Have you ever been curious what it would be like to teach young children? Elementary school students are like sponges, constantly soaking up the world around them. When they are curious, children explore, question, wonder, discover ... and then learn. It’s a great path for young minds; however, piquing the curiosity of young learners isn’t always the easiest task.
Elementary school teachers interested in getting—and keeping—their students engaged and inquisitive about new topics may find it challenging to incorporate curiosity-boosting lessons and activities into daily curriculum.
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Below are four ideas to help boost curiosity in elementary school children that are as easy to incorporate as they are effective.
- Field trips
Field trips are an excellent way for elementary school teachers to spur curiosity among students. Art, science, and history museums are all reliable, fun ways to get children talking and asking questions, and, for particularly inspired students, may even lead to independent research and reading. Trips to zoos get elementary school students interested in animals. Farm trips lead to discussions about food sources and how plants grow. Visiting child-friendly, thought-provoking occupational venues—such as factories, supermarkets, and police and fire stations—not only get students curious about what adults do for a living, but about how businesses and community services operate and contribute to surrounding communities.
Classroom speakers act as a great catalyst for both curiosity and discussion in elementary education. Teachers typically don’t have to look further than surrounding communities to find potential visitors. Representatives of various occupations—such as legislators, fire fighters, police officers, artists, musicians, and chefs—are an excellent place to start. Some can bring in work-related items for students to examine. Others, such as musicians and chefs, can even demonstrate what they do. Visitors from different countries—many of whom can bring items, even food to sample, from their home countries—can spur curiosity about and respect for different cultures.
No matter how technological our world becomes, libraries will always hold a special place in elementary education. As treasure troves of learning and discovery, libraries are places where students can safely explore—and the more they explore, the more curious they’ll become about the exciting information around them. From reading aloud from books pulled from the stacks to simply explaining to children what’s available in libraries, elementary school teachers and librarians can work together to not only demonstrate all the fascinating resources within libraries, but to give students the knowledge to explore on their own.
- Creative games and science experiments
Getting elementary school students to “ooh and ahh” isn’t always easy. But creative games and science experiments are a great way to increase the fun factor in elementary classrooms while spurring lots of curiosity, questions, and discussion. Whether they’re based on drama, language, or numbers, games can be simple and easily incorporated into lesson plans. And even the simplest science experiments—such as mixing blue and yellow food coloring (which quickly turns green) in a clear jar—will get students curious and excited about the world around them.
Inspire children by becoming a certified elementary school teacher
If you’re ready to get children’s imaginations soaring through creative lessons and classroom activities, a bachelor of science (BS) degree in elementary education may be for you.
Whether you pursue a BS in Elementary Education online or on campus, the curriculum can help you prepare to be an effective educator by providing a solid foundation in children’s development, instruction, assessment, collaboration, technology, and much more.
Many busy adults prefer the flexibility and convenience of an online BS in Elementary Education program, as class discussions, assignments, and exams can be conducted completely online from the comfort of home.
Learn how Walden’s online BS in Elementary Education degree program can help you make a lasting, positive impact on children—now and in the future.