TeachersFirst's Inventors and Inventions Resources

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

Invent and Innovate! This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers, parents, and students learn about inventors and inventions. Use these resources for science or social studies lessons and activities about innovation and invention, in observance of National Inventors' Day (celebrated on February 11, Thomas Edison's birthday),  or at any time during the school year. Whether you are simply learning about the history of invention or planning a schoolwide Invention Convention, these resources will provide inspiration and project possibilities.

 

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Awesome Stories - AwesomeStories

Grades
4 to 12
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AwesomeStories is a one stop shop of primary source materials. It is a gathering place of sources located at national archives, libraries, universities, museums, historical societies...more
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AwesomeStories is a one stop shop of primary source materials. It is a gathering place of sources located at national archives, libraries, universities, museums, historical societies and government-created websites. The site includes documents, videos, audio clips and narrations. Topics range from the Women's Movement to Emperor Penguins to Abraham Lincoln to the Easter Story (through medieval/renaissance art) and much more. Search by biography, disaster, trials, flicks, history, philosophy, sports, or the arts. You can also search by lesson plans, narrations, slide shows, videos, images, audio clips, documentaries, and more! You can also take advantage of the Visual Vocabulary to learn vocabulary related to many of the stories and video clips available at this site.

tag(s): art history (69), artists (75), biographies (86), black history (59), civil rights (117), civil war (145), cross cultural understanding (115), disasters (39), earthquakes (48), easter (21), inventors and inventions (101), korea (15), lincoln (86), mars (41), movies (64), natural disasters (20), presidents (130), primary sources (86), resources (112), south africa (10), vocabulary (324), weather (188), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

Use this rich site to support your social studies, history, science, language arts classroom and many others! There is a lot here to explore and many diverse topics. Use the Visual Vocabulary Builder to introduce your students to new vocabulary in a different way. Middle and high schoolers could use the movies to teach about character development and themes. The site includes several lesson plans that help you teach with current movies. Have your students use the site to find historical images to use in presentations. (Be sure to check the licensing on any image you use and cite it properly.) Project the video clips using an interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce students to a unit of study. Challenge small groups of students to explore one of the topics presented at this site and share their "story" with the rest of the class. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Many texts on this site are also useful examples of informational texts for practice of Common Core standards.
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SySTEM Alert - Pitsco Education

Grades
6 to 12
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This free publication provides relevance and shows the value of STEM material students learn in class and its importance to our present and future lives. The newsletter showcases articles...more
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This free publication provides relevance and shows the value of STEM material students learn in class and its importance to our present and future lives. The newsletter showcases articles about content and inventions that interest those at any age. By focusing on articles written about and by inventors and scientists, the human side of STEM shows the passion and inventiveness that underlie current knowledge and technology advancements. There are activities to complete, video clips to view, and much information to learn. Do you want to learn how to design a robot? Look no further than the February 2013 issue of this publication. Archived publications are available back to Fall 2012.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101), scientific method (64), scientists (68), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Use these newsletters to show students how their lives are connected to STEM achievements. Students can read and comment on specific articles or careers. Use a variety of these PDF's when researching various STEM careers or highlighting inventions and discoveries. Students can create a traditional or multimedia report on the information learned.
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Inhabitat - Inhabitat, LLC

Grades
7 to 12
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Find technological improvements and enhancements that make a difference in today's rapidly changing world. This site's mission statement is "Good design is green design." Search articles...more
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Find technological improvements and enhancements that make a difference in today's rapidly changing world. This site's mission statement is "Good design is green design." Search articles about improvements in architecture, interiors, energy, technology, transportation, fashion, art, and kids. Read blog posts about advancements in each of the categories. Below the posts are related topics of additional interest. This site appears to be updated often, so be sure to check back.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ecology (135), environment (317), inventors and inventions (101), persuasive writing (55), resources (112)

In the Classroom

When discussing environmental topics, be sure to share this link on your class website or on a class computer for students to access information about great technological breakthroughs. Use when students are researching technological advancements of their choice. Challenge individual students or cooperative learning groups to read one of the articles and report their findings to the class, making connections to some of the topics you study. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. If you teach about advertising techniques inventions, challenge your students to select a "product" from this site to create a new advertisement using a specific technique. The innovative ideas will spark their interest! Use articles from this site for reading comprehension selections that will interest even the most reluctant readers. The articles are also useful prompts for persuasive writing or debates.

