What's Your Spark?Inquiry Project
Follow Your Passions
Students have inquiring minds and many different interests. This project is designed for students to be able to fully explore something of interest to them while still utilizing key academic skills like reading, writing, research, and presentation skills. We will also aim to make connections to math, science, and social studies. Students will choose a project topic that interests them but which they know little about. Students will then research their topic in an effort to become an expert on their topic.
We Are Providing an Environment for Our Students to Grow & Excel
“SPARKS” is a metaphor that describes a key feature of young people’s motivation and thriving. Your SPARK refers to the intrinsic interests, talents, and passions that young people have that motivate them to learn, grow, and contribute.
Here is the research?
Young people who know and nurture their SPARK are more fully engaged in school and have other positive life outcomes.
Here is an example from a 2010 national study by Search Institute of 1,860 15 year olds.
Teaching the Professionals of Tomorrow
Week 1 Overview
A Message From
Our Learning Commons Teacher
I have been helping students explore their passions in my classroom for a few years now and love the results. Students are motivated to learn because they get to explore a topic they are interested while applying key academic skills. They get to be creative and really learn 🙂
How Parents Can Help
01. Dig Deeper
Is your child obsessed with video games? Then explore coding, 3D game design, or animation. Every activity has room for growth and can lead to a life-long passion.
02. Explore the Peripheral
Kids often identify the most glamorous roles for their future occupation and lose interest when they don’t think it can become a reality. Show them ways to adapt their passion into a new reality.
- Just because they won’t be the next Michael Jordan doesn’t mean they can’t be part of the game. A child with a passion for sports can be a coach, journalist, sportscaster, or athletic clothing designer.
- There’s only one Beyonce, but having a great singing voice isn’t the only way to enjoy music. The industry needs choreographers, music producers, and promoters.
03. Emphasize the Possibility of NOW
Many children believe they need to wait until they’re older to go after their dreams. But it’s never too early to start planning for a brighter future. If your child has fun doing what they do, then they’ll be more productive. They’ll spend more time thinking, learning, and doing their passion. They will learn to focus their goals around those things that bring them enjoyment.
Gaining new skills and improving their performance are great motivators, which can be accomplished through deliberate practice. This is where each activity is broken down into the smallest possible segments so each step can be mastered.
For example, if your child wanted to get better at recording YouTube videos they could start by only recording their introduction. They could focus on the speed of their introduction, voice inflection, and their facial expressions in front of the camera. They might set a goal of recording five a day for a week until they feel comfortable with their introductions. Your child may not think this is very fun, but deliberate practice will take their performance from good to great.
04. Introduce Sprints
What’s their ultimate end-game? Starting a social service organization? Publishing a book? Going to college on a tennis scholarship? They have a better chance of getting where they want to go by incorporating short-term goals into their long-term plans.
These “sprints” will give them immediate feedback and get them where they’re going faster. The “marathon” is the long-term goal that takes grit and endurance. Here’s how your child can use sprints to reach their goals:
Volunteer at a pet shelter.
Post stories on an online sharing site like Wattpad.
Practice the basic skills of the game 3x week.
Start a non-profit to benefit dogs.
Publish a mystery novel.
Get into university on a football scholarship.
05. Find Their Tribe
Help your child seek out relationships with people who share their same interests. This will give them the opportunity to network with people who enjoy their activities, gain encouragement, and develop a deeper passion for what they are doing. Not only will this expand your child’s social circle, but it will open their eyes to new people with new ideas.
The End Game
Just remember, the end game is to raise a happy and healthy child. While academics are one piece of the puzzle; their personal development relies on a combination of several pieces. Let’s help them find those opportunities where they can succeed, grow, and develop a life-long passion for trying new things.
The Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools 2.10 Inclusion Policy is based on the principles
of respect, acceptance, safety and equity. It “affirms a learning environment that reflects
diversity, inclusivity and equity is essential in supporting the highest level of individual
growth and achievement”.