They say that necessity creates ingenuity. There's truth in that. I was terribly bored when the whole idea of teaching the curriculum through the narrative hit me. As the drone of the “professional development” presenter faded into the background of my thoughts, I started to wish that I had chosen a different session. Suddenly, though, the thought struck me that I often do the same thing to my students. I bore them. If I wanted to learn from this session, then I needed it to be relevant, engaging and connected to my teaching practice. That got me thinking, what if this presenter were presenting me with the same information, but it was presented through “story”? Then I would be interested. There it was; the entire concept for Quest Teaching. What if… I could craft a story that would connect many curriculum concepts throughout the narrative?
Then the teacher in me came out and I started to think about the criteria for the story. This is what I came up with:
1. It would have to be good literature; not filled with contrived dialogue imparting knowledge to my students, but rather a fast paced exciting quest that would hook them into the learning before they knew what was happening.
2. It would have to have all the elements of good literature: well developed characters with which the kids could connect, action woven throughout an intricate plot, interesting vocabulary to increase their love of words, use the variety of literary techniques that I teach them to use, and of course, be centered around a problem that was curriculum related, but kid relevant.
3. I wanted the story to provide jumping off points for lessons in science, social studies and language arts at a minimum, and hopefully link to other subjects, too. Could it provide a hook to learn about mapping while it also led into a lesson about rocks and minerals? (Can you tell I’m a theme teacher at heart?)