Rousing interest in learners about a topic is key to keeping them motivated and enthusiastic to learn more about it. This is what happened with my second graders as we were learning “Let’s Go to the Moon!” story this past month. After introducing vocabulary words about space, we watched a short animation video of an apple falling from a tree to introduce gravity as a concept. My learners began to inquire about what they had watched and started coming up with different explanations.
During our lessons, we started digging deeper into facts about space, the moon and gravity. Gradually, curiosity grew in my learners’ minds. They started asking questions that they couldn't wait to be answered. Using the “burning questions” strategy, where learners write down any questions that come to their mind during a lesson on small cards, my learners came up with astonishing questions for minds as young as 7 years old. We grouped similar questions into categories. Some of these questions were: Where does the rocket go after the spaceship splits off it? Why can’t the rocket stay in space? Why does the moon have craters? Why is there no water on the moon? Why isn’t there gravity in space? Why doesn’t the moon fall? What if we don’t have gravity on earth?
As eager as they were to get answers for their questions, as excited as they became when they used the computer lab to research information and to watch videos about this interesting topic. They were seeking information passionately.
Stimulating curiosity in my learners and fulfilling it later were key to the success of this learning experience.
“The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.”
Silvia Nassar Mustaklem
English Language Teacher, RFS