While Quadrant One may sound easy to orchestrate it can be a challenge for teachers to understand how to create an experiential activity—one that draws on the own experience of the student and that they truly come to value. So here are some practical suggestions for building student motivation and engagement and connecting content to the lives of students.
Experiential Learning: You want then to be in it, to feel it.
- Briefly violate students’ rights as intro to the legal practice of Due Process.
- Come up with an exciting ten to twelve word sentence and have each of 10 to 12 children be a word. give them the task of creating the sentence.
- Give students rules for their school bus that discriminate by age In terms of who sits where.
- Choose the real names of passengers on the Mayflower and have the students choose a name and keep a diary of their ocean journey.
- Assign students a city, a year, a social class rank and have them plan a day in the life of a person living in that place, at that time, and with their assigned place in society. Rules, transportation, food, etc.
Personal Reflections: You want them to learn to go deeper.
- Literature, teach the great mythologies that span cultures and have them connect story symbols with familiar mythologies. Birds as universal symbols of the spirit in flight. In India, the wild Gander is a symbol of the Self.
- Serpents are symbols of the earth. White footprints leading up often a symbols for heroes journeys.
- Have them write every morning for 10 minutes and then collect insights about themselves weekly.
- Journals, model a reflection of own at opportune times and comment, in a talking to yourself way, “That might make a good journal entry.”
Dilemmas: Setting Up Interesting Problem
- Use Why questions because they often inspire personal answers. Why do you hunch that happened? to the liquid? to the heroine? to the forest? to the ship? to that family?
- Ask a perplexing question yourself (but only if you are really interested in the question and honestly don’t know the answer). Tell the students you will ponder it for a week and invite them to also do so. Compare answers and/or hunches a week later.
- Have an interesting unanswered question each week.
- Find something people accept as true that may not be true. Pose the challenge for verification.
Discrepant Activities: Figure Out What’s Wrong
- Pictures with important parts of things missing.
- Cloze techniques, sentences with key words missing, use great sentences from literature, or key information from history.
- Comprehension work, where you tamper with a section of reading and make the middle of it make not sense. Have the students read it and tell you what’s going on in the passage.
- Math problem model samples with one answer wrong.
Situations with Intrigue: Finding the Mysterious
- Teach the meaning of mystery. Then have them share recounting a mystery in their family lives that was never solved.
- Have them list 3 great mysteries of the world.
- Present them with a mystery that is current and have them hunch possible causes, like, what is that stuff on Mars scientists think is water? or what could the reason be that the autism rate has skyrocketed?
- Have them work on coincidence.
- Find some intriguing inscription on a tombstone, and have the students hunch its possible meaning or the reason behind it.