I believe that giving children a challenge can also encourage wonder. On Thursday, April 8th (2021) I took students outside for a colour walk (Judson). I knew that a lot of colours would be relatively easy to find. For example, brown could be found easily with different trees, sticks and mud. However, I thought purple would be tricky and told the students they would need to look extra carefully. When we got outside, I wasn’t expecting that they would find this colour, yet they quickly surprised me. Located just behind a large hedge, was a pot with several purple flowers which had just bloomed! Based on this observation, I think that the words “I dare you …” can be a great motivator for a person of any age to look a little more carefully.
When you pose a challenge to students in this format, they will likely be motivated to complete the mission. For example, toy companies often make toys that are part of collection. Part of the fun in buying these items in completing the whole set. I think the same could be true when going outside for a walk. "Let's see if we can find a spider, ant, pill bug and daffodil on our walk today." When the walk is structured in this manner, there is a clear purpose. I dare you to try it and invite you to share what happens once the walk is over!
Judson, G. (2018). A Walking Curriculum: Evoking Wonder and Developing a Sense of Place
(K-12). (KDP/Canadian ISBN Service: Vancouver).