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Plug Into the Smart Grid - General Electric Company

Grades
6 to 12
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This powerful website is moderately interactive, and offers a ton of great information on alternative energy. With its calming appeal, the sounds and the graphics help increase the...more
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This powerful website is moderately interactive, and offers a ton of great information on alternative energy. With its calming appeal, the sounds and the graphics help increase the interest in the topic of energy conservation.

tag(s): conservation (127), energy (198), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Use this website as part of a project on alternative energy or as a resource for environmental resources. This site could also be a launch pad for a discuss of why humans should make changes in their energy consumption. Try showing it at the beginning of a lecture about alternative energy sources or the start of a conservation unit. Have cooperative learning groups view one portion of this site and create electronic "posters" or word graphics using a tool such as Piclits (reviewed here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Science Buzz - Science Museum of Minnesota

Grades
5 to 9
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Brimming with color and current science information, this site is a great current happenings resource. To post to the blog, students must sign up, but the site promises no spamming...more
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Brimming with color and current science information, this site is a great current happenings resource. To post to the blog, students must sign up, but the site promises no spamming from the sign up. The confirmation email does take some time to arrive, and the buzz requires verification before a user can participate. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.

The articles contained in this site are to the point, clear to understand, and in a large font. There are very few distractions going on in the site. It is easy to navigate and has a cool teacher tool in the buzz blog. Click on the Community tab, and the blogs are indexed by standards and grouped into topics such as earth science and physical science with subtopics.

tag(s): animals (276), endangered species (38), news (261), nutrition (154), weather (188)

In the Classroom

This site would be a great resource for current events projects. Students could be assigned a specific article to read, and then post to a discussion forum on the class wiki or another internet discussion board that is acceptable at school. Or have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Renewable Energy Basics - The Pembima Institute

Grades
7 to 12
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Integrate clean air technology into your physical science units. Re-Energy.ca highlights five basic forms of renewable energy; solar electricity and heat, wind power and energy, and...more
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Integrate clean air technology into your physical science units. Re-Energy.ca highlights five basic forms of renewable energy; solar electricity and heat, wind power and energy, and biomass energy. All the necessary background information needed to better understand renewable energy and with a list of valuable links, resources and videos. Included are detailed construction plans for renewable energy models such as a solar oven or wind turbine. The site also addresses larger environmental issues such as global climate change and is dedicated to educating the public on ways to reduce the consumption of natural resources.

tag(s): climate change (64), design (84), electricity (89), energy (198), engineering (125), heat (15), natural resources (59), sustainability (19)

In the Classroom

The projects outlined are in simple steps to show students how to create their own renewable energy technologies. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to get hands on experience with engineering, design, and sustainable energy technologies. It also could be a resource for science fair projects.

If you live in Canada, you can participate in a solar oven design challenge. Teachers from other countries may want to have their class host an on-line collaborative project to compare and contrast the performance of their home made solar ovens

The website provides a unit plan meant to be completed in 11 class periods. You can download free complete lesson plans with detailed instructions. A student planning worksheet outlines research procedures, project guidelines, timeline for completion dates and evaluation criteria they are expected to meet.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Science IQ - Science IQ. com

Grades
8 to 12
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This website features answers to new science questions everyday. If the simple answer is not enough for you, there are helpful links, and suggested additional reading if you would like...more
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This website features answers to new science questions everyday. If the simple answer is not enough for you, there are helpful links, and suggested additional reading if you would like a greater understanding of the concept. Even more information is available through using the categorized science facts found on the left side of the screen. Questions are also searchable by keyword. Subjects include: physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, mathematics, geology, engineering, and medicine.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): area (66), carbon (21), carbon footprint (11), chemicals (40), coal (14), earthquakes (48), energy (198), engineering (125), fossil fuels (18), fossils (44), glaciers (14), machines (30), matter (58), moon (72), natural resources (59), ozone (10), ph (4), planets (123), prime numbers (31), pythagorean theorem (35), questioning (31), space (205), square roots (24), stars (61), sun (71), volume (45)

In the Classroom

Try using this site's questions on a weekly or daily basis in science or math class to start discussions and provoke student thinking. Allow students to view the question on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then brainstorm possible answers. Once enough thoughts have been seeded, share the real answers. Or, allow students to work at the answer as the lesson continues for a few days and reveal the correct answer as a finale to the lesson.

This site could also be used as a learning station for the question of the day or the week.

