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Virtual Microscope - Imaging Tech Group/NASA

Grades
6 to 12
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Open the microscopic world of science to your students with NASA's virtual microscope. The free software (Win, OSX, Linux) comes with access to over 90 multi-dimensional, high-resolution...more
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Open the microscopic world of science to your students with NASA's virtual microscope. The free software (Win, OSX, Linux) comes with access to over 90 multi-dimensional, high-resolution image datasets, training animations, and videos that teach the basics of microscopy. Students can explore and annotate pre-prepared images as if they were using real instruments in real-time. This resource-rich site is one of NASA's career outreach programs and offers loads of information for students and teachers. Subscribe to the RSS feed to be alerted as new data is added every week. This website requires Java and Quick-Time. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): careers (132), data (148), images (269)

In the Classroom

Consider having the entire science department request the download and installation of this exciting free software. If you are the lone science teacher, ask your principal to request installation of the software on computers of your choice. Be sure to download the datasets in advance, as file sizes are large. Use a projector or interactive whiteboard to show the microscope view for whole-class discussion. Load the software on student computers for small-group activities.

Be sure to provide this link on your teacher web page. Parents can install the software at home for homework assignments.

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Field Trip Earth - North Carolina Zoological Society

Grades
4 to 12
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From sea turtles to the Przewalski horse, travel around the cyber globe to learn more about the endangered animals around us. Learn from the authentic field reports, read interviews...more
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From sea turtles to the Przewalski horse, travel around the cyber globe to learn more about the endangered animals around us. Learn from the authentic field reports, read interviews of animal researchers, or study the essays from folks in the field. The neatest part of this site is the interactive field trip map. Click on the "Choose a Field Trip" link, then 'fly' your plane (using your mouse) over the various flagged locations around the globe. When your mouse moves over the starred area, an information pop-up tells about the endangered animal at that location. For authentic, up-to-the-minute information about our endangered animals, bookmark this site. Some of the activities require Quicktime. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): endangered species (38), environment (317), species (29)

In the Classroom

Have students choose one location on the Field Trip map. Do multi-subject projects, by learning about that location's history, culture, etc, and think about how the interaction of the natives may have led to the endangerment of the local animal. Teachers, click on the Teacher Resources link. You will find oodles of lesson plan ideas--most are general strategies that do not pertain to Field Trip Earth, yet are very useful. Learn from others by exchanging your class ideas with other discussion board postings. Don't forget about this site's search engine for your information needs.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The College of Exploration - Video Showcase - The College of Exploration

Grades
6 to 12
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This phenomenal website provides twelve short videos about a variety of oceanography and marine biology topics. Specific video topics include: Predators Among Us, Hawaiian Hotspots,...more
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This phenomenal website provides twelve short videos about a variety of oceanography and marine biology topics. Specific video topics include: Predators Among Us, Hawaiian Hotspots, Maritime History, Shipwrecks of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, A Polynesian Story, Saved by a Shark, Biodiversity, SPLASH: Monitoring Humpback Whales, Exploring Plate Tectonics, Volunteer Monitoring, Marine Protected Areas, and SIMoN Says. Each video is only a few minutes in length and could easily be incorporated into your lessons. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): biodiversity (38), diversity (36), hawaii (7), marine biology (33), oceans (149), whales (16)

In the Classroom

Use one of these videos (or several) as an anticipatory set for a science lesson on one of the topics, sharing the video on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Students will enjoy the "up close" look at the ocean and its many creatures. Or have students work in cooperative learning groups and choose one of the videos to view as a group. Have the groups share the information from their video clip. If you are looking for a science research project, why not assign one of the twelve topics to each of your students and have them further investigate the specific topic.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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NOVA Online: The Perfect Pearl - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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The "Perfect Pearl" was created to coincide with a PBS broadcast. However, the information is useful and informative without viewing the program. The topics include "What's Killing...more
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The "Perfect Pearl" was created to coincide with a PBS broadcast. However, the information is useful and informative without viewing the program. The topics include "What's Killing the Oysters," "Culture of Freshwater Pearls," "How Many Pearls," and "The History of Pearls." The "How Many Pearls" activity combines the science of pearls with higher-level math skills.

tag(s): environment (317), japan (61)

In the Classroom

This website would make an excellent "mini-research" project or a case study into real world ocean science and the problems of determining man's possible impact on nature. Divide your class into cooperative learning groups. Have the groups delve into one of the four main topics discussed. Then have each group present the information to the remainder of the class or prepare a "presentation" for world gem traders on the future of pearls. Check out the Teacher's Guide for additional ideas about how to integrate this website into your lessons.

