Here´s a little help if you are stuck with your topic. This weekend, take a stroll in the park, meet with people, browse the newspaper or a book, you might be surprised to find that things around you connect to your topic!
Go to the park: How many items can you find at a park that are related to your topic?
Collect ten unique questions that others have about your topic and share the answer with them if you can find them.
Browse the newspaper with a family member: Look through newspapers or magazines to find an article related to your topic. It doesn´t have to be directly related, use your imagination, maybe it´s indirerctly related to it.
Search for any famous people involved with your topic. Follow up to get more information about one of them.
Search for a book: (At school, in your house, go to a public library) Find a factual book related to your topic. Record the following information: name of the book, who wrote it, and where you found it.
With a friend: Create a skit about your topic.
And if you´re by yourself, thinking, maybe a bit bored: Imagine if… your topic were a superhero: what would his or her superpower be? Write, draw, or tell someone what you imagine.
Spring is almost here! Get outside and find your topic!
This vocabulary was developed to describe what happens when students are learning in depth. It can help teachers and parents make suggestions when students are stuck or not sure what to do.
Making it Mine: We want them to begin to feel a sense of wonder about their topics. Teachers can encourage this by saying “ I wonder….”
Going Sideways: Going off on a tangent. When students go sideways they may be wondering what other things can be used in place of the object. They explore and experiment. They may ask “what if” questions.
Going Back to go Forward: Students can go back, reorganize, reconsider as they take a look at their portfolios. Maybe add something, or throw other stuff away. Students may want to revisit a question, explore it a different way or look for answers to questions beyond the original one.
Going Deeper: Students go deeper into their topics when they ask questions such as: What kind….? How many….? Why…? How often….?
Going Wider: When students go wider they “branch out”. Visualize a tree and its branches. They are looking at their topic and how it interacts with other topics. At the grade 1 level might simply mean asking questions such as: What else….? How big..? How many…? Older girls may create a mind map, or get together with girls with other topics and find similarities.
Portfolio Parade: Sharing student´s findings, explorations, and creations is important. Sometime during the school year they should present to a group what they´ve learned. They may decide to share their ideas about their topics and their feelings using print, audio, videos, performance, art, graphs, charts, or diagrams.
To get kids interested in a topic, you have to think like a kid. Your kid. *This post was written for parents and originally went out on BuzzFeed. Since posting it there, a few educators have said…