Keep Kids Engaged by Presenting Unusual Facts!

Keep Kids Engaged With Unusual Facts

Keep reading to learn about a quick and easy strategy to get and keep your students engaged!

Do you know when the first toothbrushes were made?

My son asked me this question several years ago, and after I Googled a quick answer, I found myself clicking on websites to find out where they were invented, and by whom. These searches led me to other questions and answers I didn’t even know I wanted to know. For instance, modern looking toothbrushes were invented in 1498, and boar bristles were commonly used until 1938.

So, what’s all this have to do with teaching? Well, it’s a strategy I use all the time to spark interest and generate questions. Presenting unusual information makes kids – especially middle schoolers – curious. This curiosity sparks questions that can inspire future learning.

For example, one year shortly before Christmas Break, we were learning about ancient Egypt and my students were losing focus and things were getting a bit stale (no mummy jokes please!), so for my question focus (look out for an upcoming blogpost to learn more about these), I showed them a picture of a pyramid.

Big deal, right? Egypt is full of them, but the picture I showed is of a Moundbuilder one called Monk’s Mound in Collinsville, Illinois! We had a brief discussion about how pyramids aren’t just an “Egypt thing”, why pyramids exist in the first place, and why they had never heard of the Cahokian one. Then, with a new-found curiosity and enthusiasm, we learned about ancient Egyptian pyramids!

By the way, an early form of toothbrush existed as long ago as 3000 BCE throughout the ancient world. Who knew?

Keep Kids Engaged With Unusual Facts