When Kara Porter’s 2nd grade class began studying graphs and charts this week, she decided to post a survey of her students’ questions to the internet in hopes of a response. On Tuesday, North Vermillion Elementary School in Cayuga, Ind., put out a call for answers on the school’s Facebook page.
Two days later, the survey has gone viral, with more than 300,000 responses, nearly 2,000 shares on Facebook, and hundreds of comments as of Wednesday afternoon. Students will also have a ready-made geography lesson, as answers have poured in not just from the United States, but from around the globe—Toronto and Tokyo, Argentina, the Philippines, Denmark, Ireland, and England, to name a few.
Each student contributed one question, and as one might expect from 2nd graders, the asks are incredibly charming. Some of them require a simple yes or no (“Do you like Pokémon?” “Are you married?” “Can you write in cursive?”), while others give the respondents two choices (“Does your name start with a vowel or consonant?” “Which state do you like more, Indiana or Illinois?” “What kind of food do you like, pizza or soup?”).
Earlier in the week, Porter left the results tab up in her classroom so students could see the responses as they flooded in. Now it’s so popular, Porter told Education Week Teacher, that she hasn’t been able to access the file herself since Wednesday. The plan was to use maybe 1,000 responses to create pie charts and line graphs. Now the data is going to take a little longer to sort through than expected, and respondents beyond Porter’s classroom are curious to see the results. Porter has already heard from college professors who have offered to help the class analyze the responses.
— Anders Hofseth (@andorand) March 15, 2017
She has also had messages from parents and retired teachers sharing their appreciation, and the class was interviewed by several news outlets, including one that came to the school.
The students “are thrilled,” said Porter, who is in her 13th year of teaching. “When the news cameras showed up, they were asking, ‘Is that for us?’ We love how positive this has all been. It’s a unifying experience for anyone taking part in it, so fun and sweet and innocent. I love that it was labeled wholesome, that the kids will be remembered that way.”
Porter’s classroom has also gotten a lot of love on Twitter thanks to Julia Reinstein, a BuzzFeed reporter who wrote about the survey:
@juliareinstein The answers to the “can you write cursive” question will really mess up the teacher’s “everyone uses it in adulthood” story
— Silver Eagle (@SilverEagleDev) March 15, 2017
@juliareinstein Do you like Pokémon? Favorite Frozen character? Do you like Legos? These kids know how to ask the right questions.
— John Rock (@Rohn_Jock) March 15, 2017
this is the best thing I’ve ever seen . USING NEWER TECHNOLOGY TO GIVE 2ND GRADERS THE OPPORTUNITY TO L E A R N M O R E YES I LOVE IT!!!!!!! https://t.co/xRww8NvEhg
— kate 193 (@kateisnotgr8) March 15, 2017
Want to help blow the minds of some 8 year-olds (esp. if you don’t live in USA)? Take their class project survey: https://t.co/jovDsZBHv1
— Kootiepatra (@Kootiepatra) March 15, 2017
The most popular question? Definitely “Pizza or soup?” said Porter.
Which would you pick?
If you haven’t answered the questions yet, you can try to do so until Friday.
And Porter’s class isn’t the only one that has gone viral. In the fall, we wrote about a student-teacher in Chicago who welcomed his 4th graders with a catchy tune.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.