Often I have conversations about Wonderopolis and the #1 question is how do you integrate Wonderopolis in your class? I always reply with the same 3 answers. First know the specific indicators that you are instructing. Second use the Wonderopolis search button and find a connecting wonder. Finally after reading the wonder extend it with an amazing picture book. For my 10 for 10 I am going to connect 10 wonders to 10 picture books.
Wonder #22 How Can Spare Change Make a Difference? I used this wonder as a mentor text this past school year for our persuasive writing and our theme unit “empathy.” We connected to how fifth graders and can make a difference similar to Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand. Two students had lemonade stands and brought in money to donate to our sister school.
Wonder #23 How Long is the Longest Bridge? Last year on our first day, I had the students build bridges with marshmallows and toothpicks to support a book. This was exciting on so many levels here is the blog entry. In the afternoon, I read The Man Who Walked Between Two Towers which was an amazing connection and also great conversation about the importance of community on 9-11.
Wonder #138 What Was the Underground Railroad? I used this wonder as we discussed the last effects of slavery. It was interesting to listen to their background knowledge, but they needed more information so I read Henry’s Freedom Box. This is a touching and inspirational story about a young man who misses his family so much he decided to ship himself to the North.
Wonder #106 What Does it Mean to Stand up for Something? This was one of the most popular wonders in our classroom because it allowed the students to stop and think about their own lives. I also read If a Bus Could Talk and we spent several days discussing point of view, empathy, the impact of change and one of the most important lessons that value of the spoken word.
Wonder #567 What’s So Great about Green? I used this wonder in science for our recycling unit and it’s was a huge hook for the class. We read Energy Island to connect which was an informational book about how a community pulled together and used every resource to save it.
Wonder #11 What Causes a Shooting Star? I had the student predict prior to this wonder to begin their thinking about space. They knew many facts and when I asked them about craters they were not as familiar with them. Perfect for reading Meteor! and gaining new information and the chance to share that I got to hold a piece of the meteor when Patricia Polacco came to our school was extremely special for me.
Wonder #45 What is a Totem Pole? This was one wonder that my class had very little background knowledge and when they knew was not authentic to the Native Americans. I needed to build their background knowledge so I read When the Shadbush Blooms. This is one of my favorite picture books because the pictures tell the story. On the left side is story from the point of view from the Native Americans and on the right side is the same land today. I highly recommend this book for visual literacy as well as comparing and contrasting.
Wonder #428 Who Was St. Nick? is perfect to discuss around the holidays as we discuss all of the different celebrations and cultural traditions. I typically do this wonder on Friday to celebrate poetry and then share Snow Sounds which is subtitled an Onomatopoetic Story. It is full of beautiful language and the illustrations are amazing with simple monochromatic colors except for the big yellow light on the snow trucks.
Wonder #611 You Can’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover is a wonder I will be using this school year as we begin to discuss our lives as readers. I will pair with my one of my first week read aloud: Miss. Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind. This is a perfect first book because the moral is that the teacher will not give up on finding their students a just right book even if it takes forever.
Wonder #338 Have You Ever Had a Frog in Your Throat? First of all this video is perfect just show it to your class and have a conversation about it. It is a perfect introduction to idioms and other figurative language, so once again I use these wonders on Poetry Friday. I share Take Me Out of the Bathtub in the beginning of the year to energize poetry and allow students a totally different aspect-singing. Cool 5th graders still like to sing so it’s great fun!!