Our favorite website for WONDERing and learning, Wonderopolis.org, is turning 11 years old today! Since 2010, Wonderopolis® has provided engaging learning content to millions of learners around the world for free. To celebrate another year of delivering high quality Wonders of the Day®, we’re sharing 11 features that make Wonderopolis a beloved resource for educators and families alike!
- The Wonderopolis library now consists of over 2,800 Wonders of the Day across a variety of topics. Is there something you’ve always wondered? Enter keywords into the search bar or browse by topic. Fair warning: readers have reported time flying by too quickly as reading one Wonder sparks exploration of another...and another!
- WONDERing is more accessible than ever now that Microsoft’s Immersive Reader is available for all Wonders of the Day! Click the Listen button under the Wonder question. To listen to the Wonder read aloud in English, click the teal play button at the bottom of the screen. Or, click the book icon in the top right corner and select from over 100 languages in the Translate drop down.
- Wonderopolis is one of Flipgrid’s Discovery Partners. Flipgrid is a free digital tool that allows teachers to create “grids” in order to facilitate video discussions. It’s used by millions of students, educators, and families in over 180 countries around the world. To date, over 900 Wonders have been added to Flipgrid and are arranged in collections to help in lesson planning.
- With the Wonderopolis Explorer Program, learners can engage in WONDERing during out-of-school time. The program consists of 10 weeks’ worth of learning content with easy-to-follow lesson plans and hands-on activities. Each Explorer Program activity includes step-by-step instructions to support facilitators in guiding learners as they investigate a topic and engage in project-based learning. Each week can be purchased separately or as a bundle that includes swag. Fall break is right around the corner—what better time to try the program for free! Click here to download the free sample.
- With many more students learning virtually, Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom are ubiquitous across schools. Wonders can be posted to both platforms directly from Wonderopolis by accessing their icons located on the left side of screen and under Share this Wonder.
- Did you know the media gallery of each Wonder of the Day includes several images as well as an informative and interesting video sourced from YouTube and Vimeo? These help support comprehension as well as build reader interest.
- Several Wonders have videos produced by Emmy Award Winner Charlie Engelman, writer, producer, and director of two National Geographic television series, Nature Boom Time! and Weird But True. Check out his fun, engaging videos at Wonders with Charlie and his livestream series on YouTube.
- The Wonder of the Day can come right to your inbox. Families can wonder over breakfast or as a way to cap off the evening before bedtime by reading the day’s Wonder by email. The “Still Wondering?” section of the daily email shares a lesson or activity to the extend the learning. Sign up for your daily dose of Wonder here.
- Canva, an online design and publishing tool, has partnered with the team at Wonderopolis to create a set of Wonder of the Day activity templates that students can complete once they've finished exploring a Wonder of the Day. These templates are designed to further students' learning and help teachers, parents, and caregivers assess students' comprehension of a topic. Check out the free templates here!
- Wonderopolis has an abundance of accessible content for learners of all ages and we want to share it with you! Our #WonderWednesday Youtube playlist explores all the features of Wonderopolis.org.
- Want to dive in further? Hear from the Wonderopolis team at the 2021 Families Learning Conference, where we’ll explore the site in depth as well as how to incorporate Wonderopolis in family engagement.
- And one to grow on — Stay tuned as we partner with Virtual World Society and Exponential Destiny to bring immersive experiences to the Wonders of the Day! These experiences will be available within Virtual Reality (VR) headsets as well as on 2D tech such as phones, laptops, and tablets.
Do you have a favorite feature of Wonderopolis? Share it in the comments!
Toyota, one of the nation's most successful corporations, began a partnership with NCFL in 1991. In addition to a commitment of more than $50 million, Toyota has also contributed a wealth of in-kind support — including advertising, planning and management expertise — to form one of the most progressive corporate/nonprofit partnerships in the nation.
Three major programs have been developed through the Toyota partnership based on the family literacy model of parents and children learning together. These models have influenced federal and state legislation, leveraged local dollars to support family literacy and led to successful programs being replicated across the country.Read more about Toyota's commitment to communities
William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust
NCFL received its very first donation in 1989 from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust to promote and implement family literacy programming, first in Kentucky and North Carolina and later nationwide. The Kenan Family Literacy Model in part laid the groundwork for 30 years of subsequent family literacy and family learning programming developed by NCFL.
Kenan has continued to support NCFL’s place-based family literacy programs since our inception. Most recently, it has invested in our organization’s Sharon Darling Innovation Fund, which will launch emerging ideas and programmatic evolutions in the multigenerational learning space.Learn more about the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust
Dollar General Literacy Foundation
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation began partnering with
NCFL in 2006. A signature effort of this partnership is the National Literacy
resource that launched in 2010 and strives to guide potential students and volunteers to literacy services, community education programs, and testing centers in their communities.
The National Literacy Directory contains over 10,000 educational agencies located across the United States and has a dedicated toll-free number to help support those wanting to pursue educational opportunities in their communities.
Dollar General also provides support for development of NCFL’s innovative family learning resources centered on financial literacy and Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time®.Learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation
PNC Grow Up Great
PNC Grow Up Great believes deeply in the power of high-quality early childhood education and provides innovative opportunities that assist families, educators and community organizations to enhance children's learning and development.
PNC Grow Up Great has partnered with NCFL since 1994, most recently in Louisville, Kentucky, to support Say & Play with Words, our pre-Kindergarten vocabulary-building initiative.
NCFL's work is also featured on the PNC Grow Up Great Lesson Center website. The Lesson Center includes over 100 free, high-quality preschool lesson plans and research-based instructional techniques and strategies. All lesson plans contain Home/School Connections printouts, in English and Spanish, to help families extend and reinforce the learning at home.Learn more about PNC Grow Up Great
U.S. Department of Education
Initiated through the U.S. Department of Education in 2018, the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFEC) program provides 12 grantees and 13 states with five-year, $5 million grants to promote and implement systemic evidenced-based family engagement strategies. NCFL was selected to lead SFECs in two states, Arizona and Nebraska, and is a primary partner for two other SFECs in Kentucky and Maryland/Pennsylvania.
The SFECs work to support family engagement through state- and local-level agencies while providing both professional development to school districts and direct services to families related to children’s academic outcomes and overall well-being.Learn more about the U.S. Department of Education
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
NCFL was named a recipient of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s "Voices for Economic Opportunity Grand Challenge," which seeks to elevate diverse voices in order to broaden the conversation about the issues inhibiting economic mobility and generate deeper awareness along with actionable understanding. NCFL will develop and launch a podcast series that will highlight the remarkable stories of low-income, diverse families across the U.S. who have improved their communities through Family Service Learning.Foundation Website