Launching Wonderopolis in Language Arts (finally!)

     I’ve been following Maria at Teaching in the 21st. Century  as well as Mary Lee at A Year of Reading in their adventures with Wonderopolis for some time now, marveling at how they’ve used the site in their classrooms and wrestling with how I could do the same in mine.  Our 50 minute language art block is jam packed with stuff to cover – grammar, spelling, reading workshop, poetry – how could I fit another component in??  But I loved the site, particularly the way in addressed many of the Common Core Standards I want my curriculum to incorporate, such as:

Key Ideas and Details

  • 1. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • 2. Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

  • 7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.1
      I thought of posting a link to the site on our class web page, and using blogger as a format to document learning, or perhaps using our wiki page for a similar sort of web based documenting system.  But I’m not sure we’re ready for either one of these projects yet – we need some time to simply explore the possibilities as a class.  Since this is something new, I want to start small rather than hit my kids with a huge project that will take time away from other, equally important, things we are just about to get going with – such as  book clubs, our poetry anthology, our spelling and word study and so on. 

My launch tomorrow will go this way:
1. Call up the site and navigate through/explore it with my kids using the projector.  I see this as our time to ask questions, figure out all the components, and generate some ideas about extension activities we could use Wonderopolis as a springboard for. 
2.  Use a minilesson to set up our reading journals to track our reading in the following way:

     My kids will be responsible for checking out the site all week – Monday through Friday – and tracking their learning for the one “Wonder” that really captured their attention/interest the most.   I like Karen’s  idea of a “wonder jar”which I had I read about some time ago in Literate Lives .  This might be a good way to catalog our learning and make sure that that learning builds continuously.  So, I’m trying to figure out this component of Wonderopolis as well.
     Lots to think about… but, I can’t wait to get started with this new learning adventure!


6 thoughts on “Launching Wonderopolis in Language Arts (finally!)

  1. It is a great site. I'll be interested to see what happens in class that enhances the rest of the literacy. I bet it will do a lot! A teacher at our school did wonder journals a long time ago & the kids loved it. They chose a wonder question and researched it each week. And, I bet the students will have plenty of ideas for you as you start! Best wishes!

  2. We are so excited to read your blog post and hear about the awesome ways you are engaging your students with WONDER! Thank you for making Wonderopolis a new part of your language arts block! πŸ™‚

  3. We started a few weeks ago as well. I, like you, love the idea, but where would it fit in? We are alternating between answering 2nd grade wonders and using Wonderopolis, doing each about once per month. I would love more, but right now it feels like a good balance – keeps the wondering happening, but not taking away from anything else.

  4. Hey thanks for the shout out I am just sorry it took me so long to get here. I know we've talked through my comments. Keep posting I really like learning about Wonderopolis in middle school.

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