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Promoting Curiosity

Submitted by Jack Byrd, Jr.

This activity illustrates how curiosity can be enhanced by the use of prompts to exercise the mind. These prompts are designed to explore dimensions of an issue which may not be evident upon initial review.

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Curious kitten playing with a flower

Learning Goals

  • Practice using curiosity prompts to expand how we see an issue.

  • Understand the value of reframing narratives of problems into narratives of possibility.


Set Up: Prepare for the Activity

Organize participants into pairs or small groups (3-5 ppl).

Begin by introducing the learning goals of this activity.

Step One: Introduce Curiosity Prompts (10 min)

Developing curiosity requires a mental workout similar to the physical workout that many people follow. The practice of being curious is a daily activity. The basic building blocks to becoming curious are to keep these 4 prompts in mind and use them in thinking about everyday encounters:

  • What if…

  • Think about…

  • Can we imagine…

  • Why is that true?

In small groups, try out these prompts on a familiar topic. This may be a topic relevant to your class or community.

Provide an article or headline and then invite each group to use the first curiosity prompt to explore the topic. Each group should identify a recorder who will capture “What if…” statements.

Encourage the groups not to discuss or critique contributions. Instead, the goal is to generate a broad list of “What if…” possibilities on the topic.

Step Two: Practice Curiosity Prompts (20 min)

Develop similar bulleted lists for the other three curiosity prompts. Again, suspend critical judgment. If time is limited, select only one or two curiosity prompts.

Step Three: Develop Curiosity Questions (20 min)

Once the lists are complete, ask participants to develop curiosity questions that combine similar items from each of the lists. The curiosity question would expand possibilities. It may begin with “Would it be possible to…” or “Wouldn’t it be amazing if…”

Invite the groups to create at least three curiosity questions.

Step Four: Debrief as a Full Group (10 min)

Reconvene as a large group and invite each small group to share one curiosity question. Discuss:

  • What common themes are emerging across our lists or curiosity questions?

  • Which curiosity prompt was most helpful in thinking about the issue in new ways? Why?

  • How important was working with others for this activity? Would you have had equal results if completed alone? How important are others in promoting curiosity?





Creative Collaboration

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average rating is 5 out of 5


November 29, 2022 at 1:47:31 AM

Activity 2.1 provides useful information to develop and use curiosity not just in a discussion space, but also in your everyday life.

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