Choosing a Topic Based on Interest

Saturday, September 24, 2016

At Pike Road, we believe in student-driven learning. This can only be achieved by allowing the children to have a hand in deciding what they will learn about!

Now that they had sort through their list of ideas and decided what would be a good topic and what would not, it was time to decide if they were actually interested in the "yes" topics. I went through the list of topics and let the students show me a thumbs up, thumbs sideways (maybe), or thumbs down to show me their interest on that particular topic. When we were finished, we did our best to narrow down the "maybe" category. Some were moved to the "yes" column and joined in with another topic and others were moved to the "no" column.
My favorite part of this exercise was seeing the children make connections between topics. For example. Some of our topics included: cruise ship, jet ski, raft, and canoe. Raft was in the maybe pile and the others were in the yes pile. The kids decided to join all 4 together to represent "water travel" and keep them in the "yes" column. Wow! They did this several times with things that just made more sense together.

The next morning, it was time to put it to a vote! I put the top 10 categories on a Google voting form and allowed the children to cast their vote on their top 2 categories. The choices were:
1) Military Vehicles
2) Air travel/flight
3) Motorcycles and bicycles
4) Buildings and skyscrapers
5) Hiking trails
6) Maps, GPS, tickets, passports
7) Animals we use to travel (camels, horses, dogs)
8) Animals that travel (migration)
9) water travel
10) Land transportation

And the winner was...


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