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Looking for a fun way to break up the monotony of the school day?
Wonderopolis is a whimsical, engaging site offering "Wonders of the Day" such as "Why do skunks stink?" "Do insects work out?" to "Who was Rosie the Riveter?"
Although it is primarily geared for elementary grades, students of all ages can learn from it. New questions are posted each day. While the site is mainly text-based, related outside web sites and videos are included. Relevant vocabulary lists help provide a learning base for each topic. The questions prompt curiosity and motivation to dig deeper in the information to learn more.
Wonderopolis' archive includes hundreds of previous questions. A list of categories of the questions becomes a helpful teacher resource for finding curriculum-related materials for classroom lessons.
The large amount of informational text can be used to meet many of the Common Core Standards in Reading. History, geography, cultures, and science resources on this site can add extra dimensions to students' investigative learning activities.
21st Century Learning Skills
This Web 2.0 teaching tool promotes information literacy skills as students read, analyze, and synthesize information. Critical thinking and communication skills are developed as students think, investigate, and ask questions while exploring thought-provoking topics.
In the Classroom
The site's "Did you know?" for each "Wonder" provides high-interest nonfiction content. This teacher resource is perfect for addressing Common Core Standards. The text can help build background knowledge and make connections to other learning.
"Wonders" are great hooks to get students engaged in learning. They can serve as lesson starters and prompts for class discussions and research lessons. Students can pick a "Wonder" to explore and then research the topic more in depth.
Wonderopolis also allows you to search for topics and browse by categories.
Teachers can use the "Wonderize It" tool to customize a lesson for a selected "Wonder."
Common Core State Standards (CCSS). This web site addresses numerous Common Core Standards in the Reading Informational Text strand and the Language strand.
READING INFORMATIONAL TEXT
Key Ideas and Details
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.1 Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.2 Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.3 Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
Craft and Structure
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.5 Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
CCS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.7 Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
LANGUAGE. Vocabulary Acquisition and Use.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.6 Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.
Brief Video Tutorial
The site does not require a log in to be used. The comments feature, however, requires a name and email address to be given. In many of the comments teachers are apparently using their email address and then a student's first name and the class name, such as "Susie from Mrs. Johnson's Class" as the name. Students should be cautioned to never give their full name or any other personal information online.
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