Wikijunior:New Title Suggestions/Adopted

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Adopted Wikijunior Titles[edit | edit source]

Wikijunior Kings and Queens of England[edit | edit source]

  • Target age: up to 10-12 years
  • Each monarch from 871 onwards will come with an introduction, a summary of the main features of their reign, a section on what children they had (if they had any) and a section on their death and legacy (except, of course, Queen Elizabeth II). There will also be a short section on the current royal succession. I have already drafted up one page, The Normans, by way of illustration.
  • Interested Participants:
    • Jguk 16:57, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Scope of project: This project would give a broad review of each king and queen regnant of England, highlighting notable events that took place in each reign, and encouraging further study.
  • I intend to develop this book regardless of whether there are many others willing to assist at the start (although I would, of course, appreciate any help that's offered). I hope that it will be accepted into the Wikijunior canon, either through the Book of the Quarter mechanism, or alternatively as a Wikijunior book developed outside of that rubric, Jguk 14:47, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
    The current situation for restricted development is largely my invention. The real truth is that this is a general agreement among Wikijunior participants and not something that real enforcement can be done regarding these actions. Some "enforcement" was done by some of the early founders of Wikijunior, and indeed the creation of the Wikijunior Ancient Civilizations book was started because of some early efforts to create some content and add the book to the Wikijunior cannon that went beyond the original three Wikijunior books. We are conducting an experiment here to see if it might be possible to create a content development community that emphasises on quality rather than quantity. The only other similar project that can be compared to this is w:Nupedia, but I think the bureaucratic process there was simply way too strict at all. Larry Sanger sent the message that if you didn't have a PhD, don't bother trying to contribute to Nupedia. I don't want to send *that* message, but the slow growth approach does appear to be reaping some benefits, and has made Wikijunior into a reasonable source of some fairly moderate to high quality children's non-fiction literature. The rest of Wikibooks follows the quantity of materials over quality, and some blistering critiques of Wikibooks have resulted from people outside of the Wikibooks development community as a result. If you pick a random Wikibook from Main Page, you will be largely disappointed by what you find... even if you select books that are labeled 75% complete or 100% complete. There are some real gems of Wikibooks out there, but you really have to dig to find them or be very familiar with Wikibooks. So far, all five of the "cannonical" Wikibooks are worthy of at least somebody very new to Wikijunior content to look at and learn some meaningful new ideas. You are, however, perfectly capable of trying to develop this content outside of the Wikijunior community or doing simply what you are doing right now. --Rob Horning 17:25, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
    I don't want to go against the grain, I just want to produce more good quality output. Books are really of very limited value if they are not at least 95% complete, and they probably need to be 100% complete for proper value to be obtained out of them. Of the wikijunior books currently in the canon, some appear to be complete already, and of the others, whilst the ancient civilisations one may interest me, the others don't. That's ok, we're all interested in different things, and that's why I am setting out on my own on this book - though other contributors would, of course, be most welcome. I may nip into the ancient civilisations text and see what I can do there - but I'm aware that the civilisations that haven't already been written about, I know little of myself. Hopefully by developing this book, and seeing it through to completion, I can offer a useful addition to the Wikijunior canon, Jguk 17:43, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
    Depending on how much participation we have with Wikijunior and general community opinion, I would like to see this become a New Title Suggestion of the Month, rather than just the Quarter. Plenty of new ideas have come up, and I think we won't be hurting for ideas for new content in Wikibooks. The cool thing about this is that once a new Wikijunior book has been accepted, there is a large community of people who are interested in seeing it developed, simply by virtue of the voting process alone (unless these are sock puppets). Previous to this whole process, the general attitude, at least with the people who started Wikijunior, was that we should stick to just the three original texts until they achieve formal publication. Of course even more ambitious was to have a subscription to Wikijunior where you would receive in the mail one Wikijunior book each month, completely proofed, edited, reviewed, and put onto dead trees. I think that may be possible in the future, but we certainly need simply more content, and a three month backlog is IMHO not enough, especially for a group of basically volunteers. A "stable content" website is also planned for Wikijunior (see for the eventual home) but I believe that nothing is currently "ready for prime time" on that site yet. Just some more food for thought. --Rob Horning 00:55, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Languages[edit | edit source]

  • Target age: Standard Wikijunior (8-12)
  • Possible section titles:
    • German
    • French
    • Chinese
    • Russian
    • Swahili
    • Navajo
    • Japanese
    • Italian
    • Spanish
    • Portuguese
    • Greek
  • Typical questions within each section:
    • What writing system(s) does this language use?
    • How many people speak this language?
    • Where is this language spoken?
    • What is the history of this language?
    • Who are some famous authors or poets in this language?
    • What are some basic words in this language that I can learn?
  • Interested Participants:

  • Scope of project: (What is this project going to concentrate on and how to keep it within Wikimedia guidelines.)

