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ecology center - Ecology Center

Grades
5 to 12
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Find information about building a sustainable environment for the future of your community. Though this site is geared for the east bay area in California, many of the tips and ...more
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Find information about building a sustainable environment for the future of your community. Though this site is geared for the east bay area in California, many of the tips and fact sheets are helpful in any area of the world. Get articles and fact sheets (PDF) about plastics, climate change, recipes for healty living, seed saving, and more. Type Lesson Plans in the Search box to find 16 lesson plans on a variety of topics from How to Grow a School Garden, to Global Oneness Project. For those who have used the Terrain lesson plans the site says they will be archived and available soon. Until then, type Terrain into the search, the second entry will take you to their blog about terrain.

Notes: Links on the site ask for donations to the organization and suggest places to volunteer. A store link is also included. This site is best suited for teachers, as it contains lesson plans. Links to articles can be provided directly from your class web page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): consumers (21), earth (231), earth day (111), ecology (135), molecules (44)

In the Classroom

Use the information on the site to enhance lessons on sustainable topics. The background information is extensive and easy to follow. Form students into small groups, based on their interest, for learning about one of the sustainable concepts. Students can create a multimedia presentation of their concept in order to improve awareness for others in the community. Great tools for creating a multimedia project are Venngage, an infographic tool, reviewed here, Padlet, a poster tool, reviewed here, or Gravit, that creates a flyer, post card, or infographic, reviewed here. Use these in conjunction with Earth Day to create local change.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ocean Life - Scholastic

Grades
K to 9
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This website offers an introduction to the Scholastic Explorer's Ocean Life project. Students travel to Costa Rica, New Zealand, and other places to explore the ocean and animals. Students...more
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This website offers an introduction to the Scholastic Explorer's Ocean Life project. Students travel to Costa Rica, New Zealand, and other places to explore the ocean and animals. Students get to learn about real-life ocean explorers. There are also interactive challenges, sure to excite your students. A detailed Teacher's Guide is included. Most of the activities are geared towards students in grades 4-9. However, there are lesson plans (with standards) for students in kindergarten through grade 9. Links to plans for older students are no longer active. Some of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): environment (319)

In the Classroom

This site is a wonderful addition to a unit about the ocean and ecosystems. Check out the lesson plans and see what is available for your grade level. If you teach grades 4-9, be sure to check on the interactive activities available at this website - perfect for your interactive whiteboard or projector.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Seashell Identification Guide - Seashells.com

Grades
2 to 10
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If students ever wonder exactly what seashells they managed to collect at the beach last summer, this is the site to use. Clear photos click to an even larger and ...more
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If students ever wonder exactly what seashells they managed to collect at the beach last summer, this is the site to use. Clear photos click to an even larger and distinct picture of many varieties. Along with the larger picture are the common name, scientific name, region found, and maximum size. Links on the page include more information about identifying shells, cleaning, preserving, and using as decorations.

In the Classroom

Use this site as a kick-off when students return to write their "What I Did on my Summer Vacation" papers. If you're teaching research skills, this site is a good place to start, since it is highly visual but definitive. ESL and ELL students can independently use this site since the vocabulary is limited to names, regions, and sizes. Biology teachers can use this site as a reference when teaching about classification.

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Hunkin's Experiments - Tim Hunkin and Shane Frazer

Grades
3 to 8
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This website, created by cartoonists, offers countless experiments (written in the form of cartoons). There are over ten experiment categories including Food Experiments, Mathematical...more
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This website, created by cartoonists, offers countless experiments (written in the form of cartoons). There are over ten experiment categories including Food Experiments, Mathematical Experiments, Biological Experiments, Electrical Experiments, Experiments in the Office, Sound Experiments, Hobbies Experiments, Science Experiments, Clothes Experiments, Experiments with Light, Experiments with Objects, Experiments with Materials, & Miscellaneous Experiments . Some specific examples include "How to make a Moebius band and how to double the length of a Moebius band," "How to make your tongue into a battery," "How to test an electric fence," and many others. This is not an interactive website, but does offer some very creative ideas for experiments.

tag(s): electricity (90), experiments (73), light (49), sound (103)

In the Classroom

Take a look at this site and determine some experiments that correlate with your curriculum. Then set up a computer learning station based on the topic. Provide a list of experiments for your students to try at the learning center. Most cartoon experiments require very simple supplies (if any). Have students groups create a wiki page explaining why their assigned experiment works and the underlying principles. You will have an instant student-generated "text."

Share this link on your class website for some at-home experimentation.

