Way back in the summer of 2013, I learned about a wonderful source for high-interest nonfiction articles that I could share with my class called Wonderopolis. I have been using it quite regularly with my students for over two years now but have somehow never gotten around to writing a blog post about it. (Unless, of course, you include this post in which I made brief mention of it.)
There are many ways to use Wonderopolis in the classroom. I have been using it this year to support our health standards. I have found articles about the skeletal system, the digestive system, the circulatory system, communicable diseases, and pollution, among many others, that my students have read as a class. Then we take the short quizzes at the end and check our knowledge of key vocabulary terms. I put the articles up on my Promethean Board but many students will load them on their Chromebooks so that they can read along with us.
A comprehension tool I recently started using after seeing it mentioned on Twitter is the 3-2-1 protocol (I think they called it 3-2-1 Wonderopolis). The idea is simple: the students share 3 things they learned, 2 things they found interesting, and 1 thing they still wonder about the topic. We have been doing this as a class and have expanded it to other areas, such as student presentations. I will be using this strategy in coming weeks to have students focus their research questions when we start our next inquiry unit after Winter Break.
I am happy I learned about Wonderopolis and I am even happier that my students love using it! I think we are going to start submitting our own questions to the Wonder Bank. I am also going to have them use the 3-2-1 strategy to pick a topic and share what they learned. I know many teachers do a Wonder Wednesday. Maybe we will start joining in the fun.