I stumbled across this website awhile back, and knew with it's name, Wonderopolis, it had to be good! I just wasn't sure what a classroom teacher could do with it. Now, I have a few ideas!
Wonderopolis is a family and school friendly website. Each day, a new "Wonder of the Day" is featured. A short, interesting video starts off each day, followed by a few "Have you ever wondered...?" questions. These are perfect for stimulating thinking and opening discussions. After the "Did You Know...?" section, readers are asked to do something in the "Try It Out" section. The teacher in me likes the "Wonder Words to Know and Use" vocabulary section near the end.
What could a teacher do with this website? My first thought is that it could be used in an elementary classroom as part of literacy centers or the Daily Five. It provides authentic, interesting reading material. A writing component could easily be included by asking students to add a comment right on the website! Wonderoplis appears to respond back to the kids' comments. Or, students could record their reflecions in their own "Wonder" journal. Reading and writing with a purpose!
Students in a class could all respond to the same "Wonder of the Day", thus having the chance to read each other' comments. Another option would be to let students search the categories on the side for a wonder that appeals to their interests. Give students time to explore, and have them share with their class what they learned.
What other ways can these Wonders be incorporated in the classroom?