Learning at Home: Worksheets and Activities on Curiosity

Each week, the WorldStrides Education team prepares new lessons and activities around a broad, central theme that aims to give teachers, students, and parents new tools and resources that can be useful in the classroom (the new online classroom, that is) and at home. This week, our focus is on curiosity.

What happens when we ask why, how, or where? What can we achieve when we ask questions or challenge the status quo?

Our textbooks are full of the results of what happens when we keep asking questions. Curiosity led to explorers crossing mighty seas to discover new lands. It led to westward expansion and the settlement of our continent. Advancements in medicine, engineering, and the arts all happen because we continue to push boundaries and ask why. Ultimately, asking questions helps us to better understand perspectives that differ from our own experiences and build empathy.

Curiosity about what existed beyond our atmosphere led to the development of rockets able to deliver satellites in Earth’s orbit, to the space program, to man stepping on the moon, to naming a Mars rover after this very idea. What we recently witnessed, the successful launch of astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station on a private spacecraft, is the most recent example of where our curiosity can lead us.

Curiosity is the desire to know more, and it gives us the ability to expand and strengthen our interests. We can become experts in whatever subject area we want. Our curiosity about everything from how machinery works, to why citizens organize for a cause, to who starred in a movie leads us to embrace the lifelong learning opportunities that surround us. The possibilities are limited only by our imagination.

So, where will your curiosity take you?

Social Studies Worksheets and Activities 

Best for: Middle school/High school
⏳: 60-120 minutes

Great leaders must be capable of exercising excellent judgment that is rooted in a natural curiosity about life. Former presidential advisor David Gergen claims that this capacity is usually developed through reading and experience, particularly experiencing challenges and adversity, and through reflection. Reflection also requires a sophisticated level of self-awareness.

Consider: How have ancient explorers impacted our world and shaped modern life? What can the collection of items tell us about the history of a particular culture?

Science Worksheets and Activities

Best for: Middle school/High school
⏳: 15-60 minutes

Albert Einstein said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” Einstein’s curiosity led him to explore questions that other people didn’t notice and because of that, he became one of the most famous scientists. How do you see the connection between curiosity and science?  What types of things are you interested in learning more about? What are good questions to ask about how or why something works?

Consider: What are you curious about? What innovations have been made to older objects as the technology has improved?

International Worksheets and Activities

Best for: High school
⏳: 60-120 minutes

When you lean into your curiosity, you become more open to new experiences. While international travel is a great way to broaden your perspective, there are many other ways you can learn about different cultures while staying at home. In these activities, students will virtually ‘travel’ by engaging with news media from other countries and learn how curiosity can make us more culturally aware.

Consider: How can we use news outlets and media to help develop a global perspective? Why is it important to learn about social norms from other countries? How does learning about a new culture help us to better understand our own culture? How does your national identity influence the way other cultures are experienced?

Movement Activities

Best for: Middle school/high school
⏳: 15-60 minutes
How can Cheese Rolling make me more active?

Have you ever turned on the television, driven by a field, or saw a video of a team playing a sport that you had never seen before? Were you curious to know what they were doing, the rules, and how to determine who was winning? Some sports are popular throughout the entire world, while others will vary by destination. Learning new sports can increase your interest in getting active. Learn about a few new sports using the links below, then grab a family member and try some out.

Curious about some of those unknown sports?

Social and Emotional Learning/Leadership Activity

Best for: All grades
⏳: 10-20 minutes
Have you stopped wondering?

Have you ever had a question that you didn’t ask? Was it one that you didn’t know the answer to, but were fearful about how just asking the question would reflect on your knowledge or belief system? Curiosity is what prompts toddlers to ask “why, why, why” with reckless abandon. Somehow, at some time, we stopped asking, “why?”. For this week’s social and emotional learning activity, you are challenged to do two simple things:

  1. Learn about something you have always wanted to know and were too fearful to ask. The harder, more elusive the question, the better!
  2. Share what you learned. Chances are, if you didn’t know the answer, someone else doesn’t either and is too afraid to ask.

Art/Music Learning Activity

Best for: Middle school/high school
⏳: 15-30 minutes
How can new music harmonize with your existing playlist?

Ever wonder what other people are listening to? Which style of music do your parents prefer? What genre does your cousin in Spain listen to? Click to explore the Music Map: “The Genealogy and History of Popular Music Genres from Origin to Present (1870-2016).” Double click on the image to see hundreds of additional genres. Pick three and do some additional research, read the history, and find videos and samples. When you are listening to these new genres, consider the following:

  • Where is this music commonly heard? 
  • Which instruments are included? 
  • Does this music relate to anything you are currently listening to, practicing, or performing? 
  • How can learning about new genres of music influence your musical knowledge and preference?

And, if you want to give our Education team some feedback or ideas for future topics, reach out to us at discovery@worldstrides.com.