Wikijunior/Establishing primary categories
We currently have three issues being created: Big Cats, South America, and the Solar System. On the main Wikijunior page on Wikibooks, I initially created three categories for all the books/magazines to fall under. They are "The Natural World" (a natural history series), "Our World of People" (a social sciences series) and "A World of Innovation" (regarding science and technology).
Does everybody agree these should be the three main "pillars" if you will of Wikijunior? Can anyone think of a topic we could eventually cover that wouldn't fall under these areas? My intentions were that we create an equal amount of different issues on each category. -- user:zanimum
There are several different "categories" that I could imagine:
A really cool one would be a biographical series, where the lives of famous people are covered. For example, famous inventors (Tesla, Marconi, Edison, Wright Brothers, Farnsworth), physicists (Einstein, Fermi, Galileo, Newton), civil rights leaders (Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa) and astronauts (Armstrong, Sheppard, Tereshkova, Gagarin). All of these could be written in NPOV style, and would be of interest to kids, especially if each biography is kept to about 4-6 pages (about the 32K limit of MediaWiki editing).
World history would also be interesting, especially if it not quite so current (to avoid POV issues). Topics on ancient civilizations (Maya, China, Egypt, Babalon, Peria, Assyria, Greece, Rome, etc.) would be interestings, as would other general periods of time, like Renaissance, Colonial empires (potentially controvercial), Industrial society, etc.
As for science and technology, they perhaps should be split from pure science (like astronomy) keeping one flavor and another very different flavor for technology books. Tech books would be more along the lines of "How does it work?". One really cool book I had growing up was a book that went into some detail (with cut-away drawings) of how different everyday objects worked. Things like a vacuum cleaner, television, automobile, or computer would be good starting points. Again, keep the descriptions as simple as possible, but cover enough details that it answers common questions from a kid. Things like trying to figure out how a computer works turned into a profession for myself. Not a "how to" but a "how does" book.
Related to the tech books but more science oriented would be things like "Why is the sky blue?", "Why is the grass green?", "How do birds fly?", "What is gravity?" and other common questions about our world from the viewpoint of a child. How these questions can be grouped or answered in many different ways, but are all something that kids, and parents (trying to answer these questions) are interested in, or trying to find resources to answer these questions. These would be very different in nature to more general science exploration books like the Wikijunior Solar System book. Again, I had a very good collection of very short (4-10 pages each written for about 8-12 year olds) books that covered each of these subjects when I was a kid. I'd love to see an updated version of something like this for my kids.
Something seriously missing from the above list is books that are more oriented to the humanities. Art history, music genera, film styles, and potentially a brief introduction to linguistics would be useful. A linguistics Wikijunior book would try to cover major languages for kids, introduce some of the writing system for that language, how to count to 10 (or the equivalent for the culture), some basic words and some simple phrases that could be translated to and from that language. This is something that Wikipedians (and other Wikimedia users) would be particularly strong at trying to help come up with.
There are other ideas I could come up with, but by restricting to just those three categories would be very limiting, and is IMHO a reason for the slow growth of Wikijunior so far. --Roberth 18:47, 26 July 2005 (UTC)