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Ideas for Using AASL Best Websites: Wonderopolis September 11, 2013

Posted by Heather Moorefield-Lang in Best Websites for Teaching and Learning.

AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Committee is back with new blog posts for 2013-14. This year we will be featuring new sites and how they can be used in your libraries and classrooms with students and educators. We are excited to share new ideas and hope you will enjoy exploring. Our first site for this year is Wonderopolis.

Have you ever wondered about…well just about anything? Do you find yourself thinking why do people believe that picking up a penny on the sidewalk will bring them luck (#1019), why do we blow out birthday candles (#366), or why do zebras have stripes (#852)? Well, look no further than Wonderopolis, an informational yet whimsical Website which sparks curiosity and motivates students to delve further into topics that interest them.

With each new Wonder of the Day, students are able to explore topics through pictures, informational text with a listen/play button and related videos. Every Wonder of the Day includes: introductory questions to introduce content and spark discussion and further exploration, a Wonder Gallery to post pictures or videos, Wonder Words, a vocabulary list with words grouped by level with definitions and a word match challenge, Try it Out, activities used to extend learning at home, Still Wondering, a link to lessons for more in depth study, Test your Knowledge, a 3 question quiz, Wonder Categories and Tags and Wonder What’s Next, the clue for tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day.

Newly redesigned in May, 2013, Wonderopolis content is aligned to Blooms Digital Taxonomy, the STEM Educational Quality Framework and the Common Core State Standards. Beside the daily Wonder of the Day, Wonders can be searched from more than 90 Wonder Categories by subject matter and grade level. Users can also suggest Wonders, as well as vote for their favorite Wonder. Teachers and parents can visit the Educator Sandbox to find additional resources and link up with others in the “Wonderopolis Community.”

The National Center for Family Literacy has created Wonderopolis “as a place where parents nurture a brighter world for their children through discovery, creativity, learning and imagination.” The Website is supported by a grant from Verizon Foundation and is part of Thinkfinity, an educational platform where educators can access free researched-based educational resources.

On the day The AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Committee 2013 announced its list of the Best 25 Websites, Wonderopolis published its 1000th Wonder, “When Is Something Worth Celebrating?”  Emily Kirkpatrick, Vice President of the National Center for Family Literacy, certainly had something to celebrate. Wonderopolis(r) she said, “supports reading and wondering as a way to help students think critically and to ask new questions. From introducing informational text to unlocking imaginations through the practice of ‘I Wonder…’ we are honored to be a favorite among librarians and school children alike.”

Susan Hess

Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Committee 2014

Committee Member


1. Emily Kirkpatrick - September 11, 2013

So honored by this award from the fine AASL committee!

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