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Scholastic - Teaching With Brian Selznick - Scholastic

Grades
3 to 8
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Find curriculum integration ideas on the books of Brian Selznick's Wonderstruck and The Invention of Hugo Cabret. The site contains lesson plans, videos, and virtual field...more
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Find curriculum integration ideas on the books of Brian Selznick's Wonderstruck and The Invention of Hugo Cabret. The site contains lesson plans, videos, and virtual field trips.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): authors (120), letter writing (21), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

Using your interactive whiteboard or projector go on three virtual field trips to visit the Museum of Natural History. Then use the activities to have your students work in collaborative groups. Be sure to check out the Novel Notes activity. Have your students use the Letter Writing Generator reviewed here to write their own letters.
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Famous Scientists - famousscientists.org

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6 to 12
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Know your Einstein from your Eddington with this informative site that profiles some of the greatest scientists. Learn about their contributions to science and society and how their...more
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Know your Einstein from your Eddington with this informative site that profiles some of the greatest scientists. Learn about their contributions to science and society and how their discoveries affect us today. Don't click on the underlined words; this does NOT provide definitions. Instead it brings up advertisements.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101), scientists (68)

In the Classroom

The reading level of this site is rather challenging. Have weaker readers work together with stronger ones. While discussing scientists and inventors, use this site as a resource for gathering information. Have small groups of students research scientists from the same time period. Have them research their contributions including reactions of others to their discovery or invention. Research why these inventions were particularly important and the scientific knowledge that changed as a result. Have them present their findings to the class by creating a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Then, if you would like to take your students critical thinking up a notch, you could have the small groups compare the different inventions and decide how and why the earlier inventions had to come before a later invention could be developed. For this you might want to have students use a collaborative graphic organizer like Creately reviewed here and have them report out their thoughts and discoveries to the class.

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Center for PRobing the NanoScale - Nano Activities - Stanford University

Grades
2 to 12
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Nano has become a buzz word in our language, but what does it really mean? Find out by looking at this site from Stanford University. Do you have billions of ...more
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Nano has become a buzz word in our language, but what does it really mean? Find out by looking at this site from Stanford University. Do you have billions of things to do, and no time for things that are as small as a billionth of a meter? You need to make time to learn about this tiny scale that packs a mighty little punch today in science, technology, and even in our global economy. Make some time for this teeny tiny stuff because it's big, very big! This website provides a set of thorough, hands-on lesson plans that are excellent for magnifying this microscopic concept.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101), measurement (159), microscopes (13)

In the Classroom

Are you struggling to wrap young minds around the tiny world of nanoscale? Lessons are appropriate for grades two to twelve, but could be adapted if you are teaching middle level students who have never been introduced to the world of nanotechnology. As an introduction for students who have never thought about nano, talk about how the use of this technology created better underwear that help prevent odor and decrease sweating. This is sure to start an interesting conversation. Just make sure that you set boundaries before you begin the discussion. See what other lines of clothing students could "create" with nanotechnology. Have them share their "inventions" on a class wiki or in a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Tesla - Master of Lightning - PBS

Grades
4 to 12
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Flash to PBS to get a bolt of learning about Nikola Tesla. Discover a compressive view of Tesla from his early years and his coming to America. Follow his ...more
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Flash to PBS to get a bolt of learning about Nikola Tesla. Discover a compressive view of Tesla from his early years and his coming to America. Follow his accomplishments while harnessing the Niagara. Discover the true mystery about who invented the radio. Trace his inventions and accomplishments. Inside the lab, discover the AC motor, the Tesla coil, radio, remote controls, and improved lightning. Resources include a timeline of electricity and radio, Tesla's patents, and articles about Tesla. Explore discussions from experts about Tesla's life and accomplishments. There are lesson plans for teachers. Some materials are for sale.

