First graders possess an innate sense of curiosity and wonder. They are eager to explore the world around them and constantly seek answers to their questions. This natural curiosity is a valuable asset that schools can cultivate by teaching this evidence-based SEL lesson.
To kick things off, the teacher draws a huge question mark on the board and explains that this punctuation mark is written after a group of words that ask a question. Asking a question is a sign of curiosity, a positive action for a healthy mind. This simple visual cue sets the tone for the discussion and primes the class for the importance of being curious.
The teacher then points to the "Curiosity Thought Cloud" visual aid and writes the word “Curious” and its definition on the board. First graders recite these several times. Following this, the teacher explains that curiosity means not having to wait to hear from someone else first to discover new things. It means initiating research by asking questions.
"Curiosity is a catalyst for achieving great things. By harnessing the innate curiosity of first graders through this lesson, schools help them become healthy, inquisitive individuals ready to take on new challenges and explore uncharted territory."
To illustrate the concept of curiosity, the class listens to a story about two mice, Maurice and Marrott. They are happily living in Davey Doddle’s large house, where there are no cats, no traps, and no scary humans. Although they have everything they need, they feel that something is missing. Life is too easy for them, and they are getting bored. One day, Maurice suggests they learn something new, like how to read.
This story sparks curiosity among first graders. They start to wonder: How will Maurice and Marrott learn to read? The teacher explains that curious people do more than wonder; they ask questions and try to get answers. Moreover, while curiosity can be healthy and beneficial, there are times when people are curious about things that do not concern them, and this is not a good use of curiosity.
First graders then think of actions Maurice can take to learn to read. They can come up with ideas such as learning the alphabet, sounds, and how letters go together to make words. Then, they are reminded that when Maurice and Marrott do positive actions to learn to read, they will feel good about themselves. This can help them understand that being curious and learning new things is not only fun but also rewarding.
Curiosity is a catalyst for achieving great things. By harnessing the innate curiosity of first graders through this lesson, schools help them become healthy, inquisitive individuals ready to take on new challenges and explore uncharted territory.