I spent last summer gathering many of my nonfiction books and magazines. I then organized them into themes. After establishing the themes, I pulled in some fiction books that also went with the themes. Finally, I spent time researching Wonders at Wonderopolis to incorporate into the bags. I spent the $500.00 on plastic page protectors for the Wonders and to purchase books to fill in holes. Originally I was going to use much of the money on the bags themselves, but I was fortunate enough to have bags donated.
Another component to the Wonder Literacy Bags is to have children digitally write about what they read, learned, and are still wonder about after reading from the bags. They blog at our class Kidblog site. If they don't have internet access at home, they were given a journal to write their learning and wonders in, and then they blog at school (this has been a bit slow, because I don't have the time to devote to help these students at school).
Students often come in excited to share their learning with the class. When we are having a class discussion, we often have experts about the topic because of something they learned from one of the bags. Friday is our "switch day" and the students are always excited to pick a new bag. I often hear things like, "where's the parrot bag?" or "who has the snake bag, because I want it next?"
I have approximately 35 bags for 27 students. This allows for students who forget to bring their bag back and allows students to choice their own bag each week, rather than one being assigned to them. Some of the bag topics are:
- animals that hop
- baby animals
- farm animals
- saving the earth
- American symbols
- ocean life
- fairy tales
- rain forest