Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Unexpected Learning

One reason that I really love using Wonderopolis.org in my 2nd grade classroom is because of the unpredicted learning that takes place.  The wonder was projected this morning like it is each morning for my students to respond what they think or know about the wonder in their "wonder" journals.  This morning's wonder was, When is a State Not a State?.  While reading through the response, we reviewed what a country, state and city are.  We also learned something new, what a "commonwealth" is.  We then got down to the "Try it out!" portion of the wonder.  I began asking students the questions about our state of Ohio.  I was quite surprised to find that my students really didn't know the answers.  They were pretty sure the state bird is a robin and had no clue who the governor is.  This lead to our unexpected learning today.  I decided to squeeze researching these questions in at the end of the day.  As a class we looked up the answers to the questions on the internet.  Not only did they learn the state bird, tree, flower, governor, etc, but they also learned what the words scarlet and population means (several students thought it had to do with being popular).
Below are the unpredicted things my students learned about our WONDERful state of Ohio:
  • Our state bird is a cardinal.
  • Our state tree is the buckeye tree.
  • Our state flower is the scarlet (red) carnation.
  • Our state's nickname is "The Buckeye State".  It got that name from all of the buckeye trees that grow here.
  • Ohio became a state on March 1, 1803.
  • John R. Kasich is the governor of Ohio. 
  • The capital of Ohio is Columbus.  It is also the largest city.
  • Some famous people from Ohio are Neil Armstrong (astronaut), Thomas Edison (inventor), John Glenn (astronaut), Pete Rose (baseball player) and Drew Carey (actor/Price as Right MC).
I was reminded today that some of the best learning is unexpected and can't be predicted.  I encourage you to try Wonderopolis.org with your classroom or family and see what unexpected learning might take place.  I'd love to hear about any unpredicted learning that has taken place using Wonderopolis.org.

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