Wikijunior project first topics



Astronomy is always popular among children What about "The solar System" other possible subjects are "The ancient Egyptians", "How aeroplanes fly", "Volcanoes and Earthquakes", "Kitchen science experiments", "Drawing and Painting" (we could go into the history of art, great artists, the science of perspective - that kind of thing), "Castles", "The human body", "Big Cats", "Sharks", or how about "The worlds deadliest animals" I know these are all a bit cliche but they are ever poipular with kids. Theresa knott 20:39, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

All good article suggestions if this Wikijunior is all to be written from scratch. Mightn't there also be ways of automatically including some content from the English and Simple English Wikipedias? And then even create articles that are designed to be automatically merged to Wikijunior online?

Biology is definitely a good starter, venemous and otherwise. Ancient Egypt a bit more problematical, I admit my POV on this issue but IMO there are some questions hanging over the scholarly establishment there, and the chronology is a mess as a result. However if we did succeed in coming up with an acceptable dating system and a way of explaining it, it would be a great help in NPOVing English Wikipedia! Andrewa 21:12, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

First of all, I am glad to see so much interest in this project. It can be a lot of fun, and I see that people have some great ideas. A couple of things people should know. The project will have some connection, we hope, with UNESCO, since the original funders do books for UNESCO. That said, the audience could well be in developing countries. We should think about topics that may be of interest to them. (Also, the logo should reflect that too, though I really like the idea above). I suggest we start with Mammals (I love Teresa's idea about Big Cats, btw), as that is something we have plenty of information about. I would also like to see countries of the world, with interesting bits of information about clothing, food, schools, leisure activities, etc. Those are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling. What do you think? Danny 02:54, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I like countries of the world too! Since the booklets are to be colourful and rich in photos and drawings, perhaps the first one we start working on should be one in which we already have a lot of photographs. That way we don't need to worry about where we are going to get enough images from. I suggest we continue coming up with ideas for a little bit longer, but within a fairly short time we decide on perhaps two or three possibles, then go off and see how easy it would be to produce that particluar booklet. We could start a temp page on each topic and dump all possible gfdl images we find on it. Thatv way we can see at a glance what we are missing. Theresa knott 14:27, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)

what type of age grouping are we going to be looking at here? if we can determine that then we can target a specific audience, thus making our efforts more effective. ex: a 5 yr old child may be interested in 'creatures of the sea' however a 10 year old child may be more inclined to learn about 'the solar system and how it works'. --Larsie 21:03, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The grant is for 7-12 year olds. -- user:zanimum

I want to suggest that we pick two topics over the weekend, and begin to develop them at Wikibooks. One should be science-based; the other humanities based. Decision by Sunday? Danny 12:17, 4 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Sounds fine, but we haven't discussed any humanties ones yet in any depth more than "countries of the world might be nice" comments. -- user:zanimum
I was going to suggest we do something similar, but the thing is, we need at least one person who is interested enough in a humanities based topic. So far we haven't had anyone who is keen enough to go and check what media we have. So humanities people - you need to get going! Theresa knott 23:22, 4 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Humanities as in literary criticism, philosphy, women's studies, and religion? Or as in like just general social sciences, ie history and cultures. The later interests me enough that I'd be willing to spearhead something within the area. The only challenge with history or anything is to find stuff that's universally interesting, and approachable and understandable to your average 8-11 year olds. Say we wanted to talk about WWII, it would take a lot of tip-toeing to talk about The Holocaust without the topic being too confusing for that age, or being overly simplified, to the point where it destroys the topic entirely. -- user:zanimum
This is one of the problems with some humanities topics. Children of that age have a very black and white view of the world. They can understand killing is wrong therefore nazis are bad, type arguments. What they wouldn't understand are more subtle ideas like, the role of soldiers who were "just following orders" or the role of ordinary people who turned a blind eye.Why is that some people who activly tried to save lives feel guilty afterwards that they didn't do enough even though they did far more than many other people who don't feel at all guilty because it wasn't their problem after all. These types of ideas, are too diffucult for 7 - 12 year olds to grasp. Most kids don't realise tht there are all shades of grey in the world until they reach ~14. Having said that, providing we bear in mind that we are writing for children, not adults, I think we can cover plenty of humanities topics. We just need to be careful that's all. Theresa knott 12:11, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)

