Finding Engaging Phenomena

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Sources For Engaging Phenomena

Generating ideas for phenomena – whether your anchors or your investigative – can be so hard!  It can be hard to find an anchoring phenomenon large enough to encompass your entire unit, and equally hard to find an investigative phenomenon small enough to lead to a specific understanding. So much of your ability to identify phenomena just comes with practice — you’ll get better with it the more you use it. That said, I’ve compiled a few ideas to get you started with phenomena.

Discrepant Events: Discrepant Events are events that defy our expectations.  

Problems: Presenting students with a real-world problem is a great way to engage students.  

Current Event: Similar to problems, current events can spark engagement and curiosity.  

Personal Experiences: Drawing out personal experiences is another way to engage your students and present a phenomenon that they can immediately connect to.  Personal experiences can be interests, opinions, or events or situations in students’ lives. 

Scenario: Scenarios can be similar to current events or problems, but they are smaller in scope.  Scenarios can represent personal experiences that students can connect with and then can use to connect to the content.