Cool hooks and phenomena to drive explorations!

Fishing Hook

Are you familiar with GSTA’s Georgia Standards of Excellence Phenomena Bank? A phenomenon is an interesting “hook” for a topic that students can use to drive exploration. For example, The Blue People of Troublesome Creek introduces a (real life!) family in rural Kentucky who were blue. Students can work from this unusual example to studying genetics, with the goal of explaining what was going on with the blue families. It’s a great source for ideas for new ways to drive inquiry. If you are from Georgia, you can search it directly for the Georgia Standards of Excellence you want to address. From outside of Georgia, you can still use it by topic to find cool phenomena.

(Phenomenon is a current buzzword in science education, but it also captures something valuable in science teaching that I never had a word for before. It describes a “interesting something” that you can use to drive students to explore a topic and formulate an explanation. If you aren’t familiar with this approach, you can also look at these materials that explain further. It’s a great tool for moving toward the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).)