For various reasons (limited scope, possibility of another grant, cooperation with Spanish Wikipedia), I am going to suggest "Countries of the World: South America." Danny 12:23, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I'm cool with that. I've added the topic to the list, and will do a media search on it. Theresa knott 12:51, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Can we skip any sort of voting process for the first humanities issue, and go right ahead with it? I think that a great continent to start with. One question that we should look at in that issue is why exactly are they often called Latin Americans...? -- user:zanimum
Because the main languages are spanish and portugese? (both of which stem from latin)? Iagree that we don't need to vote on this. Theresa knott 07:15, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
That's probably it, but we'd need to explain how it works to curious and confused kids. -- user:zanimum

Humanities first topic


Contries of the world: South America

Science first topic


Voting has ended


We need to decide between

Big Cats (21 | 8)

  1. Theresa knott (My first choice)
  2. Nunh-huh (also my first choice, but I too am willing to work on any of these)
  3. R3m0t (second choice)
  4. Angela (first choice)
  5. Rholton (first choice)
  6. Danny (first choice)
  7. Ugen64 (second choice)
  8. Larsie (second choice)

The Solar System (18 | 8)

  1. Theresa knott
  2. Nunh-huh
  3. R3m0t (first choice)
  4. Angela (second choice)
  5. Rholton (second choice)
  6. Danny (second choice)
  7. Ugen64 (first choice)
  8. Larsie (first choice)

Human Flight (7 | 6)

  1. Theresa knott
  2. Nunh-huh
  3. R3m0t (third choice)
  4. Rholton (third choice)
  5. Ugen64 (third choice)
  6. Larsie (third choice)

Scores: first choice 3, second choice 2, third choice 1. (Keep it simple, yes?)

(score | people)

Voting ended on the 7th of November

Please indicate which of the above topics you'd be happy to work on. If you happy to work on more than one of these topics, please indicate which is your first choice. Arguments and current media content are listed in the below.

The decision is to go with both big cats and the solar system (along with South America). Please come to wikibooks and join in with the developement of these articles. Theresa knott 19:55, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Astronomy & Space


And so on

  • Supporting arguments: category in Amazon's kid book section for "Obsessions".

Large number of images easily available. Theresa knott

(per the below argument against) A good point, however is we start talking about physics etc. to 9 year old kids they may get bored therefore defeating the purpose of 'fun learning'. It is important not to lose their interest. Besides the solar system would be a sub-topic of astronomy and telescopes or automated remote robotic scopes could surely be it's own topic alltogether. --Larsie 19:39, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Definately! Actually as Danny Has indicated below, we started a topic on the solar system alone. Other astronomy topics can follow later. Theresa knott 19:51, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  • Decling arguments:

There are quite a few holes in the astronomy section of wikipedia related to the modern earth-based telescopes, (automated remote robotic scopes, etc.) that I was hoping we could fill before we do astronomy. I also think if we include space exploration that there are current events on the horizon that we might wish we waited for. I think big cats and flight are better first topics... then come out with a right up-to-the-minute package on space and astronomy.

