One of my personal heroes, Rachel Carson, wrote a fabulous book called A Sense of Wonder, in which she encourages parents and teachers to cultivate in their children a sense of wonder about the natural world. As I’ve written before, I believe that time outdoors in nature is an essential part of a healthy childhood. But I also believe that simply allowing kids to wonder about the marvels of the world will cultivate a healthy childhood. Far too often, we expect kids to passively digest information about the world through tv programs and computers, without encouraging them to become active and curious about the (non-digital) world around them. One of the teachers at my school, whose fourth- and fifth-grade students have their own blog, recently asked her students one simple question: What do you wonder?
Each student wrote a journal entry responding to this question, and their answers were so refreshing and interesting that I had to share them with others. 

How did the first living thing come to life?

What would the world be like without people?

What do I sound like?

Are there aliens, and if so, do they call their world THE world?

Why won’t Muammar Qadafi leave so there can be peace again?

How long will the earth live?

Why do I like eating so much?

Why do people have a soft spot for things?

What does a cigarette taste like to the ones who are addicted?

What will my job be?

Will we have hovercrafts in the future?

I wnder wy I cant spl?

I wonder how they came up with Legos?

I wonder how the earth was created? 

Why do all people look different?

What is fire? 

 What happens when people die?

Who IS God?

Are dogs ticklish? 

Why is snow white?

I wonder will there be a WWWIII?

I wonder how they make glass.

I wonder who had the idea to make life-saving windshield wipers.

I wonder how the sun was made. 

How long will the earth live?

This is just a small selection of student wonders; you can read the entire list here. I hope this list of wonderings has inspired you as much as it has me. It has motivated me to get outside, explore more, run more, read more, learn more. As Rachel Carson so beautifully puts it,  “Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.”