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How to Get Kids Interested Using Quirky Facts

By Lily Iatridis  February 14, 2014

How do you get your kids interested in a subject?

One thing that works for me is going for what I call the Eew factor -- finding a quirky or odd fact that evokes a big "EEWW!" "ICK!" "GROSS!" or "WOW!" from your kids. When you get that kind of reaction, it means you've got them listening and getting interested.

For example, you might show a video of adventurer Bear Grylls from Discovery's "Man vs. Wild" squeezing animal poo for a few drops of drinkable water. Major EEWW! Then you could do a research activity on the most important skills for survival in the wild.

This could be followed with a writing assignment that practices those all-important writing skills too.

All you need to do is go to your favorite browser, type in keywords like "quirky," "weird" or "interesting facts" and your subject and look around for a few minutes. Find a quirky fact that'll interest your kids, and make a prediction about that fact's possible implications. Then, ask your kids if your prediction is right or wrong.

Their answers would require crafting persuasive arguments!

On one recent internet search about quirky science, we discovered the tardigrade or water bear, and it dominated our children's conversation for days. Tardigrades are microscopic animals that can withstand the vacuum of space, live without food or water for years, and still survive and reproduce. After reading all they can do, we got a little spooked because they sounded like aliens from horror movies that try to take over the planet. Could these tough little earthly animals become a threat to humans someday? Yes or no? Why or why not?

What a great topic for a persuasive essay!

A persuasive essay has to take one position on a topic and argue for that one point of view. Kids need to learn persuasive writing for high school, college entrance exams, and beyond. Why not give them the opportunity to learn persuasive writing using a topic that's both interesting and fun?

Better yet, let us help you with their persuasive writing training. Our new short course, the Essay Rock Star Persuasive Essay Short Course teaches kids multi- paragraph persuasive writing composition. Click on this highlighted link to learn more about the short course on sale now for only $37.

Below is a video describing the activity and the short course.  You'll have to excuse my quirky facial expression in the thumbnail image.


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