This is intended to be a basic survey course for kids to learn about different languages around the world. As a general survey, this project is more oriented to covering a large variety of languages rather than studying any particular language in depth. Still, it would be nice to use each individual language page of this project as a starting point to some more in depth study of the language. This would be done in a manner that the Wikijunior Solar System currently has a simplified version for the Beck Foundation, but goes into more detail about the major moons and other topics not covered in the basic book.

Something to consider with this Wikibook proposal is that we might want to make some of these pages language-neutral in some way, possibly making it easy to port the content from one language to another. As a practical matter, this may be very difficult or impossible to achieve, but I'm trying to be creative here.

Note that we are not trying to replace the language training Wikibooks that are already developing on the main Wikibooks site, but this is to provide some basic language skills for younger children and introduce the idea of other languages, especially in areas where children are not exposed to some of these other languages.

In addition to the written words, spoken tools would be developed with this project. Native speakers of the languages covered would be encouraged to record their voices to be used to help with pronunciation guides, and perhaps some practice exercises that could be used, or some common children's poem or song in that language could be sampled and available for kids to hear and perhaps learn.

How Things Work[edit | edit source]

  • Target age: Standard Wikijunior (8-12)
  • Scope of Project: This Wikibook is to cover how different everyday items work, and to try and remove the "mystery" and "magic" that ordinary things we take for granted. Explaining how the inner workings of the device will be explained, with "cut-away" views of the objects and drawings that explain the principles on how key parts of each device work.
  • Possible Sections:
    • Toaster
    • Vacuum Cleaner
    • Elevator
    • Rocket
    • Light Bulb
    • Neon/fluorescent light
    • Refrigerator/Air Conditioners
    • Computer
      • hard-drive
      • CPU
      • modem
      • RAM
      • network
    • Automobile engine
    • Mechanical Clock
    • Quartz Timer
    • Television
    • Liquid Crystal Display
  • Typical questions for each article:
    • Who invented it?
    • How does it get power? (What makes it run?)
    • How does it work?
    • How dangerous is it?
    • What does it do?
    • How does it vary? (e.g., range of sizes, running parameters, variants like gas/diesel...)
    • How has it changed the world?
    • What idea(s) and/or inventions had to be developed before it could be created?
  • Interested Participants:


  • Comments: I would change the question "How does it get its power?" If I'm interpreting it correctly, then the answer for most of these items would be "electricity." I would suggest "How does it work?" instead. Of course, you might to remove computer then; that, I think, is a bit too complicated to explain.--Shanel 02:02, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

The "How does it get power?" question may not apply for all items, but some items are gasoline powered, or for something really cool like a rocket or steam locomotive might have the power systems as something more unique or critical. I'm trying to think of about 3-5 more "standard questions" that could be asked for a Wikijunior book like this, to keep with the general format that forms most of the other Wikijunior books.

As far as the Computer section is concerned, this is something that has annoyed me from when I was a little kid myself. Everybody told me that computers were so complicated that they couldn't understand how they worked, and that I wouldn't be able to figure it out myself. I took it upon myself to try and find out exactly how computers worked, and found myself in a rather interesting career as a result. I don't think that tackling computers as a subject, at least in outline as to what makes a computer work and "do its stuff" is necessarily beyond the 8-12 year old age range, although I admit it will be much harder to simplify than explaining how a light bulb works. Subsections like explaining a hard-drive, CPU, modem, network card, etc. may be of practical use to more fully explain a computer, just as explaining the transmission, cataletic converter, radiator and other parts of an automobile might also be interesting "more detailed" sections for the automobile. Some machines are very complicated by their nature, but that doesn't mean kids can't try to understand the basics on how they work. --Rob Horning 13:22, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

True, I'm a teenager, so it wasn't to long ago that I was a kid. I remember being annoyed by people telling me things were to complicated to understand! Also, I think a good question for some of the items would be "What else is it used for?" For something like a toaster or vacuum cleaner its obviously not needed, but for something like a computer or a car, there's a whole lot of things they're used for.--Shanel 04:34, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

I'd want to add either Refrigerator or Air Conditioner to the list (actually, it's worth while to mention one and the other). Just anything that would cover the principle of condensing a gas or a phase change heat pump. (And even my college-educated friends would hold the belief that putting a refrigerator into a closed room and leaving the refrigerator door open would cool the room.) MShonle 22:46, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

The topic is probably too big for one book. AlbertCahalan 05:43, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

