Tip # 10

The Power of Student Curiosity

Exploration, Discovery, and Engagement

Here are four steps to make this happen in your classroom:

  • Ask the students what they want to learn.
  • Give them time to explore their ideas.
  • Guide them through their exploration.
  • Connect it to your curriculum.

The only part of this process that might be tough is step number four, but by tuning into your students and using your imagination, connections to the standards can be made while the students are exploring their topics.

Kids are inquisitive by nature, and many of the standards support research and exploration. Use of this time for looking at what kids want to learn about and seeing how you can include that into your future lesson plans. Be sure to check out the ITES standards for your grade level for added opportunities to tie learning to the standards.

20% Time or Genius Hour

Explore what students want to learn by instituting 20% Time or Genius Hour with your students. This is when you give students one day a week or a certain time each day to explore something they are passionate about and then have them share their discoveries with the class after a set amount of time.

You might consider asking your students to conduct a TED-style talk for the whole school at the end of the semester or the end of the year on their topic of interest. Giving the students the power to explore what they want will allow a tremendous amount of engagement in their projects -- and in the rest of the curriculum, too. Students will realize how special their project time is and they will be motivated not to waste class time.

Click on the links below for additional information on how to execute 20% Time and Genius Hour.