Home Bound? Try This Simple Learning Activity You Can Do with Family or Students

When Cathy Gassenheimer heard her Nashville family members were engaged in a fun learning activity during their social isolation, you can guess what happened next, right? She asked her 15-year old grandson Ren Peters to write a blog – and, of course, she provided guiding questions. 🙂 

– What are you doing?
– Why are you doing it?
– How does it work? Tips for getting started.
– What impact is it having?

 Here’s the result, complete with photos. Cathy encourages you to steal, tweak, adapt, expand, and celebrate this family learning activity, around your dinner table or in your remote teaching with students. Small groups might work best!

Ren Peters: Happy Friday, Kaki!

Question: What are we doing?

Response: Everyday at lunch we are each drawing pieces of paper out of a fishbowl that are questions asked by fellow family members. At dinner we have to have researched and crafted a response to answer that certain question and we share our new learned knowledge with our family.

Question: Why are we doing it?

Response: We are doing this because we see the quarantine and the lack of school as an opportunity to broaden our knowledge.

Question: How does it work? Tips for getting started.

Response: Each family member puts 5 questions into a bowl. Each day we draw questions from the fishbowl and take turns answering them. To get this game started, cut some pieces of paper into small squares that you can write your questions and responses. Put a special mark on yours so you don’t draw your own question.

Question: What impact is it having?

Response: We are learning lots of cool things about people and places that we regularly would never have talked about.

Some of our questions:

Who was George Washington Carver?

Why does Gatorade hydrate better than water?

Who is Thomas Malthus and what were his theories?

What is the origin of paella?

Why isn’t Pluto a planet any longer?

Hope you are doing well. If you have any more questions about our game feel free to ask them.

Love you, Ren

Left to right: Ren, Mark, Jake, and Grayson Peters. Picture-taker: mom Trayte.

John Norton is communications consultant for the Alabama Best Practices Center and founder of MiddleWeb, a website for middle grades educators.