You can’t put wonder in your lesson plan any more than you could plan for a sunny sky. But, while the weather is totally beyond our control, you can put out solar panels to catch the sun when it shines and teachers and parents can, similarly, prepare to catch wonder when it happens.
Or you could bring a monarch chrysalis into your home or classroom. You won’t be able to predict the moment of emergence, so it won’t fit neatly in your lesson plan. So be ready to drop your plans at any time when a child shouts, “It’s happening… look at the chrysalis!” In the video above the children have observed the emergence of the first monarch and are now noticing with amazement changes in the second chrysalis.
Not every moment of classroom wonder is as dramatic as the emergence of a butterfly. But most of these moments are as delicate as butterfly wing. When such moments of wonder emerge, they require protection as they unfold.
We can create habits in our classes so they know instinctively when we have pulled back to allow them to express their fascination. We can give unplanned time for student questions when they arise, can listen for the turn of conversation or the moment on a field trip where a child stops and looks with wide-eyed awe. Parents too can postpone bed time or mowing the lawn when they notice that one of those moments is arriving unexpectedly.
My book, A Gift of Wonder, A True Story About School As It Should Be shows many such unplanned moments in the life of a class in grades one through six. Readers tell me they are transported to memories of their own childhood.
Many classroom memoirs are written with the goal of changing our education system by showing how bad school can be. Instead, A Gift of Wonder shows school as it should be.
Excerpts from reviews: “Told in an easy to read style, this book is actually a page turner.”
“By the end of the book, I was emotionally moved. This turned out to be the best book I’ve read in a long time. It has the emotional impact of a book of fiction, and the educational value of a non-fiction book.”
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To order a signed copy (To be sent to US addresses only), send $25 with your name and address and any signing instructions to: Kim Allsup PO Box 3273, East Falmouth, MA 02536 or order by Pay Pal here:
Signed Book, A Gift of Wonder, A True Story Showing School as it Should Be
This inspirational teaching memoir is for parents and teachers and anyone interested in a good story.
Thank you for joining this conversation among parent and teachers about the value of working with wonder when growing children!