Sunday, May 27, 2012

Using Wonder to Engage Children Over the Summer

Ideas for Engaging Children in Wonder Over the Summer
  • Share a Wonder from Wonderopolis at dinner and tell your kids something new you learned.  (Often times as adults we don't spend enough time modeling our own learning to help children engage and learn how to learn.)
  • Read a Wonder as a family and have each member of the family share or write something they learned or found interesting.  Be sure to encourage everyone explain their thinking.  You might want to model your thinking by say something like, "I thought ____________ was interesting because ________________."  Be sure to probe your children about their thinking.  
  • Have each member of the family choose a different Wonder and teach the rest of the family about the Wonder and what they learned.  (My own two children are 13 and 10 and occasionally choose a Wonder and make a PowerPoint sharing their learning.)
  • Pick one of the "Wonder Words" and define it as a family.  Then see how many sentences you can come up with as a family.  Keep track and see if each time you complete this activity, you can beat the number of sentences.
  • After reading a Wonder as a family, leave a comment.  If your children are old enough, have each one leave their own comment.  
  • Each Wonder has a "Try it Out" and "Still wondering?" section.  As a family, browse the suggestions and try one of them out.  Often times these sections involve creating something or conducting an experiment.  What a great way to extend the learning beyond the Wonder.
  • As a family predict what you think the Wonder will be the next day and tell why you think that based on the given clue.
  • Have each member of the family keep a Wonder Journal.  You can use these to predict, keep track of Wonder Words learned, write down new learning and any Wonders you have along the way.
  • Create your own Wonders as a family and come up with a plan on how you can find out the answers during the summer months.  What Wonders do you have about your own community?  What wonders do you have before, during and after a trip to a museum, the fair, a park, the zoo or any kind of family outing?  Be creative and have fun!
  • Create a Wonder Jar.  Have each member of the family write down their wonders.  Each week choose a different Wonder to explore and investigate.
With over 600 Wonders of the Day at Wonderopolis and counting, there is something for everyone in the family.  Visiting the website each day is a great way to read and discuss nonfiction text, while spending quality time learning as a family.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a great thing you've got going here. I can't think of a better way to engage in a conversation than starting out with "I wonder!"