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The Wilderness Classroom - The Wilderness Classroom Organization

Grades
3 to 8
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The Wilderness Classroom Organization brings educational adventures into the classroom through on-line expeditions. Students can follow expeditions through the Amazon, Peru, Bahamas,...more
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The Wilderness Classroom Organization brings educational adventures into the classroom through on-line expeditions. Students can follow expeditions through the Amazon, Peru, Bahamas, and even dog sledding through Manitoba. The site provides archived experiences along with photos, expedition maps and notes from the trail. There are lesson plans, printable pages, standards, podcasts, video clips, and more. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): amazon (8), mississippi (6), peru (6)

In the Classroom

Use the downloadable lesson plans, printable pages, standards, and kid libraries to organize the unit in conjunction with the expedition. Follow upcoming expeditions in real time live in the classroom. Project the expeditions on an interactive whiteboard or screen. Allow students to participate in scheduled live chat sessions with the expedition members or e-mail them personally, using a class email account or student email within school policies.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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 (134), data (148), images (277)

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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Ocean Challenge Puzzle - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Grades
5 to 9
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This unusual website is set up like a tile puzzle. The unique aspect of this website is that students work as an online team to complete the tile puzzle together. ...more
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This unusual website is set up like a tile puzzle. The unique aspect of this website is that students work as an online team to complete the tile puzzle together. There could be 50 students from around the world working on the same puzzle, without ever communicating. Students click on any of the tiles to answer a question pertaining to the ocean, salt water, or freshwater. If they provide the correct answer, that tile is removed to reveal a piece of the picture. Hints are provided, and second changes are given. The goal of the activity is to move the tiles to reveal the "ocean" picture beneath the surface of the tiles. New puzzles appear frequently (as the puzzles are completed). This website also provides lesson plans relating to the ocean for grades 6-12. The lesson plans correlate with national science standards. You can find the lesson plans by clicking on the Education link. This activity requires FLASH. The lesson plans require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): animals (286), marine biology (33), oceans (152), water (130)

In the Classroom

Ideas abound for this motivating website! How about having your students work on individual computers and see how many tiles the class can "move" while working together. Or if individual computers aren't available, this website makes an excellent learning station or group activity using an interactive whiteboard (or projector). Use it as a thirty-second class starter during every day of your Oceans unit. Be aware - this activity is addicting! Your students may be begging to do this activity on a daily basis.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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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 (319), 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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Copse and Robbers - ARKive Education

Grades
3 to 8
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This fabulous activity motivates students to use their investigative skills to solve a "kid-friendly" murder case and learn scientific inquiry skills in the process. The "victim" is...more
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This fabulous activity motivates students to use their investigative skills to solve a "kid-friendly" murder case and learn scientific inquiry skills in the process. The "victim" is a wood pigeon. Students must search the crime scene for clues. Then students go to the lab to analyze the clues. Much scientific information and hypothesis testing is imbedded into this activity. This activity requires FLASH. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): forensics (27), inquiry (38)

In the Classroom

Visit the Instructions links for details about how to use this program. Use your interactive whiteboard to make this mystery a class challenge. Or use this website as a cooperative learning center. Have students "team-up" into investigative groups. See how many teams can identify the correct culprit. This is a wonderful site to get your students excited about science class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Design a Habitat - ARKive Education

Grades
3 to 9
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This engaging website challenges students to create a safe habitat for the black-footed ferret. Students must make decisions about the size of land that is suitable, the type of habitat...more
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This engaging website challenges students to create a safe habitat for the black-footed ferret. Students must make decisions about the size of land that is suitable, the type of habitat (i.e. grassland or desert), how the success will be monitored, and security (what kind of fence is needed, if any). This website requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): endangered species (38), habitats (84), species (29)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this activity on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Then divide your class into cooperative learning groups and have the groups design their habitats together. Extend the activity and your animal habitats unit by having students "design" a new habitat (drawing and description) for a mythical animal your class "creates" on your interactive whiteboard. Be sure to save the animal drawing and description from the whiteboard so you can include it with the new "habitats" on a class blog, wiki, or good-old bulletin board.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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 (39), diversity (35), hawaii (7), marine biology (33), oceans (152), whales (17)

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 (319), 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 (68), meiosis (15), photosynthesis (32), 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.
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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 (46), paleontology (42)

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 (35)

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.
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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 (95), planets (126), sports (97), 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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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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BugGuide - Troy Bartlett

Grades
2 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
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 (84), insects (70), 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
5 Favorites 0  Comments
  
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 (286), forensics (27), inquiry (38), scientific method (65)

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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