Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wonderopolis and the Common Core

Every now-and-again while walking on the Internet Superhighway, I stumble upon a site that is so great that I just want to give it a flash-mob-shout-out.    Wonderopolis was one of those stops this morning.   While investigating new summer sites for students, I chuckled over a few of these wonders and in surprise I said... "What a great Common Core tool!"  This simple site:
  • models Inquiry phase 1... 'Wonder" 
  • teaches kids to answer questions with fact 
  • answers questions with evidence and authority 
  • embeds vocabulary of the discipline in its that you can introduce that trick to your students--If they understand essential vocabulary to the "topic" then will likely understand the topic.  

If I were still and elementary librarian, I would display this on my Whiteboard and ask the kids to pick a wonder such as Wonder  of the day #984 ( 
  Do Sheep Shrink When It Rains? 


 Here's a quick CCSS aligned library lesson: (pick an EQ...)
 EQ-  How can our non-fiction books help us to answer questions in life? 
 EQ:  How can I answer questions using facts, rather than just what people tell me?
 EQ:  Can you make an evidence-based claim to support an answer? 
 EQ:  How can keywords help you find information? 
  • Display WONDEROPOLIS  on your whiteboard or LCD. 
  • Have the students "pick" a wonder question.
  • Have them work with a team to: 

  1. find resources on the [topic] - identify keywords, search, use index, read for details
  2. find "evidence for the answer" 
  3. make an evidence based claim to support their answer to the "wonder" 
  4. Re-group and compare answers -- play the WONDEROPOLIS  video at the end and see if it matches the "evidence based claim"  your students created.   

Now I've found one good thing my Verizon bill supports, besides my own connection to friends and family!  Thank you Verizon, Thinkfinity!

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