Student-Driven Action: From a Very Small Nudge

A few students made my day today. It was Friday afternoon, and I was in “finish up” mode. We needed to reflect, read, finish several projects we finished…Too much to do and so little time.

And one of my students came to me and wanted free time. I took a breath and started saying how I didn’t think we had time for that, but she cut in and said: “Well, my friends and I started this project where we’re going to make blankets and give them to an animal shelter, and we want to finish our pamphlets.”

I stopped. I looked at her and smiled. Where did this come from? I asked her.

“I’m really into dogs,” she said. “And yesterday we watched that video about kids doing something about their passion, and we got the idea we could do something too.”

I wrote that one down quickly. Really?

We started our official launch into Exhibition. Our Exhibition in grade 5 at YIS is about passion and how passion leads to lifelong learning. Yesterday we did some front-loading by watching a fantastic video about kids who were so driven by their passion to play soccer that they built themselves their own field–on top of docks. She and her friends were inspired by the video she said.

Here’s the video:

We had a discussion afterwards about the difference between passion and things you like. Kids listed off things like passion is something that:

  • Starts small and gets bigger and more important
  • Is something you start and you keep at it and become better and better
  • It’s challenging and you want to take on new challenges
  • It’s something that you persevere at.

The girls in my class then spent time in the library at lunch creating a pamphlet, looking up the shelter and presenting it to our class and others. Completely self-initiated action. Amazing.

I told the girl that I was awed by her initiative. She thanked me after class for giving her time to work more on her pamphlet and for pulling her into the other class to talk about her action.

It’s only the second day of Exhibition. I can’t wait to see where this leads. And, I’ll make sure to not assume “free time” means they’re going to all play computer games. 🙂


Vienna’s pamphlet to help dogs


One thought on “Student-Driven Action: From a Very Small Nudge

  1. Pingback: Genius Hour Part I | Inquire Within

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