Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wonder Hour

We are doing something this year called a Wonder Hour.

What is a Wonder Hour? It is an opportunity, once a week for about 45 minutes, to work on a project of our own choosing.

Yes! A chance to learn about something that we have always wanted to learn about.

We have spent the first few sessions this year brainstorming things that we are curious about, that we are wondering about, and that we have always wanted to know. It wasn't always easy, because sometimes we couldn't think of anything. Other times, we weren't sure how to put it in words.

Any time someone wondered something in class, we wrote it on our Wonder Wall. Our Wonder Wall continues to grow. At the beginning of the year we had just a few wonders up. Now it looks like this:

Now this week we are starting to choose our first wonders to start to learn about. We are going to research this wonder and create a project to share with the world. We had to to take our Wonder and write it in the form of a question to research

That wasn't always easy either. Some of our questions, while great, were not the type of questions that are the best for research.

For example, When was the Empire State Building built? is a great question, but it is not a good one for research, because we can answer it very quickly.

However, What is the story behind the Empire State building? is a great question to research, because it will take some time and planning to find the answer, and there are lots of ways to make a final project about that question when we are finished.

On Monday we chose our first question to research.

There are a few people who are still thinking about their Wonder, and the Wonders might change as we get started, but we are ready to start. This is a grand adventure for both teacher and students, and we can't wait to see where this road takes us.

We would love to hear what YOU wonder about! If you could spend 50 minutes once a week learning about what you are most interested in, what would YOU choose? Please share in the comment section below.


  1. Dear Class,

    I love all your wonders. They are all unique and interesting, just like each of you! I would have a difficult time choosing just one thing to research, as I am interested in so many different things. However, lately I have been wondering about the constellations. How did they get all of their names? I know some of the stories behind the constellations, but not all of them. I would like to learn more. That is my wonder.

  2. Dear Mrs Essenburg and Class,
    Thank you for sharing your Wonder Wall idea with us. We think it is a wonderful idea which would be interesting and great to do each week. We are a Year 3 class from New Zealand. We are 7 and 8 years old and go to Auroa School. We live next to a Mountain and the sea. We look forward to seeing what you are learning this year.

    1. Dear Mrs. Ericsson and Class,

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment on our blog. We are excited about our Wonder Hour projects and where they will take us. We will be sharing our projects when they are finished on our blog. We will stop by your blog tomorrow to say hello as well, as we would love to see what you are learning and learn more about New Zealand.

      Mrs. Essenburg's Class

  3. I wonder about what it is like in school then in 985

  4. Emily Larsen (Conner's Mom)November 15, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    I have always loved flowers. Each variety has unique colors, shapes, sizes and smells. I love how hyacinth's smell, the beauty of a fuchsia and the colors of Michigan wildflowers. I wonder how there can be so many types of flowers. I wonder how there are so many different lovely smells. I wonder why some like shade and some like lots of sun. I wonder why some are perennials and some are annuals. And most of all I wonder what it would be like to have fresh flowers in my house every day :)

  5. I wonder if glaciers contain salt water?

    Corey Larsen, Conner's dad


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