World of Wonders educator resources

World of Wonders in the classroom

On this page, you’ll find links to request a desk copy, educator praise, discussion questions, information to request an Aimee Nezhukumatathil visit to your school, a sample curriculum, coloring pages, and video readings and events.

The forthcoming paperback of World of Wonders (publishing 4/16/2024) includes an interview with Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Ross Gay, Wonder Prompts, Suggested Essay Prompts, and Discussion Questions.

World of Wonders has reached thousands of students at over 120 schools through Common Read selections, as well as elementary, middle, high school, and higher education classes. Courses include Creative Writing, Reading and Writing, Ethnobotany, Biology, Honors Seminar, Environmental Justice, Creative Nonfiction, Environmental Literature, Human Identity and the Natural World, Literary Landscapes, Environmental Studies, and Personal Essay and Memoir.

Sample discussion questions and essay prompts

Nezhukumatathil writes about her identity as an Asian American woman—often seen as an outsider by those around her. In what ways does she come to terms with feeling the pull to ‘blend’ in with her white classmates and friends?

World of Wonders speaks to the beauty and surprise of the natural world, along with the responsibility we hold toward it; Nezhukumatathil emphasizes the dangers facing nature as she wrestles with humanity’s impact on it. Where does her concern stem from? In what ways do you connect with her message?

Based on “The Potoo” Essay: When would you say is a time that you feel most “seen,” for who you are? When you need to “slow down,” or “be still,” what do you find helps you? What benefit can come from doing less, being still, looking inward, or taking a step back?

Do your own research on an animal or plant in nature and craft a personal essay that connects your own life to something about that plant or animal, while also paying careful attention to narrative and figurative language.

About Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of World of Wonders, an illustrated essay collection, as well as of four books of poetry, including, most recently, Oceanic, winner of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award. Other awards for her writing include fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Mississippi Arts Council, and MacDowell. Her writing appears in Poetry, the New York Times Magazine, ESPN, and Tin House. She serves as poetry faculty for the Writing Workshops in Greece and is professor of English and Creative Writing in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program.

For all speaking requests, guest-teaching engagements, and school visits, please email Anya Blackund at Blue Flower Arts.

Sample curriculum

Thanks to Cliff Burke and Cristina Veresan at The Nueva School, we’re pleased to offer this World of Wonders curriculum, for grades 6-12. The “Wonder Essay Project” includes the full unit plan, chapter-by-chapter lessons, and classroom-ready supporting documents.

Video URL

Readings from World of Wonders with Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Coloring sheets

Add some brightness to your lesson plan with the World of Wonders coloring sheets.

Video URL
Watch: Aimee Nezhukumatathil in conversation with Kiese Laymon | Square Books
Video URL
Watch: Aimee Nezhukumatathil on A Word on Words | Nashville Public Television
Video URL
Watch: Aimee Nezhukumatathil in conversation with Ross Gay | Midtown Scholar Bookstore
Video URL
Watch: Aimee Nezhukumatathil for CapitaLiterature | Elizabeth Kostova Foundation