Big cats


Copyright free photographs from other web sites:

I haven't checked every cat, but we certainly do have plenty of pics. Plus many of the ones we do have are public domain from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where we can presumably get some more Theresa knott 14:53, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Yes there seems to be plenty Theresa knott 07:36, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Decling arguments:

Not all the photographs we do have are up to print quality. (Things that perfectly fine on the web look pixilated in print). I'm not saying that we can't get enough suitable images of big cats but we cannot just lift them straight of Wikipedia. A fair amount of searching for good quality phtographs of big cats in their natural habitats will be needed. Theresa knott 14:53, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

    • I was noticing that too. Do you think space is better for the first issue because of this? It's really the only thing we can get large images of; anything else we'd need to take pictures, or hunt pictures down. I liked big cats because it wasn't specifically limited to any one region; there's examples in most continents, and so to any reader, part is exotic, part is "local". Space isn't near as personal, but it would let us focus more on establishing the general written content and design for all future issues. -- user:zanimum
      • The original proposal said the first one would be on an animal theme though. Plus I've kinda grown fond of the big cats idea over the past couple of days, I've lots of ideas for content, as well as the usual feeding, mating, and rearing young stuff we can talk about extinct cats like the sabre toothed tiger, mythical cats that probably aren't myths like the beasts of Bodmin Moor, which are probably pets released when licences were introduced, we can talk about attacks on people and discuss whether pumas or tigers are the more dangerous, we can also talk about how cats aren't really very dangerous at all and compare the number of people killed each year by waterbuffalows. Give me a few days and i'll see if I can find some good PD images on the net. Theresa knott 17:07, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)
        • I've has a better look at the US Fish and wildlife digital library, it's a truly wonderful resource, and has plenty of images of big cats, many of which are huge! (3000 pixels). I'm pretty confident now that we can get most of the images we need from there without any effort. Theresa knott 07:36, 30 Oct '
  • It's probably easier to avoid a Western bias in this topic compared to the other two suggestions. Angela 09:33, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Human Flight


The above is just a selection. There are many more on wikipedia alone Theresa knott 00:48, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • Supporting arguments: category in Amazon's kid book section for "Obsessions"
    • Personally I'd rather we broaden the scope to Flight. That way we can include balloons and birds which will widen the appeal to nontechnical types. Theresa knott 23:26, 4 Nov 2004 (UTC)
      • Done; however, I've limited to human flight. I persume we're both on roughly the same wave length on this topic. Birds should definetly be in, but directly tied into how it inspired humans. -- user:zanimum
        • That's a good idea. Theresa knott 06:20, 5 Nov 2004 (UTC)
          • I like the topic: I just got, from User:Alkivar, a package the size of a phone directory, that has nasa documents for me to scan and upload. I haven't looked at it yet, but it promises to be a trove of info and pics. I think there will be some of some use. Amelia Aerhart, yeah thats crucial for this. (and thanks for the heads up TK) I'll be on tomorrow. I was wondering, how many of us are admins? and when are we usually on? I'm not an admin, and I'm on Monday - Friday mornings, California time, and random evenings. I usually post on my user page at English wikipedia 'online/offline' notice, at the top of my page, so folks can tell if I'm around. I think I have some engravings of the Montgolfier balloon flights that are PD, if I can find them. I'm a little scattered right now, been a long day. off to bed.Pedant 09:17, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
    • I'd like Paragliding to be included here too. I'll be working on the wikipedia article... Mgm ( 16:58, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC))
  • Declining arguments:
    • Those first three images (at least) look rather complicated. This is for 7-12 year olds? R3m0t 09:18, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
    • Compared with the other two suggestions, I feel it would be a lot harder to create something suitable for this age group for this topic. Angela 09:30, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
      • It's not that hard. I learned this stuff in grade 3, because it was explained properly. As long as we find the proper way to teach it, any subject is okay. -- user:zanimum
        • I agree. I don't really understand R3m0t's comments. The third image is a forces diagram. This type of diagram figures on key stage two exam questions. (Although parachutes are the examiners favorites). For those of you who are not British KS2 exams are taken at aged 11. Explaining scientific concepts to children certainly isn't a piece of cake. But it is possible, and is very desirable. Theresa knott 16:53, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Okay, it seems to me that the winners are tied at Big Cats and Solar System, and we have agreement that we want to do South American. Three worthwhile projects. I suggest we move the discussion to wikibooks and think about how we should structure these projects there. Please go to:

Danny 13:18, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)