Thursday, January 10, 2013

A "Moving" Moment

A little moment of success today- I was reading The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lansky to my class.  It's the biography of Eratosthenes, a Greek philosopher and geographer with a passion for learning by seeking answers to questions.  The book repeats several times how questioning was his motivation for learning, and in the middle of the reading a student raised his hand and said, "So, Eratosthenes was like, the first Wonderopolis, right?" YES!  I loved it!  It was a beautiful connection to inquiry learning.  After reading the author's note discussing how there were still so many questions about Eratosthenes' life, another student suggested that we submit a wonder about him to Wonderopolis. So we did! Here's hoping they will provide us with even more information about this leader of inquiry learning!


  1. What a great moment! Kudos to you for taking the process farther than just asking a thoughtful question but giving them an avenue to act on their curiosity! :) I hope Wonderopolis addresses your wonder. When they do, it rejuvenates inquiry in the classroom. Yay! :)

  2. I love this moment in your classroom! I am a fellow third grade teacher who is trying to incorporate an inquiry block this year. I would love to hear more about how you structure this time, how often do you incorporate Wonderopolis, etc.? My students and I have never actually written to Wonderopolis. How motivating for them to have the people from Wonderopolis actually come to your school and speak to them!

  3. Glad you enjoyed this little story. :) We start every computer time with the "Wonder of the Week", where kids review the wonders from the past week and vote on a winner based on the content and comments shared. That happens every Monday. We also partner with fifth graders (our wonder buddies) once a week on Wednesday to work on a "wonder project". Each third grader pairs with a fifth grader to decide on a wonder, research it, and present their findings to the classes. It has been a great way to work inquiry into our schedule without it feeling like one more thing to squeeze in because the kids are so motivated by spending time with their buddies! I encourage you to have your kids write to Wonderopolis with their own wonders, or leave comments on current wonders. They often respond to the comments, and that's rewarding for the kids!