Wonderopolis

 

My first test for the value of any new resource is how much time I spend looking around at it before I move on to something else.  I must confess that I still have Wonderopolis open as I’m writing this blog post.

As I write this, the site is approaching 700 “Wonders”.  Each of these wonders is designed to engage a young mind and perhaps get them to generate additional questions on the topic.

Wonderopolis comes with some pretty good credentials and a lofty goal for 2012.

In 2010, the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) launched Wonderopolis.org in an effort to give Americans the tools they need to learn and tap into their sense of curiosity.  Since then, thousands of children, families, educators and classrooms around the country have visited Wonderopolis, embracing the wonder in their daily lives.

To further encourage that sense of curiosity in our growing Wonderopolis community, we’re embarking on Wonder Year Adventure 2012—a year-long journey of learning, playing, sharing and growing—and we’d like to invite YOU to come along for the ride!

Wonder Year Adventure 2012 will be lead by a WONDERful team of six creative educators, who, together with their own families and students, will share how they wonder and learn about the world around them, inspiring others to explore and experience the power of discovery, creativity and imagination in their own lives!

Each of the wonders are presented in a similar format.  First you’ll have the opportunity to view a YouTube video and then a discussion of the topic along with sections devoted to “Have You Ever Wondered”, “Did You Know?”, “Try It Out”, “Wonder Words to Know and Use”, “Still Wondering?” and “Wonder What’s Next?”.  In fact, I would suggest that this absolutely models the best way to use YouTube videos in the classroom or at home.

Wonders are arranged numerically or by category which is likely the best way to find a resource.  (A search feature is included but browsing a category gave me the best results).  For example, in the category of hygience, you’ll see something like this.

The writing level is easily readable and the approach to the topics really motivate you to dig deeper and learn.  Teachers and parents are invited to comment on wonders and I found that often the comments serve to extend the concept.

This is a really “wonderful” resource.  If you’re working with Junior or Intermediate students and looking for a very effective way to incorporate blended learning with them, you’ve got to check this out and see if it’s a fit for you.

Follow the site on Twitter at @wonderopolis.

 

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