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Compelling Curriculum

Part of the Character Framework Collection

Schools use compelling curricula that inspire all students to grapple with demanding, meaningful content and produce high quality work; promoting equity and preparing all students for college, career, and community contribution. Teachers create opportunities for all voices to be heard, and honor the backgrounds of students and their families.


- In Labs, my students are fostering their character. They can ask questions and really push each other on their learning. Those character traits of respect and persistence and initiative and collaboration, all that inner passion and drive has really come to fruition through Lab.

- Should we do water?

- Do you think we should try to?

- Yes.

- What do you think that would do if we filled it with water? We would be able to do what?

- We can scoop the water out.

- Scoop it.

- Oh, you think so?

- Yes.

- You keep exploring with dirt. Why don’t I go get you a bucket full of water, and why don’t we test it and see if a beak that can scoop dirt can also scoop water. And Labs has really helped them understand why we do the work that we do.

- With hollow materials we have to learn how strong a bird’s bone is.

- Wow, so that lab where you got to build with those hollow materials really helps us understand how strong a bird’s bones are. I’ve really seen Labs excite my kids. It’s like ignited this inner fire. There’s this like crazy hum that rises up in the room.

- Wait, wait

- Whoa, the sparrow.

- They’re learning through play, they’re learning from each other, nothing feels overwhelming. There’s this sense of joy, Labs are important because they bring joy to the room, joy to the learning and the content.

- I think this expedition works because first of all, the content is extremely compelling for students. Their experience with the interviewees creates an emotional connection to the content.

- Julia Adams is a selfless woman who accomplished a lot in her lifetime. During her senior year she befriended Josephine Boyd, the only African American student in the newly integrated school.

- She went over to Josephine Boyd and asked her to sit with her and her friends at lunch. This was an act of kindness that would change both of their lives forever.

- You know it is really wonderful to find that something small that you did has an impact on the next generation.

- If felt good to do it, her story was important because she helped Josephine Boyd become the first African American to integrate Greensboro high school, and her story needs to be heard.

- [Caitlin] Their work is a part of something much bigger.

- Textbooks are often behind the times, they do not reflect how we are and where we’ve come from and where we’ve come to And this kind of presentation by these young people I think would be just an absolute wonderful experience for everybody to have because we are making some strides in this nation.

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Created By

EL Education

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