tag(s): electricity (89), energy (197), industrial revolution (25), inventors and inventions (101), motion (58), radio (27)

In the Classroom

Add intrigue and mystery, to your science unit on electricity, motion, or inventors as you study the life and accomplishments of Nikola Tesla. Excellent lesson plans include a concrete understanding of potential energy, mechanical energy to electrical energy. Use on an interactive white board to begin your unit or create a "Who Dunnit" with electricity or radio. Follow the structure of ideas presented to create an online "famous scientist" wiki, blog or PowerPoint to add to your class website. Use a Socratic seminar to debate which scientist should get credit for the induction motor, radio, and even the Industrial Revolution. Use the readings for older students, advanced readers, or gifted students, as they are far above the reading level of elementary and early middle school students. In language arts, writing topics could include "What a shock electricity is in my life" and "Will the true inventor of electricity please stand up?" The ideas and resources are electrifying!
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Hidden Hereos - Steve Henn, Hans J. Meyer

Grades
6 to 12
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See a display and history of products that we rarely think about but all use daily. Scroll over the colored bars to see what some of these simple, but ...more
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See a display and history of products that we rarely think about but all use daily. Scroll over the colored bars to see what some of these simple, but highly functional and successful inventions are. Learn about zippers, paper clips, plastic bottle carriers, cable ties, coffee filters, and post-its. There are plenty more to investigate. After selecting your language, choose the colored bars you wish to learn about, and click on "begin the exhibition." Register for newsletters that will include details of the new "heroes." The site suggests you can contact them to suggest everyday items you want to know more about. When you first arrive on the page, there is a tab on the left. If you click on "Museum," you can read about how an object can become a "Hidden Hero."

tag(s): design (84), engineering (125), inventors and inventions (101)

In the Classroom

Hidden Hereos is an excellent site to use for nonfiction reading assignments or to inspire future scientists and industrial designers/engineers. Include it in reading practice or in a unit on inventions and design. The reading level of the page is about tenth grade, so it would be a suitable site to share with your advanced readers, high school students, and gifted students. Share this site with your students, and allow them to explore as many inventions as they want. You may want to assign small groups to read about certain inventions each day and then share with the rest of their group until your class has gone through all. Then have them think of an everyday item not listed here and research that item. You might want to consider contacting the developers of this site; ask them to research and display their findings on the object your students suggested.
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In-sites to Einstein - Jen Farr

Grades
7 to 12
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Find everything you would want to know about Einstein on this cool site! Read information such as a bibliography, his work and contributions, specific information about his theories,...more
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Find everything you would want to know about Einstein on this cool site! Read information such as a bibliography, his work and contributions, specific information about his theories, and even quotes he has made. A vast array of sites is listed in each section, and much of the information is actually located elsewhere on the web.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101), scientists (68)

In the Classroom

Have groups of students spend time perusing the topics and taking time to collect information. Share information learned with other members of the class to get a great background on the life and works of Einstein. Use to understand the theories he developed and discuss the difference between laws and theories. Have students (or groups) explore a specific part of this site and write a blog post about what they learn. Use a site such as Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary! Use this site as part of a unit for the gifted on Great Minds.

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Re-Living the Wright Way - Tom Benson - NASA

Grades
3 to 12
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This site provides information and resources about the Wright Brothers, their flights, and the science behind their work. The site was created to celebrate the centennial anniversary...more
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This site provides information and resources about the Wright Brothers, their flights, and the science behind their work. The site was created to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Wright Brothers historic flight. Although the site may appear simple in design, it has many nooks and crannies to explore.

tag(s): aviation (39), flight (36), gravity (45), inventors and inventions (101), motion (58), scientists (68), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

This site provides teachers with resources on the topics of Newton's Laws of Motion, The Four Forces of Flight, Lift, Drag, Thrust, Weight, Center of Gravity, Roll, and Pitch. View the videos using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Download the simulations to your classroom computers and have students work in groups to solve them. Have students work cooperatively to complete one of the many activities found on the site like building a model airplane. Students can then conduct an investigation to see whose plane can fly the farthest.
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Evil Mad Scientist - Evil Mad Science

