Do you think those questions might be fun to explore?
Wonderopolis is a way to find the answers to some of those questions and other wonders you might have. The Wonder of the Day from Wonderopolis each day starts with a simple, but engaging, question to peak interest. I try to learn something (big or small) each day, so I think this site will help me accomplish that goal.
Here is some information from the About Wonderopolis page:
Create. Laugh. Imagine. Explore. Learn. Smile. Grow.
Visit Wonderopolis.™ It’s a place where parents seek and nurture a brighter world for their children through the power of discovery, creativity, learning and imagination. Wonderopolis™ is brought to life by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL).
You see your children not only for who they are but for all they can become, yet you may need a little help directing that passion and igniting that wonder. We can help you get there — together. You don’t have to travel far. Wonderopolis is a special place found in a curious question, an everyday adventure and right in your own home. Just let wonderment be your guide.
Our Wonders of the Day will help you find learning moments in everyday life, ones that fit in with dinner preparations or carpool responsibilities or a stolen moment between breakfast and the bus.
The first day I looked at Wonderopolis there was great information about the Wright Brothers and the First Flight. Being a former 4th grade teacher in NC, that was one of my favorite things in North Carolina Social Studies. A couple days later, I saw some neat information on the moon from Wonderopolis. My 4 year old had been telling me lots of things about the moon recently, so I looked to see if there was anything she might like on the site that day. I found information facts, a video, an experiment to try at home, and some vocabulary words. While that information was probably for an older student, it still had fun facts and words my daughter and I could explore together.
I found that if you miss the Wonder of the day one day or if you want to look back at a Wonder from the past, that is possible by clicking on the Wonders tab at the top to visit the archive. There is even a place where you can nominate a Wonder (another tab at the top of the page). Wonderopolis also has a presence on Twitter (@wonderopolis) where they share great little tidbits of information and informative resources.
Even though the focus of this site seems to be parents, I think teachers could use this site in many ways in the classroom. A few ideas that quickly come to my mind include using it for possible journal topics, a site of the day, a story starter, or even a research prompt. There are guiding questions to encourage further exploration. There are “Wonder Words” that could be used to encourage and support the expansion of a child’s vocabulary.
Think about the ways you could search for book on Big Universe to go along with the Wonder of the Day. I could use information from these sites to introduce a topic, to present fiction/nonfiction stories, to make learning fun, or even just to expose children to new information and books.
A few of the books I found:
Recently I was invited to attend the National Council for Family Literacy‘s yearly conference to share ways Wonderopolis, NCFL’s latest contribution to family literacy, could be and is being used with children and in classrooms (also mentioned in another Big Universe Blog post).
As both a parent and an educator, I am excited about the way Wonderopolis encourages lifelong learning on a daily basis.