Sense of Wonder, Part 2

Leading question
Media and other materials needed
Personal ideas or experiences to share
Supplementary titles/activities

Leading question: What unnoticed details and wonders of life surround you?

Objectives: This is Part II of the “Sense of Wonder,” because now you move to the home and use the same idea of appreciating the wonders that surround you from Part I, but now you are in your daily setting. Even your seemingly mundane surroundings should spark your sense of wonder. This takes keener observations.

Duration: Afternoon or evening

Location: Home

Media and other materials needed:

The Treasure (Uri Shulevitz)

Toccata for Toy Trains (1959)

• Toys—any kind will do, but trains or cars would be great

• Sketching pads

• Pencils or paints

• If you are feeling ambitious, Tati’s Jour de Fete (1949), M. Hulot’s Holiday (1953), or Mon Oncle (1958)


1. Read The Treasure by Uri Shulevitz. This is a story about traveling to find treasures and ending up finding treasure in your own home.

2. Watch Toccata for Toy Trains and have toys out during the film.

3. Now have everyone pick something they see everyday and draw it. Try to observe the interesting shapes and lines that have escaped your notice previously. Wonder at the details that are always around you.

4. Depending on your kids, their homework, or other time constraints, watch a Tati film after Toccata for Toy Trains and sketching—if not in the same evening, maybe later in the week.

Personal ideas or experiences to share:

• My sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Fossum, who told us every day to be more observant and asked us what new things we saw on our usual route home from school each day.

• Oranges: how we just eat them quickly, but try really observing them; try drawing a cross-section of a citrus fruit! Wow!

• When I had to report on an apple tree in my yard every day for a biology class. I watched the leaves turn and fall, then the buds come out in bloom and new leaves appear; the wonder of something right outside my bedroom window.

Supplementary titles/activities:

Nanook of the North (1922)

• William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience

• How much do we really observe? Everyone close their eyes and have someone ask questions about a room in the house. How much do we really know about what we see every day?