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UsefulCharts: Wonders of the World Project

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, projector, word-processing and presentation software

Activity Description

Intermediate and advanced students learn about ancient and modern wonders of the world using the online information on the Useful Charts Web site and other Web sites and then and share what they learn in a jigsaw reading/cooperative learning activity. As an optional follow-up, write a paragraph and/or make an oral presentation about a wonder of the world of their choosing (a museum, building, sculpture, statue, bridge, canal, dam, temple, church, cathedral, castle, or natural wonder or a UNESCO World Heritage Site) located in their native countries or elsewhere.


  1. Decide which Web site(s) you will have students use for the jigsaw reading and for gathering information for the follow-up activities and make sure that the Web sites are not blocked at your school. If the site(s) you want to use are blocked, you may choose to print pages about select wonders of the world.
  2. Practice using the sites in order to anticipate students’ questions or difficulties.
  3. Download the Example Document (above) titled Wonder of the World Project Prompt file. Modify it and re-save if you plan to use it as a prompt for the follow-up activities (paragraph and oral presentation). Print and photocopy for students as desired.
  4. Decide whether you will use a follow-up activity (paragraph or presentation) and prepare (a) model(s) for students to follow. (A sample Wonder of the World PowerPoint Presentation is provided as an Example Document, above).
  5. Prepare questions and/or a note-taking form to focus students’ reading in the jigsaw reading activity. Pre-teach the grammar that students will need to produce in speaking and/or writing by creating a handout for students to take notes on and practice with. For an example, see the Example Document (above) Grammar Worksheet Example.


  1. Begin by asking students if they know any wonders of the world and to name them, pointing out what kind of "wonders" they are (structure/architectural, natural, etc.).
  2. Open a Web browser to the Example Web Site (above) Useful Chart on the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World.
  3. Use the chart to talk about and/or ask questions in the target grammar (present and past passive), for example: "What is this ancient wonder called? Where was it located? How was it destroyed?"
  4. Tell students that they are going to working in groups to learn more about a modern wonder of the world.
  5. Divide students into small groups. These groups will be the home groups. Within these groups, number students 1-3, 4, or 5, depending on how many students there are. All 1s, 2s, 3s, etc., will join together in expert groups.
  6. The expert groups will read and take notes about a modern wonder of the world for a jigsaw reading activity, using print-outs of the wonders information from the Web site, or students can work together using a computer. If using one computer per expert group, have students open the Useful Charts Modern Wonders of the World Chart using the link you provide them and read about the wonder they have been assigned or have selected. Provide the questions (sample questions may include the following: "What is/was the wonder named? Where is/was it located? Who was it built or discovered by? When? How many years was/has it been in existence? If it no longer exists, how was it destroyed? If it still exists, what is it used for today? How many people is it visited by daily or yearly?") to the expert groups. Model for students how to read and take notes and/or answer the questions.
  7. In expert groups, students can write a short summary together or can practice orally summarizing what they have read. Once all expert groups are confident that all the members understand what they have read and can orally summarize the information, reconvene the home groups.
  8. In each home group, the "experts" will share what they learned about a modern wonder. The other members of the group can take notes.
  9. After each member of the home group has shared information about a modern wonder of the world, ask students to share what they learned. Optionally, you can tell students to study their notes and give a short quiz the next day.
  10. Ask students what they would consider "wonders" in their own countries or in other parts of the world. Have them choose their topics. You can have students write a paragraph about a wonder of the world of their choice and/or just make an oral presentation individually, in pairs, or in small groups. See the note-taking form for an outline for their paragraphs and presentations. Additional Web sites that may be used for this project include the following:
  11. If you choose to have students write paragraphs, guide them in writing a topic sentence identifying the wonder with a statement about why they chose that topic or why it is considered a wonder, supporting sentences explaining briefly its origin or history and features using transitions between sentences, and using a conclusion.
  12. Last, students may make a PowerPoint presentation (or use another type of visual aid) about the wonder they researched and wrote about (see the Example Document, Sample Wonder of the World PowerPoint Presentation file, above).

Teacher Tips

  • You may choose to study one particular wonder of the world in-depth as a class. See the Google Cultural Institute World Wonders Project for lesson plan ideas. (Free downloadable lesson plans on Hiroshima Peace Memorial, Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City, Palace of Versailles, Florence, Independence Hall, Ogasawara Islands, Dorset and East Devon Coast – Jurassic coast, Paris, Banks of the Seine).
  • Many sites, like this one, have advertising. Teach your students what ads look like and how to avoid selecting them since sometimes they contain malware that they will not want on their computers, at school or at home. It is a very important and necessary skill for them to know.

More Ways

  • UsefulCharts has many other types of charts in the areas of English, History, Psychology, and Science that can be purchased or simply projected.



  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (0.1) Communicate in interpersonal interactions

Basic Communication

  • (2.7) Understand aspects of society and culture

Basic Communication

  • (5.2) Understand historical and geographical information

Basic Communication

  • (7.3) Demonstrate ability to use problem-solving skills
  • (7.4) Demonstrate study skills
  • (7.7) Demonstrate the ability to use information and communication technology
  • (7.1) Identify or demonstrate effective skills and practices in accomplishing goals
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.