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Cell Biology Animation/ Communicating at an Unknown Rate - John Kyrk

Grades
7 to 12
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What happens when a biologist with a passion for art creates a website? This fabulous animation site shows the artistic side of biological processes along with a few surprises. View...more
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What happens when a biologist with a passion for art creates a website? This fabulous animation site shows the artistic side of biological processes along with a few surprises. View animations that demonstrate amino acids and proteins, cell anatomy, evolution time line, Krebs cycle, and photosynthesis, to name a few. Some animations are very simplistic but artfully done. Other links include Architectural art, Fibionacci numbers, and Golden ratios. The site is written in 6 languages. Caution: a link for sale of CD of the animations is also on the page. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): dna (69), meiosis (15), photosynthesis (33), water (130)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introduction to your lessons or as a review on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Your visual/spatial students and budding artists will be especially intrigued by such an approach. Create classroom models of DNA using the 3D stereoscopic models on the site. Follow the animation to write the steps of complex cellular activities. Use the zoom to see close up views of the structures.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Who Dung It? - BBC

Grades
6 to 10
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Use logical reasoning, your knowledge of prehistoric animals, and the scientific approach of a paleontologist to match the type of ancient "dung" to the animal who produced it. After...more
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Use logical reasoning, your knowledge of prehistoric animals, and the scientific approach of a paleontologist to match the type of ancient "dung" to the animal who produced it. After finding out if you are right, read about the creature whose droppings are featured. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): dinosaurs (57), fossils (44), paleontology (41)

In the Classroom

Hook your reluctant scientists and readers with this interactive challenge. This is a great way to introduce scientific approach and provide students with practice in the logic scientists use. Share the site on a projector or laptops as a whole class or partner activity to introduce your "what is science" unit, especially with skeptical middle schoolers.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Wolf Quest - Minnesota Zoo

Grades
4 to 12
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This fabulous website about wolves and habitats in Yellowstone allows participants to "live" as a wolf, raise their young, explore the wilderness, go hunting, and survive. Students...more
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This fabulous website about wolves and habitats in Yellowstone allows participants to "live" as a wolf, raise their young, explore the wilderness, go hunting, and survive. Students can work alone or with partners, as they learn about wolves in the wild. Students can consult biologists, write original stories, create drawings, and more. This is the first episode; future installments are expected in late 2008. Students and/or teachers must register (free)to use the program. We recommend using a single class/teacher registration or parent/student written agreements for student registrations in order to prevent inappropriate postings "clever" students might make on the community discussion boards. There are also detailed lesson plans (click on Wolf Info > classroom activities). The lesson plans include national science standards. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): zoology (7)

In the Classroom

Introduce this free resource on interactive whiteboard or projector. The lesson plans and interactive activity are both perfect tools to drum up enthusiasm in biology class. The Game Info provides excellent descriptors and instructions for using this program. Be sure to check back for updated episodes. Include this website on your teacher web site (and the activities) as one of a set of activities on animals and their habitats to be done in class or outside. Then challenge your students to work together in documenting local animals and habitats in a class wiki or group science fair project.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Universal Leonardo - University of the Arts, London

Grades
6 to 12
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Leonardo da Vinci is one of history's greatest geniuses. This site looks at Leonardo's work in ways that highlight how comprehensive and interdisciplinary his impact has been. Of...more
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Leonardo da Vinci is one of history's greatest geniuses. This site looks at Leonardo's work in ways that highlight how comprehensive and interdisciplinary his impact has been. Of course, you can examine his individual works of art, but this site is organized along threads, which you can access through a traditional menu or through an interactive web. Follow Leonardo's influence in math, through his inventions, in his understanding of the human body or his examination of the natural world. There are also some just-plain-fun flash-enabled games to play: make the Mona Lisa smile broadly by correctly answering questions about her, practice mirror writing, or see if you can power his glider across a ravine.

tag(s): renaissance (34)

