LEARNING TOOL

LEARNING TOOL

Take a Wonder Walk

Take a Wonder Walk

Encourage learners to take a wonder walk to explore the world around them.

Grades

4 - 12+

Subjects

Storytelling, Biology, Experiential Learning, Photography

















NGS Resource Carousel Loading Logo
Loading ...
Made Possible By
The Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Explore more WonderLab learning resources

Overview
The goal of this activity is to make space for learners to explore the world around them by giving them time to walk, encouragement to talk, and inspiration to wonder. Explorers build knowledge by looking for connections between humans and their environment and wondering about why these connections matter for the world they live in.

Guiding Question
What do I notice and wonder about the world I walk in?

When to Use This Activity
Complete this activity any time.

  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Audience: all ages
  • Ease of Use: simple

Learning Objectives
Learners will explore and experiment as they play, explore, hypothesize, test out, and reflect on their ideas.

Teaching Approach
Learner-centered instruction

Teaching Method
Explore and experiment
- provide time and space for learners to play, explore, hypothesize, test out, and reflect on their ideas.

Skills Summary

  • curiosity
  • wonder
  • build knowledge

What You’ll Need

  • Materials you provide: I Wonder… “Should We?”... I Investigate (PDF)
  • Required technology: N/A
  • Physical space: any learning environment
  • Grouping: pairs or groups of 4

This activity provides a way for learners to explore the world around them. This can be done in any space that might inspire wonder.

Directions

  1. Before learners go on the walk, have them predict what they might see and why. It may be helpful to suggest a focus for the wonder walk. For example, have students focus on relationships, like how different living things interact with each other. Or suggest a focus on the relationship between land and water. Narrowing the focus will help commonalities and trends surface more easily across groups as they do their wonder walks.

  2. Distribute paper and a pen or pencil to learners and have them walk in pairs or groups. As they walk, encourage them to point out things that are interesting to them that they want others to see. Have them talk about what they see and why.

  3. As learners are observing, have them ask questions to each other: What are you noticing? Why do you think it is like that? Will it be there tomorrow? Will it look the same in a month? Will we see this in another location? How are other things related to what you notice? What connections are there between what you notice and humans?

  4. Have learners document their questions or wonderings as they walk together.

  5. When groups return from their walks, have them mix into new groups to share what they noticed and wondered about.

  6. Reflect on what commonalities and trends are shared. Are there certain things many groups noticed most? Were there common wonderings across groups?

Modifications, Variations, and Extensions

  1. A wonder walk is also an activity you could have learners do multiple times a year. If they do the same walk, have them document their noticings through pictures or drawings so they can compare their observations.

  2. This is a great activity for families to do together. Invite families to do walks in their neighborhoods together and compare their noticings to what learners noticed when they walked around their school.

  3. As a group or class, select one or two wonders to explore more. Use the I Wonder… “Should We?”... I Investigate learning tool to scaffold this work.

Citation

Conijn, J., Rietdijk, W., Broekhof, E., Andre, L., & Schinkel, A. (2021). A theoretical framework and questionnaire for wonder-full education. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 54(3), 423-444.
Learning in Places Collaborative (2021). [Family Wondering Walk].

Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Editor
Elizabeth Wolzak, Director, Learning Innovation, Edu Lab, National Geographic
Writer
Heather J. Johnson, Associate Professor of Practice of Science Education, Vanderbilt University
Reviewer
Stephanie Hamilton, Education Consultant, Global Inclusive Learning Design Reviewer
Copyeditor
Margot Willis, National Geographic Society
Producer
Bayan Atari, National Geographic Society
Graphic Design
Patrick Cavanagh, National Geographic Society
Rights Clearance
Jean Cantu, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

January 22, 2024

For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please contact your teacher. They will best know the preferred format. When you reach out to them, you will need the page title, URL, and the date you accessed the resource.

Media

If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the corner of the media viewer. If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media.

Text

Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service.

Interactives

Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. You cannot download interactives.

Related Resources