* I will notify students and families when I plan to implement Discovery Quest. Sometimes we wait until later in the school year to do this. However, I always encourage students to find topics of interest and learn more about them. This could be ANY topic, not just those listed on this page. If any student wishes to do that and share their knowledge with the class, we would all love that!
Discovery Quest is an oral question-of-the-month or current events activity that allows students to learn public speaking skills and independent research skills while giving them some control over their learning. Students should prepare to participate once a month. Students will select their speaking dates and record them in their planners.
Download Discovery Quest Directions and Current Event Forms from the links at the bottom of this page.
DISCOVERY QUEST SPEECH - SEPTEMBER TOPICS
1. Discover where your name came from (its origin). You can choose your first, middle, last name, or even a nickname--or a combination. Tell us the history of your name, what it means, and why it was chosen for you. Does anyone famous share your name?
2. Think about a special place that you love and tell us why you love being there. You might share something you have that reminds you of that place.
3. September 13th is Positive Thinking Day. Discover how to say to goodbye to negativity and hello to positivity! Discover the effects of a negative attitude and how we can learn to feel inspired when negativity sets in. Discover how our reactions to frustrating situations can actually influence our happiness and the happiness of those around us. Tell us all about the important effects of a positive attitude!
4. National Punctuation Day is September 24th. Discover all about punctuation, especially why it is important. What are some of the most common punctuation errors? Share some funny examples where punctuation was used incorrectly and how to fix the errors.
DISCOVERY QUEST SPEECH - OCTOBER TOPICS
1. Discover a career that interests you that requires science, math, or both. Tell all about the career. Explain what type of schooling and/or training is required, what the major responsibilities include, and the importance of that career in our society.
2. Discover superstitions and/or "old wives" tales. Tell about one and its history (how it started).
3. October 9th is Curious Events Day. Life is full of curious events! For example, what really happens to the socks that go missing on laundry days? Other mysteries include: Who made Stonehenge? Does Bigfoot really exist? How are crop circles formed? Select any curious event that interests you and discover everything you can about it. Become a sleuth yourself, and try to find explanations for the curious event(s) that intrigue you.
4. What bugs or insects interest you? Choose one and learn all about it! Discover where it lives, what it eats, what insect or animal preys upon it, whether it is dangerous to humans, and how its existence is important to us.
DISCOVERY QUEST SPEECH - NOVEMBER TOPICS
1. Discover how to prevent or reduce crime in Antioch. What types of crime are most popular in our town?
2. Discover a famous person from Illinois who may have lived in the past or who is still living. Tell us about him/her, his/her life, and why he/she became famous. Discover how this person's fame has positively impacted society.
3. Discover several different ways memories can be preserved, past or present. What does your family do to preserve special memories? You may bring artifacts to share some of your memories.
4. Discover all about Veterans Day. Find out at least three important things. Some ideas include: Who are veterans? What is the history of Veterans Day? What is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier? How do Americans respect the flag? What can you do to thank a Veteran?
DISCOVERY QUEST SPEECH - DECEMBER TOPICS
1. December is National Stress-Free Holidays Month. Discover all about stress. What causes stress? What are the signs of stress? What are some possible long-term effects of stress on your body and your attitude? What are some things people can do to reduce or eliminate stress in their lives?
2. What holiday traditions does your family have that come from other countries or cultures?
3. Discover what three countries were the top medal winners during the most recent Winter Olympics. In what sports were some of their gold medals earned? Discover what it takes to become an Olympic athlete.
4. Discover a recipe that has been a favorite in your family for years. Describe how to prepare the dish--but don't just read the recipe to us!
DISCOVERY QUEST SPEECH - JANUARY TOPICS
1. Discover a way to make the new year your best ever - in school or at home. Share your resolutions, the reason you chose them, and the steps you will take to achieve them.
2. Discover Mars. You may choose to tell about the Roman god for whom the planet was named or explain what scientists have learned in recent years about the planet Mars. If Mars isn't your thing, then select a different planet or celestial body and discover everything you can about it.
3. Discover the Civil Rights Movement or one of the famous people involved in it, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Rosa Parks; or Rev. Abernathy. Describe the legacy this person has left for society and how his or her contributions to Civil Rights continue to impact our lives today.
