How to Spark a Passion for Learning Through Imaginative Inquiry

Imagination of a Little Boy (Dragons)

“Play is the highest form of research. ” – Albert Einstein

Einstein was one of the greatest physicists of all time, but the man also knew a thing or two about the power of imagination. His ability to think beyond the ordinary and his belief in intuition and inspiration are what led to many of his amazing scientific discoveries.

Even if you’ve never heard this quote before (let’s face it, Einstein said a lot of great things and it’s hard to keep up with them all), you’ve definitely experienced it. When you were young, chances are you spent a considerable amount of time making up imaginary worlds, playing dress up (you know you did), or carrying out elaborate storylines with your dolls. You could be anyone, at any time, anywhere, doing anything. And while this may have seemed like just fun and games at the time, remarkable learning and development were taking place.

You were engaged in what is known as an imaginative inquiry. It’s a natural way of learning that’s exciting, meaningful and challenging. But it’s not limited to the playground! As a teacher, you can replicate this creative learning technique in the classroom. All you need is a little enthusiasm and a whole lot of imagination—no flashy technology required.

Before you start playing, you first you have to find a context for imaginative inquiry that fits into your curriculum. If that sounds like a whole lot of planning, don’t worry. We may have you covered 😉


How Kites Fit Into Imaginative Inquiry

Imaginative inquiry can be used to bring virtually any subject to life, but history class is where it really shines.

It’s hard to get students engaged in a subject that involves people they can’t see and places they can’t visit. But by reimagining events and characters, students can actually participate in the moments that shaped our world. Obviously, we think that kites are an example of a great mechanism to help facilitate imaginative learning.

Kites have been around since 200 BC, and are a great jumping off point for a variety of historical moments. Plus, they’re fun! Students of all ages and abilities will have a blast while learning about the past.

For inspiration, check out National Kite Month’s Five People Who Flew Kites and Changed History or their timeline of historic kite events. You can even have your students use kites to make up their own momentous discoveries. The options are endless!

And with our affordable, easy to use kite kits, it’s easy to bring intentional playing into your classroom and to challenge your students’ thinking, broaden their understanding and spark a passion for learning. Find out more about our kite kits, or contact us today!

What’s an awesome lesson or project you’ve used to ignite kids’ imaginations?


Update: I found this quote from Lauren Bacall as I was looking for images for this post: “Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.”  Any thoughts?  I’ll have to use that in a future post!



Image courtesy of Juliana Coutinho.

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