Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that is written by anyone contributing to articles. Anyone can add to or edit articles. It allows the user to search for relevant articles in a variety of ways including topics and subject areas. The words in blue when clicked provide information on that specific word.
The theme for this term for the year 4/5 class is sea animals. Children could use Wikipedia at school to begin research on a variety of sea animals. It provides opportunity for every child to gain knowledge through the use of text as well as photos and diagrams. The language used in Wikipedia may overwhelm the ESL students but this could be a well scaffolded experience. Children search for preselected articles such as fish, dolphin, stingray and whale. The use of an assistant teacher to translate and the teacher explicitly teaching key concepts would benefit all students. Unfortunately the majority of students would not have access to a computer at home.