Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Wonderopolis is a program by National centre for Family Literacy. According to the website:

“Learning is happening everywhere, all the time! We have bottled a little bit of that learning in each Wonder of the Day. Experience a daily dose of time with your child to make the most of each and every moment together — learn something new, try out an idea, create a masterpiece, imagine possibilities. It’s easy. It’s fun. But the learning is big!”


So what actually is this about? Everyday they present you with a “Wonder” which comprises of  a short video, some reading and some web links on a random topic. The idea is that every day a learner is exposed to a different idea, a different topic. The short  video sparks an interest, reading will aid in literacy and if your learner is interested in the given topic you may take the learning further.

I like the base idea, discussing a different topic everyday is ideal for children like mine who get bored with one topic quite easily. But the unsatisfactory part of this site is that while the topics presented are focused towards younger learners (“why flamingoes are pink?”), the language of the reading part is quite complex and more focused towards higher grades (“With vibrant pink and orange plumage that seems sunset-inspired, flamingos may very well win the “best dressed” award of the avian world”).

Nevertheless, this site can still be used in a variety of ways. Watch the video together everyday. Discuss if you learned anything new. Take a look at the key words and see if the learners know their meanings. Key words can also be used in everyday spelling activities. Take a look at the web links provided, may be you will discover a good learning activity there. If a topic sparks any interest you can use it as a weekly project or a weekend research project. Or simply watch the video and let the subject go but the information gained would remain in a corner of the young mind.

You can think up of ways to enhance the activity. For example my kids were sort of interested (not the wide eyed interest but a politely interested expression) in “How do streets get their names?” So we quickly looked up various street names in our city using Google Maps and found an entire locality where streets are named after birds, another one where streets are named after jewels etc. It was sort of interesting and one more chance to play with Google Maps.

Please share if you have any ideas on how to use this website in learning. Some videos have a little music in the background but you can still use those videos with the speakers turned off.


  1. Thank you for sharing Wonderopolis – and enjoying the fun of Wonder with us. Since launching last week, we’ve shared ideas and vocabulary words on a variety of everyday, wonderous topics. Our goal is to strike the balance between introducing new words and concepts and presenting information in a form easy to share and talk about. Keep following and sharing your ideas!
    Soon, you will have the option to suggest new Wonders of the Day.


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