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6 to 12
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Discover irreverent, creative new projects featured every week in Evil Mad Scientist blog. This blog features applied science and math concepts in unique or unusual ways. A few of them...more
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Discover irreverent, creative new projects featured every week in Evil Mad Scientist blog. This blog features applied science and math concepts in unique or unusual ways. A few of them push the envelope, but all will get you thinking. Every Wednesday, new projects tickle your imagination. Watch videos, read the latest stories, or comment on existing projects. Browse the shop,-- not to buy, but to see and analyze remarkable inventions. Join a mailing list to never miss new projects. Note: a few of the ideas involve hacking electronics and computers, so the site may be blocked by school filters. Preview to know for sure. See notes below on ways to share specific articles.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (109), inventors and inventions (101), scientific method (64), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Inspire creativity and original thinking with Evil Mad Scientist. Use as inspiration or examples for student projects in art, science, or music, research, or applied creativity. If you share a link with students, you may want to link to a specific post or use Readability (reviewed here) to provide a "clean view" of the post. Evaluate projects together on the IWB to help students identify characteristics of creativity and talk about how the ideas may have come to be. Use this site during a unit on scientific method so students connect the discipline of research with the creative results. What kind of experimenting took place? What principles of science? Compare the inventions available in the Shop with inventions from the Industrial Revolution. How is today a different environment for inventors (or is it?) Begin your own Evil Mad Scientist blog to feature your students' creativity or slightly irreverent ideas in a safe and school-appropriate environment, almost as an STEM graffiti wall.

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Social Studies Foldables - Susie Orr

Grades
4 to 8
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Find downloadable pdfs and templates to support US History social studies curriculum. An extensive list of offerings includes items from maps to events to documents etc. The site also...more
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Find downloadable pdfs and templates to support US History social studies curriculum. An extensive list of offerings includes items from maps to events to documents etc. The site also includes limited suggestions on how to use the offerings. There are also links to other maps at this carefully documented site. Scroll down to see the letter from the person who created the originals, as the "Read Me First" note suggests.

tag(s): abolition (7), american revolution (86), bill of rights (28), black history (59), colonial america (107), declaration of independence (13), history day (23), inventors and inventions (101), louisiana purchase (7), maps (288), native americans (78), politics (99), presidents (130), slavery (72), states (163), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Even if you do not have time to explore all the offerings, check the list of activities often to enrich your background information on U.S. historical events and people and your lessons. Search for templates or maps that are useful to what you are currently studying.
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Inspire My Kids - Mike Stutman and Kevin Conklin

Grades
K to 12
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Find inspiring, age-appropriate, real-life stories, videos, and projects to share with the children and teens. The site hopes to help these students take positive actions and become...more
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Find inspiring, age-appropriate, real-life stories, videos, and projects to share with the children and teens. The site hopes to help these students take positive actions and become the best people they can be. Stories offer great examples of values like courage, determination, honesty, humility, kindness, responsibility, and tolerance. The stories range from incredible kids inspiring other kids, to amazing animals demonstrating admirable qualities, to the invention of inspirational social causes. Stories are searchable in several ways - by values, topics, age range, and format. Formats include articles, podcasts, reference, and videos. You can also sign up for the site's newsletter including updates and new article information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bullying (52), disabilities (20), school violence (12), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Share stories from the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector when learning about character traits such as sportsmanship, perseverance, and responsibility. Use the site as a resource when problems arise in the classroom such as bullying, intolerance, or special needs awareness. Have students use resources from the website as models for writing their own articles or creating a podcast. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Use the stories as models for writing activities and essays. Your students could also draw inspiration from this site to create values comics using one of many comic creation tools in this TeachersFirst collection.
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CurriConnects Book List - Inventors and Inventions - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Use this CurriConnects list to find books related to Inventions. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels...more
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Use this CurriConnects list to find books related to Inventions. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'''''''® to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly.

tag(s): book lists (126), inventors and inventions (101), reading lists (73)

In the Classroom

Build student literacy skills, reinforce what students are learning about Inventions, and help students build the important reading strategy of connecting what they read to prior (classroom!) knowledge. Share this link on your class web page or wiki so students can select independent reading books to accompany your unit on Inventions. Don't forget to share the list with the school and local libraries so they can bring in some of the books on interlibrary loan. CurriConnects are a great help for teachers who have lost school library/media specialists due to budget cuts.

