Monday, August 16, 2010

A Place for Wonder

A Place for Wonder by Georgia Heard and Jennifer McDonough is delightful and provoking.  This text brings the essence of childhood and learning to the forefront again.  This book has a purpose to help foster life long learners, the ultimate goal of education.  This book will help guide engagement and enthusiasm in your classroom community.  Wondering is observing, questioning, inquiry, and thinking. 

The first chapter is a collection of ideas for setting up a wonder environment.  As I begin to start a new school year I am going to add observation journals to our four classroom pet areas in the room.  I am also considering asking for bird feeders and seed as donations to help foster an observation window for us to wonder about this school year.  One of the things I enjoyed reading in this book was the description of a wonder idea and then Jen's reflection of her work with her students.  The first chapter is a whole reflection of work done with kindergarteners.  I just love when you can find something directly related to my currently teaching position.  The second chapter is a reflection of the same teacher but with first grade students as they share nonfiction writing ideas to help write nonfiction from their heart.  Too many times, I think it's easy for teacher's to assign topics, outline the requirements, and mass produce similar products.  If you have this book, you will find ideas to promote individual thinking, student interest, and student ownership.  Writing nonfiction from the heart helps prevent copying facts from a source.  It allows students to be more comfortable with this genre.  Again there are several examples of ways/mini lessons to help students write nonfiction from the heart and this writing leads the reader into the last section of writing nonfiction research wonder projects.  Children's literature, material lists, and descriptions for each idea is perfect for any teacher to begin wondering in their classroom and guide their students to be more descriptive and observant.  May we all wonder more as we start a new school year.

Here's an interview A Year of Reading did with author Georgia Heard.
I first found out about this book from Creative Literacy.


  1. I read this book last spring. Loved it!! I've carved a nice little space in my classroom called "Our world of wonder!" I'm excited to share with my students the possibilities for the wonder space.