Why do some high school mathematics lessons captivate high school students and others not? This study explores this question by comparing how the content unfolds in the lessons that students rated highest with respect to their aesthetic affordances (e.g., using terms like “intriguing”, “surprising”) with those the same students rated lowest with respect to their aesthetic affordances (e.g., “just ok”, “dull”). Using a framework that interprets the unfolding content across a lesson as a mathematical story, we identified characteristics of lessons that provoked curiosity or enabled surprise. This talk will explain the methodological approach to studying this question, as well as share the lesson characteristics that related strongly to student experience. These findings point to the characteristics of future lesson designs that could enable more students to experience curiosity and wonder in secondary mathematics classrooms. Also on Zoom: https://msu.zoom.us/j/98171049554 Passcode: GOGREEN