Yes, that may be true that it is too big for one book, but should that be a reason to not even start it at all? I think in this particular case, we need to place emphasis on existing articles and bring them up to "publishable standards" than create dozens of articles that never get anywhere. At the same time, I think this would be a good book, and obviously there is plenty of material that can be obtained to get this Wikibook started. --Rob Horning 14:45, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree. If anyone has ideas of how to pare down the list to a few focus items, we can put these on the original TOC and leave the rest of the list for, i.e., a more/less advanced title targeted at a younger age group, or even (?) a sequel aimed at the same age group. But they can be tabled until one full book comes together.
I've actually been thinking that the list above is too short. I can recall that book The Way Things Work which had lots of useful drawings and was far more exhaustive than the above list. "The topic" is not too long, because by definition the topic is what we have suggested for the TOC. Many things could also fit in with the theme, sure, but I wholeheartedly believe that a book that discusses everyday things would be a great way to teach the physical sciences. Perhaps once microphones, speakers and the telephone are added to the list we could call it complete. Thus, while the title is "How Things Work" the topic is not "How Things Work": the topic is "How this list of provided things work." It would be a cute wiki project to do "How Everything Works," but that's certainly the scope of a wiki site and nobody here ever suggested that. --MShonle 23:52, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
I'd be in favour of going ahead with "How Computers Work", as the first book in a series of Wikijunior Wikibooks, all themed to "How Stuff Works". -- user:zanimum

I've added a suggested question to the list. What idea(s) and/or inventions had to be developed before it could be created? Kids should see the connections between ideas past and present. I don't think you have to worry about making the list too long as long as you choose inventions that are relevant in kids lives. Keep the details to the basics and get kids to see the bigger questions like "How has this invention changed the world" and What ideas had to come first before this invention could be developed. The students I work with are fascinated by the topic of inventions and how common items in their daily lives function. --hruffner

Yes, we definitely should have the history attached to each thing discussed. -- user:zanimum
Maybe instead of a paragraph about the inventions that lead to each modern product, a timeline could be used in each "article" to outline previous inventions that are relevant. This could help to keep articles more manageable so that this could be made into one comprehensive book. While history is important to understanding of how things come to be, I'm not convinced that it is highly important to the discussion of "how things work." However, some sort of historical perspective is useful.Bvcxz 05:25, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

How about having a series of Wikibooks? I know for a fact that there are enough things in a computer that it may take a whole book to describe it to a kid (OS, games, hardware, memory, history just to describe a few topics). Or maybe we could group them into more specific topics as a happy medium? Examples off books: How electronics work (including computers, communications, TVs). How transportation works (cars, trains, planes, boats, bikes, elevators), really that one would be on simple machines if anything. How cities work (Power plants, small section on transportation systems like metro, how everyone knows where to go, who decides what goes where). How cooking works (chemical reactions, why stuff taste good). --Dragontamer 11:57, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Very good idea. I was also thinking that this could be expanded into multiple topic-based books. If it were to be expanded, it would offer more of an opportunity to go more indepth into the science behind "how things work." Making physics and chemistry kid friendly often takes many "pictures" and step by step explanations, which can become lengthy. Another option that would allow us to put this all in one concise book is suggested below. Bvcxz 05:26, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
What about trying to narrow the subject matter for the first set of articles to some specific sub-part of this whole thing. I would personally like to advocate home consumer appliances to start with, but we could go in other directions as well. This is also something that can be decided on the project discussion page once we get a "green light" to start the project from the Wikijunior community. The "How Does it Work - Computer" book should be IMHO a separate proposal and voted on separately by the Wikijunior community. The idea here is to keep it small, and perhaps a small incremental change once we get rolling on a group of modules. --Rob Horning 03:16, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Home consumer appliances is a good idea, since these are items that kids are in contact with on a daily basis. This could also include things that are non-electronic, such as clocks or a gas stove. It would provide an opportunity to discuss basic mechanics as well as things like basic wave theory (microwave oven) and convection in a more tangible way.Bvcxz 03:42, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Suggestion: Many of the suggested questions above could be answered in one, short introductory paragraph at the beginning of each article. I suggest the following breakdowns:

  • Introductory paragraph (This paragraph would include any items not directly relevant to how the machine works. These are not ordered.): Who invented it?, What does it do?/What is its purpose/function, How does it vary? Who uses it? How has it changed the world? How dangerous is it?
  • Article body (This would be called something like "how does it work?" and would comprise the bulk of the text.): How does it work?, How does it get power?, What makes it run?, Other questions directly related to how the machine operates and its internal makeup

Bvcxz 05:25, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Suggested Addition: I would like to add Sewing Machine to the list of appliances. The functioning is interesting, the use/hobby is back on the rise, and the home sewing machine had a profound impact on history. Starchildmom 22:00, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

