Wisdom Can Begin with Wonder

Imagine. Explore. Learn. Grow. Start a lesson with "Have you ever wondered..." and pique your students' interest. Use technology and interesting topics/images to hook and engage your students. Something you oughta know for your classroom is Wonderopolis.

Wonderopolis is one site that can help to address CCSS: Reading Informational Text. Students can use text, videos, and pictures to help answer the guiding questions. Find some wonders that might work with your units of study. Might you find a topic that relates to a unit of study in science? Or find a topic that connects to a story in reading? Wisdom can begin with wonder.

Wonderopolis is a great way to engage students. Each day there is a new wonder...posed as a question. To begin have students predict answers to the wonder question of the day. These questions are just like the questions students often ask, yet we don't always know the answer to. Do you know why batteries are different sizes? Click here to find out.


And...look at all the great resources you will find to engage students for each wonder.  The text and the short video guide students to finding an answer to the wonder question. For each wonder, students will find Wonder Words that students can use for vocabulary work. Students can complete a Try It Out section at home to extend learning. What a great way to foster the home/school connection. The Still Wondering section allows children to explore the wonder through a different context. Wonder What's Next piques students' interest in upcoming wonders.

Here are some ways I have used this website in class.
  • Have students explore the wonders and then answer the question in their reading journal.
  • Project a wonder with a doc camera for students to read. The wonder can be read to younger students as they follow along. Pass out something similar to wonder stems to each student for them to complete and share during the discussion. Then students can work on finding evidence from the text to answer the wonder question after the discussion occurs. Click on the image to grab a few wonder stems.

  • Have students watch the video and write a one sentence summary.
  • Read the text and have students write three new facts they learned. 
Check out this Wonder Mat where students can record their ideas after investigating a WONDER. Click on the image to grab the FREEBIE.


 The possibilities are endless!

Another way to foster wonder is to show unusual photos that might elicit student curiosity. Consider these possible sources for finding unusual pictures: Pinterest, Flickr, and Google Images.  What do you wonder about when you see the image below? Post an image like this and have students generate questions. Use this as an opportunity to teach students how to write rich questions.


Wisdom can begin with wonder. I combined all my activities in a product: Dare to Wonder. Check out the preview to see some of the ways I incorporate these ideas in the classroom.


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