TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Apr 16, 2017

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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2 Minute Geology - Nick Zentner and Tom Foster

Grades
6 to 12
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2 Minute Geology is a YouTube playlist featuring short, informative videos discussing geological features from around the world. Topics include petrified wood, the Seattle earthquake...more
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2 Minute Geology is a YouTube playlist featuring short, informative videos discussing geological features from around the world. Topics include petrified wood, the Seattle earthquake fault, and more. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): earthquakes (50), floods (8), geology (83), rocks (51), volcanoes (65)

In the Classroom

Flip your classroom and use a video as homework. Have students take notes on the material and write down questions they still have and topics that confuse them. Or, use a tool like EdPuzzle, reviewed here, for students to pause videos and ask or answer questions right on the video. These activities can uncover misconceptions. Show the video to the class, and then discuss the concept at length. Use these videos to introduce geology concepts, then have students choose an idea to research further. For more advanced classes, provide time for students to choose a video to view and research the underlying concept. Challenge students to make a multimedia presentation of their findings using Sway, reviewed here, or Zeetings, reviewed here. To share a single video from this site without all the YouTube clutter, use a tool such as SafeShareTV, reviewed here, and create a shortcut to the SafeShare page directly on the desktop.

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Google Earth VR - Google Earth

Grades
4 to 12
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Take a virtual tour of several of the world's most famous places with Google Earth VR's preview gallery. Begin by selecting from landmarks such as the Rome Colosseum or Hoover ...more
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Take a virtual tour of several of the world's most famous places with Google Earth VR's preview gallery. Begin by selecting from landmarks such as the Rome Colosseum or Hoover Dam. Move around with your cursor to see the 360-degree view, or watch as the preview takes you on tour. Be sure to click on the square icon near the bottom of each show to open up each virtual reality to a full-screen view.

tag(s): china (67), cultures (106), italian (33), mountains (15), renaissance (35), rome (28), virtual field trips (49)

In the Classroom

Immerse your students in your studies with a close-up, in-depth look through virtual field trips. Visit places where time, money, and mileage inhibit your dreams for bringing your students into wondrous worlds. Find ways to visit where your class has never gone before. Find the means to motivate your most reluctant learners. Small groups or individual students can focus on one of the tours and use as a starting point for additional research. ESL/ELL learners will appreciate the visual tours. Reach all types of learners through a class visit. Use these virtual reality tours as a whole class anticipatory guide, a center activity, a home connection, or even as extra credit. Challenge your gifted students to be guides to their own learning. Make your class go global! For other virtual tours, try Listly Virtual Field Trips, reviewed here.

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Interactive Games: Science Lives Here - The Royal Institution

Grades
4 to 12
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Learn about science, engineering, and the natural world with this large variety of interactive games. Scroll through to view all game topics, or use the drop-down box to limit your...more
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Learn about science, engineering, and the natural world with this large variety of interactive games. Scroll through to view all game topics, or use the drop-down box to limit your search by subject. Content offers a broad range of choices including animals, genetics, and space.

tag(s): animals (285), biodiversity (39), cells (104), genetics (92), gravity (50), human body (125), insects (70), medicine (69), nutrition (155), periodic table (52), plants (153), ponds (7), rainforests (15), solar system (123), space (215), stars (66), STEM (144)

In the Classroom

Introduce a new concept through games offered on this site. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, then allow students to play on their own. Have students create blogs using Throwww, reviewed here, to share information learned. Throwww allows you to create "quick and easy" blog to be used one time only; a unique URL is provided, and this site is as easy as using a basic Word program!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Google Earth Showcase - Google Earth

Grades
5 to 12
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Google Earth presents this showcase library of tours, videos, and imagery from planet Earth and beyond. Choose from diverse topics including the Hubble Telescope, Mars, Hereos of Google...more
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Google Earth presents this showcase library of tours, videos, and imagery from planet Earth and beyond. Choose from diverse topics including the Hubble Telescope, Mars, Hereos of Google Earth, and 3D imagery to begin your journey. Each category leads to several video presentations sharing the world with us. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): climate (93), explorers (65), heroes (25), landmarks (27), mars (42), moon (75), oceans (152), space (215), stars (66)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to use throughout the year with lessons on climate change, oceans, explorers, and much more. As an end of the year project, allow students to choose their area of interest from this showcase. Then, have students watch videos, and create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here. In language arts, during a study of heroes, use an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast features of Heroes of Google Earth against cartoon heroes.

