Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge What Lights Your Fire? Surveying Student Interests to Drive Curriculum - Section 3: Evaluate


Students know what they are interested in. Oftentimes, it is not the topic of the lesson. I find the "Mary Poppins" strategy of designing curriculum to be highly effective and makes science class more exciting and fun. Mary Poppins sings about how a "spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down", and while we certainly don't like to think about our standards as medicine, it is important to remember that sometimes our passion for the subject doesn't translate to our students.

It is our job to make the subject relevant to them. So, if it means reading about the myths of leprechauns and their pots of gold at the end of the rainbow (the sugar) to help students access the concept of electromagnetic radiation (the medicine), I say, let's do it! By bringing in resources and ideas that don't seem immediately related, we get buy in from our students and encourage them to make intellectual connections between their interests and the concept.

For curiosity's sake, here is a link to some responses from 6th graders to see what they are into these days: What Lights Your Fire Responses.

  Students Know What They Want to Know
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Students Know What They Want to Know
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What Lights Your Fire? Surveying Student Interests to Drive Curriculum

Unit 2: Engaging 21st Century Scientists
Lesson 4 of 12

Objective: SWBAT summarize their science interests and passions in life.

Big Idea: Engaging students in science requires creativity and relevance. Who better to ask than students themselves?

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Science, Science Skills, inquiry, Nature of Science, safety
  30 minutes
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