Consider a Place: A Curiosity Kick-Start

Explore! Discover! Share!

This activity is suitable for all ages.

Graphic of fiver bubbles with questions about place.
Use this worksheet to help think about the place you are standing. Outside, in your house, at a park, at a historic place. Graphic design by Mickey Shinn, Virtual Federal Student Intern.

Download a PDF of the worksheet

Here are the prompts from the worksheet to help you think about how a place connects to the bigger picture. They do not need to be done in any particular order, and you may find yourself moving back and forth between them:

  • What is this place?

  • Local and Regional Connections

  • Big Themes (for example, ecological balance, military history)

  • News and Current Events (headlines, like storms, protests, pollution)

  • What Else?

  • National Conversations (such as water quality, the economy)

  • Universal Concepts (ideals like beauty and courage)

As you experience a place, notice what’s around you. What’s the landscape like? What kind of life surrounds you? How does this place make you feel? Here are some more questions to spark your curiosity when you visit a place.

  • What happens or happened here?

  • Who and what lives here?

  • Who and what lived here before?

  • How is this place changing through time?

  • How did it come to be this way?

  • What will be here in the future?

  • How is this place connected to other places?

  • What does this place mean to me and to others?

  • How do we know the answers to any of these questions?

  • What don’t we know and why?

As you think about a place and dig into the questions you’re curious about, consider how you might acknowledge and honor all those who have gone before you in this place. What was their experience here? How (or why) might their experience be similar or different than yours? How (or why) might their experience be similar or different than mine?

Explore more history through place in our Curiosity Kits!

Last updated: August 4, 2021