The Kansas Sampler group, led by Marci Penner, has always had some great stuff. I especially like their 8 Wonders of Kansas program. Recent contests have included such things as food, customs, history and geography.

Their latest contest? People of Kansas.

And I know that many of you won’t be that interested or even know many of the 24 finalists. (Though you should recognize folks like Carry Nation, George Washington Carver, John Brown and William Allen White.) But I think the entire idea of creating an 8 Wonders of . . . something in your classroom is a great way to engage kids in specific content. The contest could focus on your own state, a specific period of time or any area of the world.

If your kids are learning about the Civil War, for example, you could run an 8 Wonders contest that would highlight leaders or battles. Perhaps 8 Cultural Wonders for different regions if you’re teaching 4th grade or World Geography. How about events of the Great Depression?

Seems pretty simple. Develop a list of 24 finalists and have kids research, argue and then finally vote for their favorites.

Give it a try and let me know how it works out.

In the meantime, head over and vote for the 8 Wonders of Kansas People. Think I’ll probably go with . . .

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