Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Science News for Kids as a great reading and reporting assignment. Weaker readers will need a reading buddy for some of the more challenging article. Classes in lower grades will want to read the articles together. A quick check on one article using Juicy Studio's Readability test (reviewed here) provided an approximate grade level of 6.5. Check articles before assigning to elementary students. Students can find an article of interest to read, summarize, and report to the class as part of a Science in My World unit or regular science current events activity. Have students create commercials about their topics. Video and share using a site such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Students can use these news articles to find additional relevant information on the internet. Students may find these topics to be great independent study topics. Teach reading comprehension using these factual articles on your interactive whiteboard, asking students to highlight key words and generate a "main idea" sentence using them. Articles offer ideal practice for informational reading questions on high-stakes reading tests.
GradesK to 12
Click the "Go" button to start your activity. Click on the correct answer to the question and then a new question appears. Prompts to try again appear if the answer is wrong and a percent right appears on your screen as you progress. Click on the teacher's link in the upper right hand corner for more information on becoming registered. Once registered, teachers can create their own games for the site. Your teacher ID can be entered by students to access created games.
In the ClassroomUse these activities for review of concepts or terminology with your class on specific topics/subjects. Wish there were a review game for a missing topic? Request a teacher ID, and have groups of students create the questions. Enter the information for the game and students can review by playing their game or one created by another group. Share the student-created games on your interactive whiteboard or projector.These games would be great to both help students review and help them figure out what kind of study methods work best for them.
Grades5 to 12
Be aware: at the time of this review, the link to the video mentioned in this lesson plan was not working properly. Our editors found it, so you can access it directly from here: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/science-of-natural-history/forensic-sleuth/forensic-entomology/. This site does include some appropriate advertisements for the museum. The site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. Get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomCombine ideas from this site and the TeachersFirst "Who Did It" unit for a crime-solving extravaganza of science. Project this site on your classroom projector or interactive whiteboard to provide stimulation for the students about to embark on the crime solving. Divide your class into teams to collect, analyze and assess the clues left behind. Challenge students to create their own CSI investigation story or scene. Have students create an online book (story) about their mystery using a tool such as Bookemon reviewed here. Or have the groups create a video of their "forensic file" case using a sharing tool such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.
Science that can be used in an ELA mystery unitShirley, CA, Grades: 6 - 12
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomSave this site in your favorites. This site could easily fit in health class, science, current events lessons, and more. Use the site in social studies classes to provide factual information about this very difficult problem. Use it as a jumping off point for students researching similar issues for other types of addictive behaviors. Have your students make their own ads based on the videos and radio transmissions they can view here. Share the videos using a tool such as Teachers.TV reviewed here. Keep the reference information from this site for students who want to do further reading, research, and self-education. List this site on your class website for students (and parents) to explore both in and out of the classroom.
Use this site during your drug unit or Red Ribbon Week as background information for students or student groups to make anti-drug multimedia presentations using any of the reviewed tools from the TeachersFirst Edge.
GradesK to 12
Once you find a webcam operating during your time zone's daylight hours (see notes on each animal by clicking on the animal webcam site to know its webcam hours), simply click and watch. Your class may want to join the forums for each animal at their Facebook site (if your schools' Acceptable Use Policy allows). The sweetest deal with this webcam? It's all free. Think about it--no fee for the coolest field trips on earth! Your students will be "oohing" and "ahhing" at the beautiful scenery and cool antics of the animals. This LIVE site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
tag(s): animals (285)
In the ClassroomBegin your day by projecting an animal 'du jour' on your big screen(interactive whiteboard or projector. Compare the animals from one day to the next. Students may keep journals on observations. Tie in animal research reports with their 'scientific' observations. Turn the non-fictional lives of the animals into delightful fictional stories with realism intermixed for authenticity. Why not create a class wiki about your LIVE animal "field trips? Not sure what a wiki is? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Teachers, make sure you sign up for the free newsletter to catch updates on new animal webcams.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): flash cards (46)
In the ClassroomShare the online vocabulary words on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Students can work in pairs at a computer to enhance the flashcard learning. GED and placement test learners will find this feature most useful. Foreign language learners will find all their flash card needs are met with this site. Share this site on your class website for students to use to practice both in and out of the classroom. Use this tool with ESL/ELL students. Use this site for students to practice new science vocabulary words. Imagine the possibilities!
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 (46)
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 (318)
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.
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
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.
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.
In the ClassroomHave groups of students view different topics through the periodic table to view the trends and offer explanations why. Teams of students can then present to the class and provide practical examples for understanding. Include this link along with other online periodic tables and ask students to decide which is the best tool to help them understand major chemical concepts.
Grades5 to 10
In the ClassroomUse portions of this site as an anticipatory set in your science or math class. The information is simple to understand and would be useful for students struggling with a topic. Use the site for research about specific topics. Have teams of students explore each of the "sub-topics" within the main topic and then create an interactive presentation (Powerpoint, video, or wiki) to share the information with their class. Why not list this link on your class website, so students can access the page both in and out of the classroom.
Grades6 to 12
Membership is free and has many perks. You are able to comment and/or grade the video clips or even submit your own video. Registration does require some personal information: a username, password, email address, and date of birth. ALL USERS MUST BE OVER 13-years of age! Check with your administrator about allowing the students to register for this site using fictitious names. You may wish to set up a class registration instead of entering true data into the registration site. Another option is to create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.
Warning: not all videos are suitable for the classroom. Be sure to preview what you wish to share. If you choose to allow your older students to navigate this site on their own (for research or a class project), be sure to set boundaries on which videos to watch, consequences for going elsewhere, and WATCH CAREFULLY! Some videos explain "how to" do things that are unsafe or inappropriate for school-ages audiences. Wonder How To does include unobtrusive advertisements. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.