Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce students to this site using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create a wild self and use the information displayed at the end to understand why features of animals are necessary for their survival. Students can write a report or create a multimedia presentation of their own various features and how the life of their created wild self is changed because of them. Younger students can also write a poem or story about a day in the life of the wild self created, using the new creature as a writing prompt. Have students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings of their creature AND choose a location (on a map) where the new creation might live. Tie the wild self into discussions of ecosystems and identify what other organisms would be found in the food chain of this wild self. Have your biology class create wild selves then classify the new species into a taxonomy to better understand concepts of classification of animals!
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomShare the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner to try out the puzzles on their own. Have students (or groups) create their own word puzzles to share as a class challenge as a student-run interactive whiteboard activity or share them on a class wiki.
Grades10 to 12
tag(s): college (44)
In the ClassroomThese are college-level lectures given at Ivy-league universities. The subject matter and the complexity of the subject matter will be beyond many high school students, and the delivery format (video-taped lecture) means there is a certain "MEGO" (my eyes glaze over) effect when viewing these offerings. However, for gifted or academically talented students, these lectures may be exactly the kind of enrichment they have been thirsting for. Provide a link to these lectures for times when a student or two has gotten way ahead of the rest of the class. Let parents know about this site for home use. Refer students who are doing in-depth research. And in your own copious free time, check one out yourself! It may provide an idea or two to apply to an upcoming lesson of your own.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomHave students write an essay, present a class argument, or submit an editorial about concerns with our ocean biomes. Research the historical use of oceans, their impact in our lives, and possible problems economically, socially, culturally, and biologically with current issues and trends. Have students create a multimedia presentation to share their findings, such as an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here .
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): environment (319)
In the ClassroomEngage students in topics relevant to today and students' lives by reading and responding to a variety of timely and peer reviewed articles. Use your own class blog or wiki to elicit responses and conversations from your students. Use this site for research and lesson ideas. Additionally, teach students to review and annotate articles while searching for more information to validate or refute those viewpoints. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects to share their findings: wiki, video, or podcast. Not sure what a wiki is? Check out TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Share the video using Teachers.tv (reviewed here). Create a podcast using a tool such as Podomatic (reviewed here). Learning support teachers working to build content-reading skills will find these articles ideal for practice. Share an article on an interactive whiteboard for students to highlight key terms and generate a sentence for the Main Idea of the article. Cooperate with the biology teacher so students practice with topics currently being studied. If you are not sure of the reading level, check the URL for the article using a tool such as Juicystudio, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis would be a great Earth Day activity, although younger students may not know how to answer some of the questions (the square footage of their house, the size of their hometown). The information gives students very concrete feedback about the environmental impact of their life on the planet. Taking the quiz takes only a few minutes, but the discussion it yields could easily fill a whole class period! If individual computers aren't available, share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
GradesK to 12
Note that all jeopardy templates created become part of the domain and can be used by others.
In the ClassroomUse any already-created game as a quick assessment of prior knowledge or review on projector or interactive whiteboard.
To prevent others from editing your template you create a password when you start. Others will be unable to edit your created game without your password. After creating your password, you are taken to the familiar blue jeopardy screen. Here, enter the title at the top and the topics at the top of the columns. Click on a dollar amount under each topic to enter the clue and the What is... question in a pop-up box. Click done to enter the information. The dollar value square becomes blank to let you know it was completed. When done, click "Save." Click on Browse to view random template titles or enter a term into the search bar. On the "Build" page, follow the quick instructions and even browse tips for editing. When done, an internet link will be given for your Jeopardy game. Put this link in any website, blog, or wiki for students to click on and review information for study.
Use this as an introductory activity to uncover misconceptions. For example, prior to a unit on viruses, create a jeopardy game about myths and truths about viruses. Share the Jeopardy activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use these as a starting point for understanding concepts in the unit. Create review games for students to learn and remember content. After making one game together as a class, allow students to make their own games to challenge each other on segments of the material. This not only provides students with material to review, but the creation of a game takes thought and understanding of the material. Be sure that students understand how to create such a game and how to choose parts carefully. Check student games prior to saving. Maintain a page of Jeopardy links for review of a wide range of curricular topics.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): literature (275)
In the ClassroomStudents could be divided into groups to explore the different parts of the website and then report and compare their findings. Why not have the groups prepare a multi-media presentation. For example, have students create or find (with permission) a photo of Frankenstein or a topic discussed at this site, and use UtellStory, reviewed here, to narrate and add text the photo with what they have learned through researching this site.