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Google Earth - Oceans - Google Maps/Google Earth

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore the world's oceans with Google Earth. Watch videos sharing life below the surface of the world's oceans. Select from videos with topics including the Titanic, ocean floor, deep...more
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Explore the world's oceans with Google Earth. Watch videos sharing life below the surface of the world's oceans. Select from videos with topics including the Titanic, ocean floor, deep sea vents, or whale protected areas. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): explorers (65), oceans (152), whales (17)

In the Classroom

Benefit from the many free videos to learn more about the world's oceans and explorations. Have students select one of the videos to use as a starting point for further research. Ask students make a multimedia presentation to present their findings using Acclaim, reviewed here, that allows annotation of video, or Zeetings, reviewed here. Zeetings allows adding polls, videos, embeds, web links, PowerPoint, and PDFs.

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TL! Kids - Tread Lightly! Inc

Grades
K to 4
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TL! Kids offers games, stories, and information to teach young children how to enjoy the outdoors safely and responsibly. Download a coloring book, take the Tread pledge, or check off...more
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TL! Kids offers games, stories, and information to teach young children how to enjoy the outdoors safely and responsibly. Download a coloring book, take the Tread pledge, or check off items on the hiking checklist. Be sure to visit the For Teachers portion of the site that includes many lesson plans aligned to science standards.

tag(s): conservation (127), environment (319), preK (288)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and coloring activities for use during Earth Day activities or with any unit on the environment. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, for older elementary students, or Word Clouds for Kids, reviewed here , for younger students. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, of how to be environmentally responsible.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Plum Landing - WGBH Educational Foundation

Grades
1 to 3
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Join Plum, an alien video game designer from another planet, and explore the natural world through interactive games, videos, adventures, and real life activities. Live videos feature...more
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Join Plum, an alien video game designer from another planet, and explore the natural world through interactive games, videos, adventures, and real life activities. Live videos feature kids exploring different biomes and recording data for Plum. Before each game, learn about the environmental focus that will help you win the game. Ideas for exploring and investigating outside bring environmental concepts to your own community. Post images, thoughts, and ideas to share with Plum in the gallery. A parent section offers activities to do online and outside. The educator section provides curriculum for Afterschool programs, Clubs, or Camps. Lesson plans designed for after school enrichment, clubs, and camps give curriculum topics, standards, video links, conversation starters, and related activities.

tag(s): conservation (127), earth (231), earth day (111), environment (319), game based learning (109)

In the Classroom

Capture student interest in environmental science, zoology, conservation, and ecology with Plum and her human friends! Use this site in science as a way to introduce the study of the Earth, biomes, or food chains. Share the videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Add to computers for center time. Use Plum's adventures to inspire further adventures involving the students. Use videos as a multimedia resource to supplement the science textbook. Use the adventures to inspire either narrative or expository writing. During Earth Day, students can explore your school community. Explore other science topics and have students create comics using a tool such as Write Comics, reviewed here, or digital storytelling projects with their own images, observations, and stories using UtellStory, reviewed here. UtellStory allows narrating and adding text to a picture. ESL/ELL and learning support students will find this site useful with reading support, video, and demonstrations. Have students research topics mentioned in the videos for deeper understanding. Have students create blogs, using Throwww, reviewed here, to document their learning and observations. Throwww enables you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only and provides a unique URL for sharing. Share research and stories with other classes in your school, students' families, and on your class website or wiki.

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e-learning for kids - Environmental Skills - Dr. Nick van Dam

Grades
K to 6
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e-learning for kids offers a small collection of resources for environmental learning with elementary students. At the time of this review, there were seven detailed lessons on various...more
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e-learning for kids offers a small collection of resources for environmental learning with elementary students. At the time of this review, there were seven detailed lessons on various topics: Global Warming, Energy, Earth's Resources, Homes for Living Things, and others. Choose any lesson to begin and follow prompts to complete each activity. If you receive a message that your computer doesn't meet minimum system requirements, try clicking the image to launch the course anyway. Our editor's computer accessed and completed all activities despite this message.

tag(s): energy (202), environment (319), habitats (85), natural resources (60), resources (112)

In the Classroom

These lessons are perfect for use as mini-lessons on your interactive whiteboard or projector. View and discuss activities together as a class or create a link to lessons for students to complete on classroom computers. Be sure to provide a link to the site on your class webpage or newsletter for students to use at home. Use lessons on this site as part of your Earth Day activities. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as WordItOut, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Quest: The Science of Sustainability - KQED, Inc.

Grades
5 to 9
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Join the Quest and learn all about sustainability and interesting facts about the environment. Some of the interesting topics include A Hidden World Thrives Beneath the Snow, Farm Waste...more
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Join the Quest and learn all about sustainability and interesting facts about the environment. Some of the interesting topics include A Hidden World Thrives Beneath the Snow, Farm Waste Fashionistas, and Let Them Eat Flies. These highly engaging informational texts are great for meeting Common Core standards. Read articles, view video clips (with transcripts), and more. In addition to the main topics highlighted at this site, explore the related videos found at the bottom of the page. This site is often updated (based on the season), so check back often. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): biodiversity (39), climate (93), energy (202), environment (319), sustainability (19)