In the Classroom

Because Leonardo's work crosses so many curricular boundaries, teachers from many different disciplines might find this site useful as part of a lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard, particularly when painting "the big picture" for students (no pun intended!). Art teachers, of course, can access Leonardo's work, but science teachers can use the interactive games to illustrate principles of physics or early understanding of the human body. History or literature teachers might use the site to personify the term "Renaissance Man" for students studying the time period. Whatever your discipline, be sure to make the link available from your teacher web page for curious students to explore outside of class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Planet Science - NESTA

Grades
K to 12
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This MUST SEE interactive science website features eight specific areas. The "News" section includes weekly news updates and features. "Wired" has challenging interactive games for...more
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This MUST SEE interactive science website features eight specific areas. The "News" section includes weekly news updates and features. "Wired" has challenging interactive games for grades 4-12. "Sci-Teach" provides countless resources for teachers of all grades. "Out There" takes you to the "back garden of science delights," including inventors, sound, vampires, and the flu. "Parents" has useful ideas - even science experiments for children's parties. "Under 11s" is geared for younger students, an excellent collection!. The activities teach traditional science topics using new multimedia. The "Next Steps" link challenges students to think about their future careers (both science and non-science). There are printable pages and interactive activities for elementary, middle, and high school students. The "Library" link features countless online science resources.

Nearly every one of the activities requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): inventors and inventions (96), planets (124), sports (96), water (130)

In the Classroom

Nearly all of the activities are ideal for interactive whiteboards (or projectors). This site is so rich it may be overwhelming. If you are an elementary teacher, start at the "Under 11s" link. Otherwise, visit the "Sci-Teach" link first for some excellent ideas, resources, and science fun. Preview this site before starting any science unit to find related activites and extensions.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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NOVA: Science Now - Stem Cells - PBS

Grades
8 to 12
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This timely website is all about stem cells. PBS created this wonderful interactive website that includes a 14-minute video, slide show, printable pages, and a wealth of information....more
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This timely website is all about stem cells. PBS created this wonderful interactive website that includes a 14-minute video, slide show, printable pages, and a wealth of information. Specific topics vary from the cloning process to the politics of stem cells. This website analyzes how to find the balance between respecting life (human embryos) and the hope for finding cures for various diseases by using stem cells. The interactive pages and video require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): embryos (4)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous site to use for a class debate on stem cells. Share the video and research with your students. Then have your students participate in a class debate or compose a writing piece to share their views on the subject. There is a detailed lesson plan included (see the "Teacher's Guide" for more information).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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NDSL Science Literacy Maps - The National Science Digital Library

Grades
K to 12
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Enter a search term or click the pulldown of science topics to see a graphical representation of how standards-based math and science concepts fit together and interrelate, then click...more
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Enter a search term or click the pulldown of science topics to see a graphical representation of how standards-based math and science concepts fit together and interrelate, then click on a single standards to find web resources and lesson plans specifically for that concept. Seeing the concepts organized in a hierarchy from K to grade 12 and "connected" to the precursors and following standards makes it much easier to see where your students have been and where they are headed in science before and after you teach them. The best part is that you can find exactly the resources you need to get them where they need to go.

In the Classroom

Mark this in your Favorites on TeachersFirst to access it every time you start a new science topic or unit. Consider sharing a simpler version of the same map, created in Inspiration or using an online tool such as Gliffy (our review here) or Mindomo (see review )to show your students how the content in your science classes fit with their prior knowledge and connect from unit to unit. About a month before the year ends, challenge them to work in small groups and create their OWN annotated concept maps of the "big ideas" studied during the school year.

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The Virtual Autopsy - University of Leicester

Grades
9 to 12
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This intriguing website gives students a front row seat to anatomy and physiology. The website provides 18 virtual autopsy cases. Each case includes a presentation about the case, history...more
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This intriguing website gives students a front row seat to anatomy and physiology. The website provides 18 virtual autopsy cases. Each case includes a presentation about the case, history of the patient, and results of examinations performed on the patient. The cases each offer students an interactive human body. Students can click on various body parts to learn more about the health of each of the systems of the body (central nervous system, respiratory system, endocrine system, gastrointestinal track, cardiovascular system, reticulo-endothelial system, genito-urinary system, musculoskeletal system, and general external appearance). Once students have investigated the case, they are asked to identify the cause of death (the website provides 5+ possibilities for each case). If the students guess the cause of death incorrectly, they receive clues.

tag(s): human body (121)

In the Classroom

What an excellent way to excite your students about learning the science of anatomy and physiology! Get out your interactive whiteboards to share a case as you talk about the process of inquiry. Or have cooperative learning groups explore different investigations. Use teacher discretion as to whether your students can maturely handle illustrations of the human body. Be sure to read the "How to Use This Website" link for additional ideas.

