as a during reading activity, but also in whole group as we lead group discussions. My blogging friend, Jennifer, from Stories and Songs in Second shared a great resource in [THIS POST] for chapter two of From Striving to Thriving by Harvey and Ward. .
Movement gets the blood flowing and brain working. Check out this post on ways it can build curiosity too.

MOVE IT, MOVE IT

Kids need to move, and one of the easiest ways to work in movement during the day is with a scavenger hunt or team activity where kids have to find things or work together to solve a problem. You can use simple activities like four corners for kids to go to the corner that matches their thinking, send your teams with a clipboard for recording their answers as they hit the hallway, set up a carousel brainstorm where the teams move to the poster and record their responses to open ended questions, or do a this or that brainstorm where kids move from side a to side b depending on answer. Movement gets the blood flowing and gets rid of the fidgets too for better concentration in the classroom. You can also learn a lot about your students with these activities too.

RELATED POSTS

If you love this post and are curious about others related to motivation and engagement, check out the links below:
Remember, all kids are curious, and we can use that curiosity to help them learn so much. The more strategies we can add to our teaching repertoire, the easier it is to plan for deep learning. Please share below your favorite ways to spark curiosity in your classroom. 

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