What's the Wonder?

Language Arts Activity

Most people are curious about lands they've only heard about or seen in pictures and films, but never visited. This activity takes advantage of students' natural curiosity about other countries to encourage them to learn more about them.



  1. Have students meet in small groups to choose a country they would like to know more about.

  2. Ask each group to make a list of "I wonder questions" about the country. For example, if the subject is Greenland, students might write: I wonder...What is the weather like in Greenland? Or: I wonder...How do people dress in Greenland?

  3. Within each team, have students write their "I wonder questions" on index cards, with their names, and shuffle the cards. Then have each student draw at least one card (it should be a question someone else has posed). Students research the country to find the answer to the question. After they write the answers on the index cards, students can display them on a bulletin board that includes a map of the country. If they wish, students could include pictures or photographs to support their answer.

Students might respond to the queries by writing letters to the students posing the questions. In their answers, they should cite where they located the information. The model you provide might begin like this:

Dear Tiffany,
You asked what kind of climate Greenland has. According to the World Book . . .

Students can write a brief essay about how they feel about the country they researched. Would they like to visit it? Did their attitude toward that country change after they learned more about it? What did they learn that they especially liked or disliked? What else would they like to know?

Use this method of generating and answering questions for other Social Studies inquiries, too.

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