My kids are now at the age where the questions are getting harder than simply, “what’s that?” The fun part is that when they ask about evolution or the number of stars or the life cycle of a butterfly, we get to explore the answers together. Because trust me, I do not have most of these answers off the top of my head.
So I am so happy to have discovered an amazing (and free!) online resource that helps families learn all kinds of cool things together.
When I first clicked over to the Wonderopolis
site, I just knew it was
going to be something special. The Wonderopolis program, sponsored by the National
Center for Family Literacy and funded by the Verizon Foundation, among
others, has been around more than 20 years. But the website itself is
relatively new, and was created to provide a terrific online
resource for teachers, parents and students.
And that it is, indeed.
Click over each day for a new “Wonder of the Day” topic, answering all kinds of questions a kid might ask, like How do dinosaurs get their names? Who invented LEGOs? Or Why do we get goosebumps?
Each page features a helpful video, links to resources, words to
include in the discussion topic, and even activity ideas to help bring
the learning experience to life. All of which is better than guessing
the answers–or inadvertently giving the wrong ones, like I often do. Ahem.
You can sort through more than 600 of the topics chronologically, or click on one of 80 categories, from animals and
architecture through weather and writing. It’s not the most sophisticated nav in the world, but it does the trick.
What I really like about Wonderopolis, besides the sheer variety of topics, is that the questions aren’t all about finding answers. Sometimes it’s simply about encouraging critical thinking and starting conversations. In fact, check out How old is graffiti? and you may find yourself in a Socratic dialog with an older child about whether it’s crime or art. -Liz
Find answers about all kinds of things that kids want to know online at Wonderopolis.org