Why do people explore? That was the question we started with to kick off our next social studies topic. Now I could have went into the school textbook and did some reading with my students, but I remember being bored to tears with my teacher just throwing information at me. So I decided to connect the students to the topic to grab their attention and engage them in the topic of study. I sat down and began telling a story of exploring my front yard. I tend to people watch there because I live behind a lifestyle center with restaurants, the movies, bowling, and stores galore! I discussed my observations of parents yelling at their child who was crying over leaving a trinket he really wanted at the store. There are people who walk so fast across the street they do not look for oncoming cars so often I hear brakes screeching. Listening to the excitement about the latest movie can often inspire me to go watch something. Students hung on to every word, so I asked them what they like to explore. I discovered one classmate has a backyard that used to belong to a former hoarder and recently found a broken slide. Another student shared she loves to go into the woods while another studies animal footprints left behind in the snow.
What motivates people to explore? I was informed it was because people want freedom, are curious, and have a need to discover. We then spent some time exploring our classroom, seeking things we did not notice. I told the students sometimes it is how we look at things. Maybe spend some time looking up or looking under something. Repeating this exercise I heard a lot of I never noticed . . . Did you know that door was there? Wow! There are a lot of little lights! We came back to reflect on our exploring. I found out I have a lot of photographs in our classroom; there are whiteboards in our bathroom, and a ton of rulers all over the room. This exercise might seem simple, but there was a lot of depth and learning going on. I encourage you to explore with your child. We are ready for our voyage of exploration in history! I hope our agents are inspired to explore their world, as this is how innovation might happen! Maybe they get into something that does not even exit yet!