WAYFINDER TRAIL GUIDE
Stoke students’ sense of curiosity, and get them in the habit of trying on new experiences for the sake of broadening their horizons and stretching themselves.
KEY WAYFINDER TRAIT: Insatiably Inquisitive
ESTIMATED TOTAL TIME: ~80 minutes to intro the Guide and have students design their own (could be split into 2 sessions), plus the opportunity for students to get started planning for out-of-class walks/hikes/expeditions in subsequent 20m chunks of time
MATERIALS NEEDED: Blank pieces of paper for mindmapping
To get students excited about pursuing new experiences that will open their eyes and minds, we designed a booklet modeled after a hiking trail guide. You can think of it sort of like a short bucket list of experiences we think every high schooler should do to broaden their horizons. We want to create students with a strong sense of curiosity about the world, and a thirst for constantly pursuing new knowledge. We believe that having a healthy “diet” of new experiences, explorations, and exposures is critical to developing a sense of purpose. These experiences expose you to to things you might really care about in the world and connect you with the world outside yourself. Our “Responsibility-Seeking” trait definitely builds upon this trait of “Insatiably Inquisitive” -- it is hard to be moved by needs in the world if you don’t spend much time learning new things and being out in the world.
The guide’s preface explains how it is set up, but just like a real trail guide, it includes a variety of different “walks,” “hikes,” or “expeditions.” Each of these activities has been selected because they have a combination of pure exposure and hands-on applied learning experience. We also rate the walks/hikes/expeditions by a 1-5 “difficulty rating” which suggests how much of an undertaking this might be (physically, emotionally, cost, logistics), as well as a 1-10 “majesty rating” which is our best guess at how transformative of an experience it might be for a student. For each one, we also give details on estimated time to complete, guidelines/instructions for the experiential component, additional resources, and how they can get started now (in class).
Our goal is to continually publish new volumes of these Trail Guides as we collect and curate new ideas, since we think there are an infinite number of experiences out there to share with students. We would also like to crowd-source ideas from teachers and students, so we encourage you to submit your trail guide ideas to us, too!
Since this activity is primarily outside of class (with the exception of some of the “Walk” ideas which could maybe be made to fit into a longer class period), we suggest that you use in-class time by doing two things: 1.) going through the trail guides together, and having students create their own trail guide challenges for one another, and 2.) having students begin some of the “How you can get started now” activities to lay the groundwork for completing one of challenges printed in the guide.
Media and Story resources
- There are many links and resources listed on each individual Trail Guide activity in the "Maps" section.