Sep 11, 2013

Web Gem: Wonderopolis

Wonderopolis is a great site for learning interesting facts, finding source material for trivia questions, or just exploring new ideas. Each day there is new Wonder is published, a question that we all have probably wondered at some time, such as:

Go with the daily wonder for a surprise, or search the archives to find a wonder that is closely related to the day's lesson or topic.

Each Wonder includes a short (just over 1 minute) video that is both entertaining and informative. Read the text on screen or listen to a slightly computer sounding voice read to you. Another great section is Wonder Words (vocabulary), on click a definition pops up and locations within the text are highlighted for quick context checks.  Try it Out and Still Wondering sections share lesson plan or teaching resource suitable for classroom use.

Possible uses in your classroom:
  • Compare and contrast the video presentation to the text. What does the video tell us that the text can't and vice versa?
  • How does the music in the video impact your response to the video?
  • "Test Your Knowledge" is a simple tool to self-check comprehension.
  • Discuss "Wonder Categories/Tags" as a way to introduce or practice keyword or summarizing.
  • Fact check the "Did You Know" section, a great opportunity for students to practice their research skills.
  • Explore the activities in "Try It Out" section.
  • Practice dictionary skills by looking up "Wonder Words," or practice using them in a sentence, or find them in the original text.
  • predict the next wonder
  • Craft a class response by posting a response in "Join the Discussion."