In the Classroom

Use this resource in science classrooms to connect the importance of sustainability, water use, biodiversity, and other environmental issues to the world surrounding your students. Connect science to social studies (and vice versa) through the discussion of long term problems/hidden costs of unsustainable use of resources, challenges in crafting and enforcing government policies, and effects of environmental issues on other social problems. Use these articles to meet the Common Core standards for reading informational and digital texts. Share the video clips on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Assign cooperative learning groups a video/topic to explore and share with the class around Earth Day. Challenge cooperative learning groups (or partners) to create a story about their topic using a site such as StoryBird, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Science NetLinks - AAAS

Grades
K to 12
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Science NetLinks has a large selection of activities, podcasts, videos, and interactives about a variety of science topics. Search by subject or topic. View the latest Science Updates,...more
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Science NetLinks has a large selection of activities, podcasts, videos, and interactives about a variety of science topics. Search by subject or topic. View the latest Science Updates, Today in Science (Astronomy Day, Earth Day, etc.), Afterschool Resources, learn about the Project Budburst app which makes Citizen Scientists out of students, and more. Find recent lessons and view a slideshow of really great resources. Use the Tool tab of the site to find great science tools. View Collections of resources and lessons. Be sure to visit the site office to see different resources and lessons showcased.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (285), cells (104), earth (231), environment (319), gravity (50), human body (125), medicine (69), motion (62), planets (126), plants (153), sports (97)

In the Classroom

This entire site is a great "go to" place for podcasts, interactives, activities, and more about a vast variety of science topics! Use ideas here for great lessons. Find content that students will no doubt be interested in! Be sure to place this link on your website or class computer for easy access by students. Use many of these topics for students to identify science current events.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Nature Works Everywhere - The Nature Conservancy

Grades
3 to 9
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Explore and understand nature through the use of these great videos, interactives, and lessons. Learn the science behind nature and why it is very important for every living thing on...more
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Explore and understand nature through the use of these great videos, interactives, and lessons. Learn the science behind nature and why it is very important for every living thing on this planet. Find overarching topics such as Water, Stuff (how nature creates the stuff that we use), and more! View featured educational games, scientist biographies, and featured videos on the homepage. Take a video tour of the site, find lesson plans, and read about scientists involved in the project through the tabs along the top.

tag(s): conservation (127), natural resources (60), scientists (69), water (130)

In the Classroom

Be sure to save (bookmark) this page on your blog, wiki, or class website for easy access. Provide a link on a classroom computer for ease of access during an ecology unit. Allow opportunity for students to look at the information on the site to find a topic of interest to them for further research. Or choose a project to do together as a class or school in connection with Earth Day. Create an awareness campaign for students to educate others in the community about the science behind nature, why it is important to conserve, and simple actions that everyone can do. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits (reviewed here. Connect the science learned in your class with the nature around your students lives.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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National Environmental Education Week - National Environmental Education Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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Join Environmental Education Week which is held the week before Earth Day. Get involved in Education Week programs by registering your school and classrooms. Scroll down the page to...more
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Join Environmental Education Week which is held the week before Earth Day. Get involved in Education Week programs by registering your school and classrooms. Scroll down the page to find resources and activities for each day of EE Week. Find even more resources under the tabs on the top menu. Educational materials include videos, infographics, and links to more resources that might be of interest. Be sure to subscribe to their monthly newsletter. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animals (285), climate change (66), earth (231), earth day (111), ecology (135), environment (319), national parks (18), resources (112), water (130)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to plan great activities, lessons, and events for students leading up to Earth Day. For example, search the Weather + Climate page for videos and information about water shortages, drought, climate change, and resources. Use the articles and reports to pique student interest, use short videos in the classroom, and find great websites and programs linked from the page. Use these resources not only for a greater understanding of issues but to create awareness campaigns for change in the home, school, or community. Partner with local groups (conservation or not) to create action plans and events, and provide opportunities for change in the community. Challenge your students to create brochures, magazines, or posters of information learned using Lucidpress, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Discover the Forest - Where the other you lives

Grades
K to 8
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Bring the forest into your classroom with these educational interactives. Match animal tracks, learn how to use a compass, and create leaf rubbings. Download and print the "Book of...more
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Bring the forest into your classroom with these educational interactives. Match animal tracks, learn how to use a compass, and create leaf rubbings. Download and print the "Book of Stuff To Do" outside. Find Educator Resources (including lesson plans) under Get Involved on the top menu. Sound can be turned on or off along the bottom of the site.

tag(s): animals (285), climate change (66), environment (319), forests (30), natural resources (60), wetlands (10)

In the Classroom

Discover the forest from the classroom. Find nature sounds and create your own nature podcast or audio recording. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here. Collect leaves from around the area to create your own leaf rubbings and posters. Create animal tracks of domestic animals to view the difference in tracks. Take advantage of the Educator Resources and free lesson plans!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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