Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mining Away for Trivia

I use trivia all the time to help students connect to the lesson at hand.  I use articles, books, stories, pictures, maps….all sorts of materials to introduce a subject, to use as a bridge to help students connect the known to the unknown, and sometimes I just use trivia for the entertainment value.

I’m on a constant search for trivia….

Are you familiar with Mental_Floss magazine?

Their website states:  Mental_Floss magazine is an intelligent read, but not too intelligent.   We’re the sort of intelligent that you hang out with for a while, enjoy our company, laugh a little, smile a lot and then we part ways.   Great times.  And you only realize how much you learned from us after a little while.  Like a couple days later when you’re impressing your friends with all these intriguing facts and things you picked up from us, and they ask you how you know so much, and you think back on that great afternoon you spent with us and you smile.   And then you lie and say you read a lot.

Mental_Floss is a perfect source when mining for trivia…..

Take these articles for example:

Nineteen Fun Facts About Children's Books…..Find out interesting facts such as which children’s author was on the run from the Nazis, which author was a window dresser at FAO Schwarz….and many other facts.

Everything You Would Want to Know About the History of Little Golden Books….The first titles were released in October, 1942.  After only five months 1.5 million books had been sold.   I see a fantastic motivation activity to use with students regarding their favorite Little Golden titles….

22 Fictional Characters Whose Names You Don't Know…..When teaching a mini-lesson regarding character use the information found in this article to your advantage.   Students will be interested in the real or full names of characters such as Captain Crunch, Peppermint Patty, Barbie and many others.

Head on over to the Mental_Floss website and begin collection information you can use in the classroom.