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Museum of Obsolete Objects - MoooJvM

Grades
6 to 12
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View this interactive video timeline to look at obsolete technologies from the past, including rotary hand mixers, cassette tapes, and other technologies. These short videos share "obsolete"...more
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View this interactive video timeline to look at obsolete technologies from the past, including rotary hand mixers, cassette tapes, and other technologies. These short videos share "obsolete" items from the 1860s to 2000s. (Note: if your school blocks YouTube, this site will not be accessible. Ask to have this specific url unblocked).

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101)

In the Classroom

Use as a introductory video into science and technology. Identify the science understanding and concepts needed to change the technologies. Brainstorm other technologies that could be added to this list from the various decades. Brainstorm together using a tool such as Mindmeister (reviewed here). Challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate a specific decade and determine what was a new invention then but is no longer used today. Have students create slideshows using Zoho Show (reviewed here). Display these on a blog or wiki for students to review and comment. Assign students to do a written or recorded interview of those who have used these old technologies to find out how life has changed before and after the technology.
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Science of Everyday Life - Discovery Education

Grades
K to 12
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Explore science in everyday life to understand the impact of science and technology. Find information for students, educators, and families as well as lesson plans and activities. Lesson...more
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Explore science in everyday life to understand the impact of science and technology. Find information for students, educators, and families as well as lesson plans and activities. Lesson plans are standards based and divided into age groupings. (Note: at the time of this review, the lesson plans for grades 9-12 were still unavailable). View lessons and interactives to make science come alive. The videos even include the grade range! View the family section for great online labs and family activities. This site can make science accessible and interesting even to middle school girls who may begin to shy away from anything scientific.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101)

In the Classroom

Use the many great activities to bring home basic science concepts such as collisions and motion in the activity "Cushion It!" Help students make real world connections that may interest them in a science career. Use the innovation activities as part of a unit in inventors and inventions. This site has something for every age level. This is a fabulous site to save in your class favorites for students to explore on their own. Challenge cooperative learning groups to research a specific science topic and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class about their topic. Have students create a simple online posters using PicLits (reviewed here). This is also a fabulous link to share on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.
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Thinkport tools - Maryland Public Television and John Hopkins University

Grades
2 to 12
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This site provides sample student activities and "how to" instructions for students to create timelines, museums, pattern makers, and more. Explore the tools to give students ownership...more
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This site provides sample student activities and "how to" instructions for students to create timelines, museums, pattern makers, and more. Explore the tools to give students ownership over their learning. Create your own activities or use the sample activities given with each tool. Use the Timeline Builder to easily create a simple but customizable timeline. Examine text for better understanding with the Annotate It! tool. Build spatial sense with the Pattern Builder that combines art and geometry in a fun to use tool. Create your own Museum is a great learning tool to decide what to showcase in any type of museum.

tag(s): museums (49), patterns (85), reading comprehension (116), timelines (62), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Use these tools for any subject area and for any content. Be sure to look at the sample activities that are great to use as is or can stimulate thinking into your own projects. Use the timeline as an introduction to the first year by discussing their summer activities, major events in a students life, inventions or technology that made a difference in their life, events in their favorite book, and more. To understand content in perspective, create a timeline to be sure students understand why some events happen at particular times. For example, our understanding about biology greatly changes after the invention of the microscope. A great sample activity to Create your own Museum is the celebration of neighborhoods which can create a greater understanding about different people. Create a museum for each different kind of biome that showcases what would be found there. Create a museum for a time period in history but created by a specific group of people. View each of the museums and note the differences in what is portrayed using the lens of that various segment of the population. Create writings or blog posts portraying the differences in the museums and why these differences exist. Even young students can make a simple timeline of their own life of the life cycle of a butterfly to build the concept of linear representation of time.