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BugGuide - Troy Bartlett

Grades
2 to 12
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Whether you teach insect basics or the details of biodiversity, this wonderful reference site provides a valuable online guide to insects, spiders, and other bugs. It was started as...more
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Whether you teach insect basics or the details of biodiversity, this wonderful reference site provides a valuable online guide to insects, spiders, and other bugs. It was started as "labor of love" site by a "bug enthusiast," but has earned enough respect for Iowa State University to host the site. This guide is extremely informative, but don't expect animation and other "bells and whistles". The photographs are up close, the information is detailed, and the guide is very extensive. The guide includes information about classifications, names, habitats, pronunciations, sizes, life cycles, foods, Internet references, and more. "Bug" enthusiasts contribute photos and help identify unknown creatures!

tag(s): habitats (86), insects (69), spiders (10)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous tool to use for online research about bugs. Students will love the close-up graphics. You may use images from the site that state: "Students are permitted to use images for school projects. Educators are permitted to use images for presentations given to their students." Simply click the photographer's name under a photo to read the terms that photographer specifies. The main contributor,Troy Bartlett, includes this permission. Note that such permission does NOT mean that you can use the photos on web sites or in publications. Ask your students to create a digital "bug collection" or collect bugs to show concepts such as adaptations in a PowerPoint or poster. If you have a good digital camera, contribute some class photos to the projects, too! You could even make your own "bug guide" on a wiki.

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Nature: Crime Scene Creatures - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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What a fascinating website! Now you can teach scientific inquiry, biology, and chemistry with a CSI twist. Did you know that bugs and other small creatures are now being used ...more
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What a fascinating website! Now you can teach scientific inquiry, biology, and chemistry with a CSI twist. Did you know that bugs and other small creatures are now being used to help forensic scientists solve murders and other mysteries? This website takes you behind the scenes to see exactly how biologists from around the world are using maggots, ants, and other animals to solve various crimes. These creatures help scientists to determine the time of death, track a killer's path, and even zero in on a specific suspect. Features of this website include a wonderfully-done interactive (determining the time of death), video clips, interviews with real scientists in the field, and much more. The interactive pages and video clips require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): animals (277), forensics (27), inquiry (37), scientific method (64)

In the Classroom

Don't miss the AWESOME interactive activity (Determine the Time of Death). This educational activity is sure to grab the attention of your students, as they examine a crime scene and try to determine the time of death by using various bugs and other small creatures. Get your interactive whiteboard ready, and be prepared for an exciting class period. Stop to talk about inquiry process, dependent and independent variables, hypothesis, conclusions, and more, using this engaging interactive.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Exploratorium Magazine Online: Exploring Memories - Exploratorium Magazine

Grades
6 to 12
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Did you ever worry when you couldn't find your car keys or your textbook? This website focuses on memory, mental capacity, the mind, Alzheimer's, and how to improve your memory. ...more
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Did you ever worry when you couldn't find your car keys or your textbook? This website focuses on memory, mental capacity, the mind, Alzheimer's, and how to improve your memory. There is a unique interactive drawing activity (based on memory) that requires ShockWave. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): brain (73), psychology (64)

In the Classroom

Get an interactive whiteboard (or projector) ready for the unique drawing activity. The activity could be used as an anticipatory set for a science class on memory, the brain, Alzheimer's or other mental capacity topics.

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Exploring Online: Better Hair Through Chemistry - Exploratorium Magazine

Grades
6 to 10
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Are you looking for a unique way to grab the attention of your teenage students? This interesting website explores the connection between hair and science. Correlations are made between...more
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Are you looking for a unique way to grab the attention of your teenage students? This interesting website explores the connection between hair and science. Correlations are made between bad hair days and the weather. Three of the "hands on" activities include building a hair hygrometer, the healthy hair test, and creating curls. Some of the articles feature interactive elements that require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): air (163), weather (189)