Grades4 to 8
The site allows you to take a tour, or register for free. Registration requires about 30-seconds and you do not need to provide an email account or address of any form. This site requires ShockWave. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomThis site is ready to go for your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work individually or with partners to create accounts and create their own fish. Then have the students share their creations on the interactive whiteboard or projector. This site offers some good research for projects about marine animals.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomTeachers should begin their planning at the "For Teachers" link. The link provides standards, detailed activities, enrichment activities, and more! Be sure to try an interactive whiteboard or projector for this unique educational activity. This activity would be great for Earth Day lessons! Have older students complete a multi-media project about the toxins they learn about (blog, wiki, or video).
GradesK to 8
Be aware: recently, this site started to offer certain features of the Teacher's Lounge to "members only." Membership is FREE, but does require an email address. The link for students does NOT require membership to access the interactives, information, or printables. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomThere is SO much to look at and explore, so browse through the offerings, create a plan for your students based on their age and ability level, then mark the site as a favorite on classroom computers. Upper elementary students can use it as an independent learning center. Younger children may need help with some of the text, so consider using an interactive whiteboard or projector and exploring the activities as a class. Click on "Downloads" on the bottom left to find printables, including coloring sheets of Canadian wildlife and various ecology-related worksheets and lesson plans. Click on the 'games and activities' tab and use the interactive whiteboard or projector for whole class eco-minded fun. ESL and ELL teachers, don't miss the 'teacher' section for a cache of activities written for your ELL/ESL students. Interested students will use this one for hours, so some directions will be important for classroom use.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomNavigation of the site is rather simple. Once you put in your own name, there are buttons on the bottom right and left side of your "name box" to "add" an additional family member or "edit" the current name. Once you click to "add" a member, you are able to put in their name, birth date, death date, marital status, and email address (see safety concerns). One tip: to scroll UP use the DOWN arrow, to scroll DOWN use the UP arrow.
This site allows users to set-up their family tree as PRIVATE. It allows you to control who can and can't view your profile, family tree, and other information. For more information about this feature, visit the Privacy link (on the bottom bar). Before you plan your family tree project, be sure to get parental permission. You may want to use this tool with first names and last initials and keep email addresses out of it for safety's sake.
Use this site to create family tree projects in elementary or middle school classes. Have high school students create family trees as part of a unit studying immigration patterns in social studies classes. In science class, have students create fictitious "people" as they study genetics. With younger students, create a class "family" sharing important dates for individuals (i.e. birthdays) or to teach vocabulary and spelling of family terms, such as "grandmother" and "uncle." Have students share their family trees on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to "advertise" this project on your class website (and newsletter, if applicable) so students have time to gather names, birthdates, and other information about family members. In world language classes, have students create a family tree using the correct vocabulary for relatives and talk about it (in their new language!) as they share it on the interactive whiteboard. When researching famous people, reading biographies, or even reading literature, have students create a family tree illustrating their discoveries about their famous person, writer, artist, musician, explorer, literary character, etc.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Grades1 to 6
In the ClassroomTake advantage of this free site. Share the interactive games (which are called "games," but are highly educational) on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students work with a partner and explore the "games" that relate to your current science unit. Why not save the site in your favorites on classroom computers or your class web page, so students can easily access the site. You could use these interactives as a learning station. Use the PDF activities in your class. They are easy to follow, offer step-by-step instructions, materials lists, and more. You could set up science centers focused on each of the activities.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomFCS and health teachers can use this site for student research or scavenger hunts about the heart. The recipe section would be great for FCS classes learning to plan healthy menus. Health/PE classes studying life habits and disease will find lots of information on cardiac conditions and prevention.
GradesK to 2
In the ClassroomThe possibilities at this site are endless. Make your first stop at the Parents and Teachers link. You may find a lesson plan or even short video to share with your class. Be sure to save this site in your favorites. Explore this site with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Set-up learning centers using this website. Students may want to explore this site during independent time when other work is complete. You may also want to list this site on your class website (or on your class newsletter, if applicable).
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): dinosaurs (58)
In the ClassroomUse an interactive whiteboard or projector to effectively show and discuss the dinosaur dig and museum to your class. This Smithsonian website also features a fossil lab slide show if your students crave to learn about this branch of science. Have your students research different types of lesser known dinosaurs and create interactive presentations to share with the class. Rather than a presentation about the research, have students write a fictitious blog post from their researched dinosaur to a large animal of today (such as the elephant). What characteristics do they share? What makes them different?
Teachers of gifted students-- even younger ones-- will want to steer their dinosaur-obsessed students to this site for independent projects.
Grades8 to 12
There are some advertisements on the site, and students should be cautioned not to click on these. Many of the activities at this site require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.