Friday, November 9, 2018

Students Pursuing Their Passions

The message in this book, follow your passions no matter what other people may say, provides a great starting place for a discussion about student's passions.

Rocks in His Head is the true story about author Carol Otis Hurst's father. With great affection and an appealing nostalgia, Hurst recounts the story of her father, an avid rock collector from the time he was a boy.

When people commented that "he had rocks in his pockets and rocks in his head," he would answer with an agreeable "Maybe I have," then reach into his pocket and eagerly add, "Take a look at this one."

As a young man, he opens a filling station, where he displays his labeled rocks and minerals and learns how to repair the then-new Model T. After the Depression shuts down his business, he moves his cherished collection into the attic of his home, finding odd jobs wherever he can.

The story's conclusion will prove as satisfying to readers as it was to Hurst's father: the director of the local museum offers him a dream job the position of curator of mineralogy. You can show a video of the story read aloud here. 

Follow-up this story with the question, "What is in your head?" Have students make a  mind-map of their head, placing a picture of themselves in the center and mapping things that they think and wonder aobut. Use an online mapping tool like Coggle or an app like Popplet. Follow up  with Genius Hour or Passion Projects. In our Teachers Pay Teachers store, we offer Exploration Projects:  Genius Hour Made Easy, a way for you to get started on genius hour in a more structured wasy.

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