In the Classroom

Although this website doesn't have many "bells and whistles" (it dates back to 1998), the content could be very interesting in a chemistry or other secondary science class. This website takes a "teenage friendly" topic and brings it into the science classroom. There are many higher-level science topics within the text of this website. Invite students to try the experiments and even to use technology to create more up-to-date illustrations of the concepts for a health or science fair display.
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I was wondering - National Science Academies

Grades
5 to 10
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Meet Lia and learn about women scientists. Anyone, especially middle school aged girls, is encouraged to become a scientist as Lia celebrates the lives and contributions of 10 female...more
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Meet Lia and learn about women scientists. Anyone, especially middle school aged girls, is encouraged to become a scientist as Lia celebrates the lives and contributions of 10 female scientists. You will find hands-on, "sharable" science activities and games that make science fun. Book suggestions and amazing links associated with the women scientists' fields complete the offerings of this site designed to dispel the myth that girls can't do science.

tag(s): climate (92), genetics (90), space (206)

In the Classroom

The topics range from robots to subatomic particles, from biology to astronomy to social science. Use this site as a jumping off point to for scientist biographies and study of science careers in a variety of areas. Many of the links make excellent curriculum resources, as well. Be sure to make this site available from your teacher web page and encourage students to try some of the hands-on activities at home. Most are designed to be "social events" where students can invite friends to join in. Mention this to parents, as well, so they can encourage their young scientists with science parties!
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Exploratorium Magazine Online: The Body - Exploratorium Magazine

Grades
5 to 12
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This informative website provides numerous science topics all involving the human body. The links are basically articles (some possess interactive features). Specific topics/articles...more
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This informative website provides numerous science topics all involving the human body. The links are basically articles (some possess interactive features). Specific topics/articles include self-portrait silhouettes, your body in your mind's eye, watching the brain at work, and peering inside the body (specifically the common techniques used to look inside the human body). Some of the techniques highlighted include PET scan, angiography, CT scan, ultrasound, fiber-obtic imaging, and others.

tag(s): brain (73), human body (121), sound (100)

In the Classroom

The articles each contain some unique "hands-on" experiments to provide real-world connections for curriculum concepts. Many of the activities would create a great anticipatory set for a new lesson on body systems, health, perception, technology, the brain, biochemistry, and more. Some of the articles have a "print this article" option, for those teachers wanting to provide their students with a hard copy of the article.

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Les Oiseaux - Ecopains d'abord

Grades
4 to 12
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This site provides beautiful photographs of birds from around the world and displays the locations of many on a map in the sidebar. The birds are categorized alphabetically according...more
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This site provides beautiful photographs of birds from around the world and displays the locations of many on a map in the sidebar. The birds are categorized alphabetically according to country. If you find yourself viewing information in French, click the small British flag at the top of the page to see it in English.

tag(s): biodiversity (38), birds (51), diversity (36)

In the Classroom

Use a projector or whiteboard to share several images as you start a lesson on biodiversity or adaptation. The maps will allow you to discuss climate and habitat in conjunction with the image of the bird. Students can also research or submit bird images using this site. If your biology class wants a project, mapping and photographing local birds would be an excellent contribution to this site.

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National Atlas - United States Department of the Interior

Grades
2 to 12
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This all-encompassing atlas site provides a broad variety of information and activities. The subject areas include agriculture, biology, boundaries, climate, environment, geology, government,...more
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This all-encompassing atlas site provides a broad variety of information and activities. The subject areas include agriculture, biology, boundaries, climate, environment, geology, government, history, mapping, transportation, people, and water. All of the subjects incorporate the United States (for example, the agriculture pages discuss the agriculture of the USA). The map features are phenomenal and include both printable maps and "dynamic maps" which are interactive and awesome! Some of interactive maps include topics such as relief and elevation, West Nile virus, volcanoes and more. This site is a perfect addition to any science class that is studying volcanoes, climate, biology and more. It is also useful in a geography class studying the various uses and types of maps. Some of the activities at this site require Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): agriculture (55), climate (92), environment (317), geology (81), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Have your students work in cooperative learning groups to investigate the "dynamic maps". Assign each group a topic to explore (there are 7). Have the students research the information using the maps and then report their findings to the class, perhaps displaying examples on a projector or interactive whiteboard. In teaching any of the related subjects, using a projector to share a map will make the content more "real," such as displaying the butterfly layer in the map maker so students can see how the butterfly population their home state compares with other locations.
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