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Science Bob Q&A - Steve Galgas

Grades
3 to 9
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This webpage provides weekly answers to student submitted questions. Answers are student friendly, and offer pictures to help explain the answer. ...more
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This webpage provides weekly answers to student submitted questions. Answers are student friendly, and offer pictures to help explain the answer.

tag(s): questioning (31)

In the Classroom

Use questions as a good bank of "hooks" to start classroom discussions on various topics. Allow students time to expand the question and arrive at their own answers, and then have them view the actual given answer. From here, students can accept or reject the answer by finding more information on the topic.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Science Master Learning Galleries - The KGM Group, Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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This site is a categorized collection of scientific pictures (and descriptions) to enhance understanding of specific science concepts. This specific page is this site's jump-start for...more
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This site is a categorized collection of scientific pictures (and descriptions) to enhance understanding of specific science concepts. This specific page is this site's jump-start for Earth science. There are also jump start pages for space science, life science, and physical science.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): acid rain (5), carbon (21), climate (92), earth (228), earthquakes (48), fire (25), fossils (44), glaciers (14), hurricanes (35), images (266), natural disasters (20), natural resources (59), rocks (49), tsunamis (16), volcanoes (61), water cycle (33), wetlands (9)

In the Classroom

For a quick use, add images from this site to a PowerPoint. For a more in-depth use of the site, either choose several pictures/topics that would enhance your unit, or allow students to choose a topic they would like to investigate further. Have pairs or small groups of students brainstorm questions they have about the topic. Many of the questions they come up with will be answered when they click on the picture. For the questions that aren't answered on that page, have the student research the answer using the Internet as a resource.

Have student groups make an online Stixy (reviewed here) of things they discover about their picture/topic, and later rearrange the items to "explain" their topic to classmates visually.
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Exploring Earth Visualizations - McDougal Littell

Grades
6 to 12
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View a variety of visualizations about earth processes. Choose from chapters from their popular Earth Science book to find fascinating simulations and interactives that are engaging...more
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View a variety of visualizations about earth processes. Choose from chapters from their popular Earth Science book to find fascinating simulations and interactives that are engaging and educational.

tag(s): atmosphere (26), climate (92), earth (228), earthquakes (48), erosion (17), geology (81), oceans (148), plate tectonics (23), volcanoes (61), water (130), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use "Observe a raindrop traveling through various paths of the water cycle" at the beginning of a unit on the water cycle. Give students the vocabulary terms and have them describe or narrate the path of one drop of water through the interactive. Students choose anywhere to start and after time will realize why it is a cycle. Use "Examine Earth from a new perspective" to view the Earth using a variety of contexts: earthquakes, sea surface temperatures, or seasonal changes in land to name a few. Use the Earthquakes visualization to see where the major earthquakes have occurred over time. Use this visualization to find the pattern in the earth. Use as the start of a unit in plate tectonics or later in the unit when discussing human population in the world as well. (Many are along coastlines where major populations are located.)
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Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary - University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Grades
4 to 12
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Find a vast array of lessons and resources on plant and growing technologies on this diverse site. Lessons include Case Studies that can be examined as an introduction to many ...more
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Find a vast array of lessons and resources on plant and growing technologies on this diverse site. Lessons include Case Studies that can be examined as an introduction to many Biology and Ecology topics.

tag(s): agriculture (55), ecology (135), erosion (17), plants (145)

In the Classroom

Find specific lessons on a topic such as Erosion. Use the simple and effective lesson plans and activities to learn about the processes and effects of erosion on the land. Research additional information such as losses attributed to erosion, natural events that disrupt human and other animal populations, and other related environmental problems. Use Google Maps or Google Earth (reviewed here) to map out the case studies presented in the resource. Create placemarks in either application that provide information about erosion, the causes, and the problems created. Research additional items to include in maps or Earth such as images, videos, or news articles that can be viewed to understand the problems. You might consider having students use a tool such as Middlespot, reviewed here, an innovative website for bookmarking in a unique, visual way. Add search material from anywhere on the web by dragging and dropping elements around the screen. Students would use this to help them keep track of their findings. Use with food and fiber activities that identify how many grown products are used not only as food but for building and other materials.

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Central Park Conservancy - Central Park Conservancy

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, created by the Central Park Conservancy, provides some interesting features about the park which includes history and films and famous photographs taken in the park. There...more
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This site, created by the Central Park Conservancy, provides some interesting features about the park which includes history and films and famous photographs taken in the park. There is tour and event information, so whether you're planning a virtual field trip or an actual field trip to Central park, this site is worth your viewing.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (276), environment (317), national parks (16), plants (145), trees (30), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to plan a trip to the park. Or, create a virtual field trip by designating specific places on the website that students have to visit. Have students locate different buildings, art, and trees in the park. It could be a great way to do a virtual leaf collection (in this case - tree collection) with the site's tree database. Have students find at least ten different trees and then create a presentation providing different information about those trees, including their locations in the park. Assign small groups to explore one facet of this site and create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Use the site to help teach geography content such as latitude and longitude by having the students create a map to "escape the park."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Earth Pulse: State of the Earth 2010 - National Geographic

