FROM STRIVING TO THRIVING: CULTIVATE CURIOSITY

Curiosity matters.

This simple statement by Harvey and Ward is the focus of Chapter 2 in From Striving to Thriving.  The authors believe that questioning is the strategy that moves learners forward, especially striving readers, and that it is our job as teachers to convince them that we value their inquiries.
Explore Chapter 2 of From Striving to Thriving and learn about how cultivating curiosity and encouraging questioning are necessary strategies in helping striving readers develop interest and confidence.
Nourishing or encouraging the desire to know more is a task that the authors of From Striving to Thriving take very seriously.  Because children are born naturally curious, they feel that it is our duty then to feed their need to ask questions and wonder.  Sadly, they observe that conventional schooling focuses more on students finding the answers.

Harvey and Ward stress that we must immerse all of our readers, specially the striving ones, in visual images, novel ideas, and content that interests them in order to improve their intellectual growth.  We must communicate that we believe in them, and that we value their questions.  We need to listen more, observe carefully, and understand what they need.  By doing all of these things, we will know them better and be able to help them thrive.
Explore Chapter 2 of Striving to Thriving and learn about how cultivating curiosity and encouraging questioning are necessary strategies in helping striving readers develop interest and confidence.
In order to convince our students that questioning is an important strategy for readers, we must model the process ourselves.  We need to show them that as adults we do NOT have all of the answers, and that we are curious creatures too!
Explore Chapter 2 of Striving to Thriving and learn about how cultivating curiosity and encouraging questioning are necessary strategies in helping striving readers develop interest and confidence.
We can make curiosity contagious by creating visual models of our thinking and questions, and then follow through with research and reading to find the answers.  Wonder Walls, Wonder Books, and Wonder Boxes are three structures the authors recommend to help students hold their thinking, make wonder visible, and collaborate with others.  
Explore Chapter 2 of Striving to Thriving and learn about how cultivating curiosity and encouraging questioning are necessary strategies in helping striving readers develop interest and confidence.
On pages 76-77 and 262-267, the authors describe and provide photos of how they use index cards, chart paper, photos, post-it notes, and composition books to help students record, display, and respond to their questions.  Wonder Walls, Wonder Books, and Wonder Boxes are ways for students to focus not only on their personal questions but also on questions they have about curricular topics and common themes.  Their use of graphic organizer sheets to give children space to work out their thinking through writing and drawing sends the message that their questions matter.
Explore Chapter 2 of Striving to Thriving and learn about how cultivating curiosity and encouraging questioning are necessary strategies in helping striving readers develop interest and confidence.


Explore Chapter 2 of Striving to Thriving and learn about how cultivating curiosity and encouraging questioning are necessary strategies in helping striving readers develop interest and confidence.


Explore Chapter 2 of Striving to Thriving and learn about how cultivating curiosity and encouraging questioning are necessary strategies in helping striving readers develop interest and confidence.
I created the following set of graphic organizers for my second graders this year to use prior to our ELA study of the Titanic.  They were a great way to access their prior knowledge, visualize their thinking,  and generate questions they wanted to find answers to as we read a variety of texts about the topic.  You can find the samples pictured and blank templates {HERE}.
Explore Chapter 2 of Striving to Thriving and learn about how cultivating curiosity and encouraging questioning are necessary strategies in helping striving readers develop interest and confidence.

Explore Chapter 2 of Striving to Thriving and learn about how cultivating curiosity and encouraging questioning are necessary strategies in helping striving readers develop interest and confidence.
On pages 81-84, Ward and Harvey provide a bullet list of resources and websites to help incorporate inquiry-based learning into your classroom schedule.  Genius Hours, Open Inquiries, Capstone Projects, and Real-Time Information Apps are all structures that allow students to research their own interests, which leads to more engaged reading.
Explore Chapter 2 of Striving to Thriving and learn about how cultivating curiosity and encouraging questioning are necessary strategies in helping striving readers develop interest and confidence.
The authors also promote the introduction of historical figures who have promoted curiosity as a virtue.  They suggest displaying both their photos and quotes to help spark discussion about how curiosity can truly be a key to success.  Feel free to display this set of inspirational posters in your classroom.  They are included in the free packet linked above!
Explore Chapter 2 of Striving to Thriving and learn about how cultivating curiosity and encouraging questioning are necessary strategies in helping striving readers develop interest and confidence.

In closing, I am sharing a statement from this chapter that resonated deeply when I read it.  By providing my strivers with the opportunity to ask the questions about what interests them, and then providing reading experiences that help them find answers, they will naturally become thrivers.
Encouraging their curiosity is the key to that process.
Explore Chapter 2 of Striving to Thriving and learn about how cultivating curiosity and encouraging questioning are necessary strategies in helping striving readers develop interest and confidence.

Explore Chapter 2 of Striving to Thriving and learn about how cultivating curiosity and encouraging questioning are necessary strategies in helping striving readers develop interest and confidence.As always, thanks so much for sharing my story!  Be sure to come back next Wednesday, June 27th, to explore Chapter 3, Ensure Access to and Choice of Books with Melissa from The Reading Roundup!

Be sure to check out the other posts in this series as well!

Chapter 6, Teach Thinking-Intensive Reading
Chapter 7, Assess Readers in the Round
Chapter 8, Advocate Tirelessly











Connect with me at Stories and Songs in Second!

10 comments

  1. So many fantastic ideas in this chapter. I love the Wonder wall. Sticky notes get expensive, so I think posting on a bulletin board and using index cards and staples might be more economical. Love all of your wonderful quotes and images. :-)

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    1. Great idea to use index cards and push pins or staples instead of expensive Post-Its! Thank you!

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  2. Love all these suggestions and ideas. One note: On the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt (the last page) there is an error. It has: In a the birth (delete either a or the). Just thought I'd mention. Thanks for all the great ideas and resources!

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    1. I will go in and fix the error now! Thanks for notifying me! Be sure to re-download the corrected page!

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  3. Thank you for the great free resource! So generous!

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    1. You are most welcome! I hope you find it useful!

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  4. My own 7 year old still asks so many questions, and I don't have the answers. It is great to spend time trying to figure them out together. If only she did that at school every day, she would be able to tell me more that I long to know!

    Such a great chapter and reminder that learning can be more meaningful when it comes from the heart!

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    1. Encouraging inquisitiveness and exploring interests definitely make learning more meaningful!

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  5. So many amazing ideas, and I love all of the quotes! Too often we as teachers get so caught up in asking the questions to check for understanding that we don't provide students with enough opportunities to ask questions themselves. Definitely something I'm always trying to improve with my own instruction!

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  6. This chapter stood out to me above all the others. Wonder is something that is so easy to let go by the wayside as the school year hits "crunch time." I have already started making a plan with my teammates on how to include more wonder into our days and instruction. Summer is such a great time to regroup, rethink, and grow! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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