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Clockwords - Gabob

Grades
4 to 8
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Improve vocabulary skills in this engaging activity while helping the inventor discover the secrets to the magical machine. Beautiful graphics and sound make this game an intriguing...more
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Improve vocabulary skills in this engaging activity while helping the inventor discover the secrets to the magical machine. Beautiful graphics and sound make this game an intriguing delight. Find words including specified letters, and defend to eliminate the invading bugs. Different games offer different levels to make a challenging game. At the time of this review, Act 1 of the activity is available. Act 2 and 3 will be coming soon. Compete against other players from all over the world to achieve the high score. In order to compete against others, a valid email address is required. Be sure to check with your school to conform to guidelines on student email use. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here. The option for a free installation on your computer allows this game readily available.

tag(s): game based learning (103), spelling (168), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

In your classroom, use Clockwords as a center activity, reward activity, or team game with your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge your students by using vocabulary words from science, math, or language arts. Within your class, look for high scores among students or teams. Be sure to provide this link on your class website. Incorrectly spelled words are not counted as valid words. Help this by supplying a dictionary or an online dictionary link.
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Invention at Play - Smithsonian Museum of National History

Grades
K to 6
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The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation offers this site as a way to explore and learn how to play. The site includes opportunities for play that ...more
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The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation offers this site as a way to explore and learn how to play. The site includes opportunities for play that develops visual thinking, problem solving, exploration, and collaboration. You can also create your own doodles to help develop creative thinking and invention. There is a link to inventor's stories, including stories from little known and well known inventors such as Stephanie Kwolek (Kevlar) and Alexander Bell (telephone). Each story includes background on the inventor and information on how their idea developed. Teachers may find the section entitled "Does Play Matter" useful as a resource to back up using play in the classroom. Several videos are included demonstrating play activities and skills developed through play and the use of common toys.

tag(s): biographies (86), inventors and inventions (101), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Create a link to the site on classroom computers for students to explore the games. Share the site with parents on your classroom website or blog as a resource for using play as a learning tool. Share the site at conferences or parent meetings as a resource for developing learning skills through play. Include the inventor biographies as a resource for students when researching inventors.
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Explore the Cosmos - The Planetary Society

Grades
6 to 12
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Become part of space exploration via The Planetary Society's activities, the place to go for space enthusiasts. The society's mission is "To inspire the people of Earth to explore...more
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Become part of space exploration via The Planetary Society's activities, the place to go for space enthusiasts. The society's mission is "To inspire the people of Earth to explore other worlds, understand our own, and seek life elsewhere." Although the site is text-heavy, the society offers many ways to engage with the latest space news, images, and experiences related to space and space exploration. The Kids section (see link at the left) explains ways kids can observe and participate in various space activities. The various projects range from working with space images (using free Gimp software) to following blogs and news of various space projects. The content is quite up to date and covers projects rarely reported in mainstream media. Learn about technologies designed specifically for space experiments (see "Innovative technologies"), such as Mars microphones. Of course, there is the usual information about planets, but it goes into greater depth than a typical "About Space" site designed for schools. There is even a Weekly Planetary Radio Trivia Contest. If Carl Sagan is one of the founders, you know the society is serious!

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101), nasa (39), planets (123), space (205)

In the Classroom

Make this site a link on your class web page during a unit on space or all year round. Gifted students and those with a passion for space will find endless discoveries. Include this site as a research source when assigning projects about space or the planets. If you have more able students in upper elementary of middle school, use this site as a differentiated alternative for them to research at a higher level. Inspire students to read in content areas by sharing space-related "current events" articles from this site. These selections would work well on interactive whiteboards for practice using highlighters to find main idea, context clues, and other comprehension skills. If you assign portions of the site to the entire class, you may need to assign "reading buddies" for weaker readers. Challenge students to narrate space image galleries (search for the blog entry on the "New Flickr collection of historical NASA photos") or design and explain their own devices for space exploration on Thinglink, reviewed here.

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