Grades
5 to 12
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What exactly is the state of the Earth now (well, 2010)? Learn from topics such as "Crowding Our Planet," "Satisfying Our Demands," and "Straining Our Resources." Read about focus stories,...more
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What exactly is the state of the Earth now (well, 2010)? Learn from topics such as "Crowding Our Planet," "Satisfying Our Demands," and "Straining Our Resources." Read about focus stories, take an EarthPulse quiz, or view Vital Statistics. View impressive photos, read essays, and view a multitude of resources.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ecology (135), population (60), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Use photos for students to develop their own point of view essays or suggestions to make the planet better for the future. Use focus stories to ask questions about sustainability, resources, and population. Search other areas of the web for better understanding of issues and our involvement in them (even if they are far removed from where we live.) Create conventional or multimedia presentations of the material for discussions and engagement of others within or outside the school community. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Create an awareness plan to teach other classes or members of the community about local and global issues.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Science Friday Kids' Connection - NPR

Grades
6 to 12
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Science Friday includes a live science show, chat rooms, and a science desk for questions. Science links and mentors are also available. There are experiments to try, and an online...more
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Science Friday includes a live science show, chat rooms, and a science desk for questions. Science links and mentors are also available. There are experiments to try, and an online library for users. The site features podcasts of broadcasts of the PRN Science Friday shows, and a weekly video. They can be listened to on the site or downloaded through iTunes. Broadcasts can also be listened to live from links on the site. This hands-on site was designed for the user to have a science experience like no other.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): agriculture (55), air (163), animals (276), anthropology (11), archeology (32), chemicals (40), child development (25), climate (92), climate change (64), computers (95), ecology (135), ecosystems (88), electricity (89), energy (198), engineering (125), environment (317), experiments (71), genetics (90), habitats (84), insects (69), light (46), magnetism (36), medicine (67), mental health (26), nuclear energy (24), nutrition (154), oceans (148), paleontology (41), planets (123), plants (145), podcasts (52), psychology (64), radio (27), reproduction (9), sociology (22), space (205), stars (61), transportation (40), water (130), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use Science Friday as a springboard and resource for research projects, or as an end of the week fun discussion. Play a podcast, and have students discuss the meaning and any possible misunderstandings. You could set up a computer in your classroom with a Science Friday podcast or video set up and ready to go for students to cycle through or for those who finsh their work early.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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How To SMILE - National Science Digital Library

Grades
K to 12
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This site is a compilation of many math and science resources along with a social networking component. Currently there are almost 2000 activities, lessons, and videos and the site...more
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This site is a compilation of many math and science resources along with a social networking component. Currently there are almost 2000 activities, lessons, and videos and the site is constantly growing. There are several ways to use the site both as a registered user or without registration. Without registering for the site you can search and access lessons and information through the different search methods such as keywords, subjects, source institution, and more. Free registration allows the site to become much more personalized. After registering, you can make lists of resources for any different topic, share lists or searches with others, add comments, or add your own resources. Most activities on the site are free; however, there are some searches that deliver lessons that are paid - these are clearly indicated and not frequent enough to discourage use of this site. Searches can also filter out any paid activities and return only free items. Teachers may also want to subscribe to the site's blog and newsletter to receive updated information as it is added to the site.

In case you are wondering about the title, SMILE is the Science and Math Informal Learning Educators pathway of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL).

tag(s): resources (112), social networking (112), STEM (134), video (254)

In the Classroom

This is a perfect way to organize and sort lessons by topic or age range for future classroom use or to share with fellow teachers. Create a community list of lessons to use within your district. Share this site with other teachers in your building or district as a resource for STEM lessons. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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ITSI - SU - Concord Consortium

Grades
6 to 12
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ITSI-SU is a portal for using and creating interactive web-based labs and simulation activities. Brought to you by the research staff of the Concord Consortium, this free online programing...more
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ITSI-SU is a portal for using and creating interactive web-based labs and simulation activities. Brought to you by the research staff of the Concord Consortium, this free online programing uses an assortment of data collection tools from molecular modeling software and web-based simulations to computer sensors (which would need to be purchased if not already in the classroom). Interactives are standards based, thorough, and created with "backward design" in mind. Each activity begins with an inquiry question and a picture with real world relevance. One of the strengths of this program is that it can be used "as is," however all existing activities can be modified by the teacher using them. Any teacher can create new activities of their own as well. Once these activities are created and saved, they can be accessed by other teachers under the "DIY:Other activities area" of the Activities. This added value is something that is rarely found in online lab software. One warning for using this program: it is Java based so modules have to be downloaded. The download takes time and requires tat you "allow" it. Some school computers may block such downloads.