I love the idea, I came here because I was looking for an "Introduction to Computers" book written with an 8 year old in mind. I find the entire concept of WikiJunior to be worthy of my time. I am in favor of a general series of books. like User:Dragontamer suggested, entitled something like "How Everything Works - Computers" and "How Everything Works - Transportation" this is the only way I see the project meeting the 48 page limit. A comprehensive singular "How Everything Works" would obviously be too large.--Hapa 01:18, 5 April 2006 (UTC)--Hapa 01:18, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

I really like the idea. But I would like to suggest that you add airplane to the list of things. I think it's a thing that fascinates many kids and it's at least quite easy to explain how it works. About computers, you can actually make it quite simple you don't have to explain what a CPU is or what a graphics card is. You can simply explain the basics, that the computer can calculate things, that it needs a program that tells it exactly how to do something i.e. For example "The computer doesn't "think" on it's own, what it can do is follow instructions, these instructions are called a program. They work as an manual and tells the computer what to do. For example a program might tell the computer to show you a box on the screen where you can enter to numbers and press a button, and then the program will tell the computer to add these numbers withe each other and show the answer in the box." --Mr Shore 02:20, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

The Elements[edit | edit source]

  • Target age: 8-12 years old, online version could aim a bit higher
  • Possible Section Titles: basically, elements kids have heard of (or are really cool and interesting :))
    • Hydrogen
    • Helium
    • Calcium
    • Carbon
    • Silicon
    • Aluminium
    • Neon
    • Iron
    • Copper
    • Krypton
    • Silver
    • Platinum
    • Gold
    • Uranium
    • Titanium
    • Tungsten
    • Chlorine
    • Oxygen
    • Flourine
    • Lead
    • Mercury
    • Radon
  • Typical questions within each section:
    • Who discovered it?
    • Where does its name come from? / Who is it named after?
    • Where is it found?
    • What are its uses?
    • Is it dangerous?
  • Interested Participants:

Scope of project: Print version should focus only on the elements plus an explanation of what an element is and a glossary if necessary. Online version could include additional articles on the periodic table, history of the atom, structure of the atom, etc.

  • Comments:

Include everything required for humans. Include everything required for green plants. Include common contaminants. (radon, lead, mercury) Include florine. AlbertCahalan 05:47, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

Thanks!--Shanel 22:44, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

From the title, I was expecting a list of chapters on Earth, Water, Wind and Fire. Maybe "Chemical elements"? Jguk 10:40, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Maybe a short introduction could explain that the ancient Greeks believed there were only four "elements".--Mcgill 03:34, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikijunior Bugs[edit | edit source]

  • Target age: 9-12
  • Possible section titles:
    • Insects
      • Ant
      • Beetle
        • Firefly
      • Fly/Mosquito
      • Caterpillar/Butterfly
      • Moth
      • Stinkbug
      • Pondskater AKA Water Strider
      • Praying Mantis
      • Grasshopper/Locust
      • Cricket
      • Cicada
      • Aphid
      • Bee
      • Flea
      • Dragonfly/Damselfly
      • Mayfly
      • Cockroach
      • Walking Stick
      • Lice
    • Arachnids
      • Spider
      • Scorpion
      • Pseudoscorpion
      • Mite
      • Tick
    • Others
      • Centipede
      • Millipede
  • Typical questions within each section:
    • About how many different species of this bug are there?
    • What does it look like?
    • Where does it live?
    • What does it eat?
    • How does it defend itself?
    • What stages of metamorphosis does it go through?
    • What special behavior does it exhibit?
      • How does this bug affect people?
  • Interested Participants:
  • Scope of project: Ah, bugs. They fascinated me a few years ago, and I'm glad I learned about them. This book would teach the kids more about common bugs such as ants, inform them about the more obscure bugs (Aphids, pondskaters, etc.), and show them to tell the difference between insects and arachnids.
  • Comments:

I love this book. A very cool concept, and something that would certainly grab the attention of kids. It is also something that can have some education standards applied to it. --Rob Horning 13:02, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

This is a good idea. Also, centipedes and millipedes are myriapods, not arachnids. --Gray Porpoise 20:03, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Much care must be tread in planning this, as bugs is an extraordinarily general term. Such a book could conceivably be its own encyclopedia because of how broad it is, but we will have to water it down to the extreme. How we go about this will be important. MiltonT 23:19, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Wikijunior Human Body[edit | edit source]

  • Target age: 8-12
  • Possible section titles:
    • Skeleton
    • Brain
    • Spine
    • Heart
    • Blood
    • Lungs
    • Eyes
    • Ears
  • Typical questions within each section:
    • What are the parts of this organ?
    • What is the function of this organ?
    • What organ system is this organ connected with?
    • How does it interact with other parts of the body?
    • How can you keep yours healthy?
  • Interested Participants:
  • Scope of project: Wikijunior Human Body would concentrate on the individual organs of the body and their respective organ systems. The questions will be relevant and interesting to kids.