The Biggest! The Best! The Most Wonderful!
What makes a wonder? As people explore the world, they arrive upon places of great beauty and are astonished by spectacular sights. Stories of these adventures travel and soon, some of these eye-astonishing places and things come to be known as a wonder of the world. There have been several renditions of the 7 wonders of the natural world. Each rendition sites important characteristics (biggest, tallest, fastest, longest) , historical significance , uniqueness, and an awe-inspiring splendor. An older list included Aurora Borealis, Grand Canyon, The Great Barrier Reef, Paricutin the Volcano, Victoria Falls, Mount Everest and Harbor of Rio de Janeiro. Interestingly none of these wonders are currently on the new list. 7 New Wonders of Nature were chosen on 11.11.11. There existence is threatened and we need to protect our environment.
Based on hundreds of millions people’s votes all around the world, the New 7 Wonders of Nature were announced by the project founder, Bernard Weber. One of the most interesting new wonders is Komodo, the world’s largest and heaviest living dragon. Komodos can grow up to 11 ft. and are actually endangered. (Where do they live?) The Amazon Rainforest, covering 1.7 billion acres across nine countries, is also one of the new wonders. The Rainforest produces more than 20% of the world’s oxygen! Puerto Princesa Subterranean in the Philippines is the longest navigable underground river in the world. It is 8.2 km long! Iguazu Falls, Jeju Island, Table Mountain and Halong Bay complete the list.
Each one these wonders are breathtaking and it’s time to explore them!
Activity 1 – wonder about the old wonders!
Where in the world are the 7 older wonders of nature? Draw a simple world map using pencil or black marker on an 11x24 paper. Place the location of the 7 older wonders of nature on the map. Be creative when you are marking these areas! For each wonder make a 3 x 5 postcard sketch. Label the postcards with the title of the wonder and the number on the map. Write a paragraph about why some people are actively trying to restore the older wonders to the main list of seven!
Activity 2 – be a wonder explorer
Where in the world are the 7 new wonders of nature? Draw a simple world map using pencil or black marker on an 11x24 paper. Place the location of the 7 newer wonders of nature on the map. Be creative when you are marking these areas! For each wonder make a 3 x 5 postcard sketch. Label the postcards with the title of the wonder and the number on the map. Explain why the new wonder is endangered and strategize possible steps to raise awareness of these dangers.
Activity 3 – weave a tale
Sometimes it is easier to learn by using our imagination. Choose the natural wonder that excites you the most! You can also choose one from the old list. Imagine taking a trip to this place and coming upon it for the first time. What would you see? What would you feel? Would there be dangers? What adventures would occur? What could you bring back to share with the world about your wonder? Here are some good books (and movies) that talk about imaginary or real world wonders. Check a few out from your library. Ask your teacher to recommend more. Become an adventure traveler!
**Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Vernes
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
Travels by Marco Polo
Journals by James Cook
Jurassic Park by Michael Creighton
The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence
Through the Dark Continent by Henry M. Stanley
Endurance by F.A. Worsley
Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
Starlight and Storm by Gaston Rébuffat
My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir
The Man Who Walked Through Time by Colin Fletcher
Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile by John Hanning Speke
Incidents of Travel in Yucatan by John Lloyd Stephens
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Mutiny on the Bounty by William Bligh
Adventures in the Wilderness by William H. H. Murray
Become an adventure writer!
Activity 4 – natural wonders nearby!
Now that you have traveled the world virtually to witness natural wonders, turn your gaze to your own locale. What wonders exist right where you live? Is it a river? A lake? A cave? A marsh? See if you can find natural wonders in your experience. Photograph them, draw them, and write a persuasive essay why they are natural wonders. Submit them to your local tourism office!
- 1. Bernard Weber is the founder of the New 7 Wonders of Nature project.
- 2. 7 Wonders of Nature is a competition among countries to find the best natural wonder.
- 3. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
- 4. Komodo is the largest living lizard on earth.
- 5. Every year, scientists and biologists select new 7 natural wonders.