4. Discover where the months of the year got their names. Do they have special meanings that fit the seasons?
DISCOVERY QUEST SPEECH - FEBRUARY TOPICS
1. Discover where valentines came from. Why is it a "romantic" holiday? Write a special valentine's poem for a school helper. Share with the class, and then plan to deliver the message!
2. Discover a famous African-American, past or present. Tell about his/her life and contributions.
3. February 26th is Tell a Fairy Tale Day. Discover all about fairy tales. What are the distinguishing elements of a fairy tale? What are some classic fairy tales? Try writing a fairy tale of your own to share with the class, or create puppets to act out a scene from a classic fairy tale.
4. Discover healthy eating. Plan a week's menu with your parent/guardian. Plan for 3 meals per day plus a snack. Do a shopping list. Go shopping with your parent to see how much it costs!
DISCOVERY QUEST SPEECH - MARCH TOPICS
1. What is the history behind St. Patrick's Day? What would it mean if you wore orange instead of green? Tell about Ireland's biggest ongoing problem, past and present.
2. Are you "lucky?" Teach a game or do a trick where the "odds" of winning may not be good. Learn about probability and teach the class a game based on probability.
3. Let's go fly a. . .a. . .Well, let's learn about aerodynamics and how/why planes, kites, and birds fly. You can teach paper airplane making, if you can show the reason it flies well!
4. Spring is in the air! Explain the vernal equinox and why seasons are important.
5. In honor of Women’s History Month, choose two names from the list below and discover why these amazing women were entered into the Women’s Hall of Fame: Jane Addams, Louisa May Alcott, Maya Angelou, Susan B. Anthony, Lucille Ball, Clara Barton, Mary McLeod Bethune, Amelia Earhart, Gertrude Ederle, Helen Hayes, Helen Keller, Maria Goeppert-Mayer, Margaret Mead, Sally Ride, Sojourner Truth. Tell when these women lived, what their major accomplishments were, and how their achievements have impacted the development of our country.
DISCOVERY QUEST SPEECH - APRIL TOPICS
1. Choose your favorite state. Identify at least one geographical characteristic of the state and describe the year-round climate in that state. Share the reasons why that state is your favorite (special attractions?, vacation spot?, etc.)
2. Look at this pattern: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21. . . Can you continue this famous number sequence? It's called the Fibonacci sequence after the Italian mathematician who "discovered" it. Discover Fibonacci and his life OR find examples of this sequence in nature. (Hint: Count flower petals in multi-layer flowers for starters.)
3. April is National Humor Month. Discover the therapeutic value of humor--how do we benefit from laughter and joy? Discover several ways we can add more humor into our lives. Compile a set of resources (games, books, websites, etc.) we could use to increase laughter and joy in our lives. Perhaps you could even try to add humor to your speech!
4. In an age of gadgets, gizmos, and electronics, it is easy to forget that there is still incredible progress being made in technological innovation. April is Inventor's Month. Discover an inventor of a common ordinary object that we take for granted every day (like a stapler, sticky notes, hair brush, band aids, etc.). Tell us about the inventor, the invention, the inventing process, and how the invention has helped society.
DISCOVERY QUEST SPEECH - MAY TOPICS
1. Discover a type of poetry that doesn't rhyme. Show us how to write a haiku, or cinquain, or diamante, or another type of poem. Some styles of rhyming verse are fun too. How about sharing limericks and showing how to write one? Share an original poem written by you in your favorite style.
2. May 5th is Cinco de Mayo. Discover the history behind this holiday, why it is celebrated, and how Mexicans continue to celebrate the holiday each year.
3. May is Photo Month. Discover a little about the history of photography up to present day digital techniques. Digital cameras, instant printing, and powerful software have made photography widely available and accessible to practically everyone. Discover tips on how to use current technology to take the best digital photos using a cell phone camera. Another idea is to find a web-based photo editor and teach us how to enhance a photo using the web-based software.
4. May 5th is Cartoonists Day. It celebrates the anniversary of the publishing of the first ever color cartoon, "The Yellow Kid" in 1895. Discover all about the history and art of cartooning, including how cartoons are a core component of many newspapers, publications, and printed media. Also discuss the impact cartoons have had (and continue to have) on our culture.