tag(s): modeling (9), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

There are different levels of use of this site with incremental time and effort. The most basic users will need to create an account. Once the account is created, the user can create classes in the "Home" section of the site. This can be found on the left side of the screen. Beside "My Classes" choose "add a class." Here you will create different sections of students. Name your courses what you wish, but remember the sign-up word. You will give this to students when they create their accounts, and it will automatically enroll them into your class. Once they have signed up, their names will show up in the "My Students" section. Once the class is named, choose the activities you would like to have in your ITSI-SU class. Save your choices and the sign-up word will be shown in green print on the screen. Again, save this word. (You can go back into class information to find it if you forget, but you can save yourself time by remembering it.) From this point, basic users need only to show the site to the students and perhaps make some instructions for signing up for their students. Modules are ready to go. As the teacher, you can view the students' work and answers once they have completed the activity they are assigned. More adventurous users can modify activities by following onscreen instruction or even creating their own.

The only thing that could snag the use of this program is that the Java download may be prevented by your district's web filtering software. Please try this first ("preview activities"). One other concern is that downloading the Java app to every computer in a class of twenty students or more can pull a lot of bandwidth in a network. If your school's internet is not exactly top of the line, try running six computers with students working in groups to accommodate the internet capabilities. Have other students sit at their seat and work on preparing materials, so all students are learning and being productive. This program should be tried for the first time by the teacher to avoid any "tech" complications. Teachers who must request software installation by tech staff may want to try this tool at home so they can explain and convince administration of its educational value.

A great way to use this programing, on the smallest scale, is to share the initial lab question and picture to start a classroom discussion. Have students speculate about the possible answers to the question and possible "whys." Have students ask questions about the picture and attempt to explain its relevance to the question, and coincidentally the activity. From this point, you can have students log into the site and create accounts. Either as individuals or have groups of students create a group log in, name, and password. (Student passwords are available to the teacher at any time from the teachers homepage. Please warn students of this when they are choosing passwords so that they choose something school-appropriate.) Another way to use this portal is to pick a modeling lab as an ongoing science enrichment project for students.

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National Phenology Network - USA National Phenology Network

Grades
8 to 12
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What is Phenology? It is the study of cycles in nature from bird and animal migration to changing of leaf colors. Many of our actions on the planet are affected ...more
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What is Phenology? It is the study of cycles in nature from bird and animal migration to changing of leaf colors. Many of our actions on the planet are affected by phenology. This site invites the general public to become observers. Identify the variety of plants and animals in your region and submit data after registering. You can also help in recoveringand recording historical data by entering scanned observation cards into a database.

tag(s): environment (317), food chains (22), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Identify global issues and their consequences through participation on this site. Learn about seasonal changes with animals and plants, adaptations of organisms, and the interrelationships among organisms. Ask students the following questions: Could using herbicides and pesticides at other times of the year yield a better result? What cycles would you need to look at? What natural resources can be managed more efficiently if we followed cycles? What animal or plant cycles have been affected by environmental changes? Students can enter the information from the scanned cards for a community service project or a graduation project. By looking at data such as when insects emerge and when migrating songbirds arrive, students could also learn about the interdependence of plants and animals, and possibly more importantly, the consequences when that interdependence is interrupted by human activity. Challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate a specific topic on this website and make a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Or challenge student groups to make an infographic that depicts the impact of a specific human activity.

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Biomes of the World - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 8
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Introduce the earth's different biomes with this unit, created by TeachersFirst. Biomes include coniferous forest, deciduous forest, tropical rainforest, tundra, ocean, fresh...more
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Introduce the earth's different biomes with this unit, created by TeachersFirst. Biomes include coniferous forest, deciduous forest, tropical rainforest, tundra, ocean, fresh water, desert, and the savannah. Each link includes information and pictures. Students can complete an on-line research project on a biome of their choice, using selected web resources, or they can learn the basics of biomes with the information provided in the unit. There are links to the introduction, to learn more about the project, and even a teachers link (with a TON of class activity ideas).

tag(s): biomes (116), earth (228), earth day (112), ecosystems (88)

In the Classroom

Have students work in cooperative learning groups to explore this site. Challenge students to create multimedia presentations about the biomes. How about a Powerpoint? Or have students narrate a photo of the biome using a site such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Other options include creating a wiki, blog, or video.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TeachersFirst's Earthquake Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand how earthquakes happen and learn about famous earthquakes in history. Also...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand how earthquakes happen and learn about famous earthquakes in history. Also included are sites and tools well suited for projects about earthquakes.

tag(s): earthquakes (48), plate tectonics (23)

In the Classroom

Share this collection as a Favorite on your TeachersFirst public page so students can use the resources as part of a project during your unit on plate tectonics or natural disasters. Use the collection as a starting point, noting the resources that are more challenging for your more able students.

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Learning to Give - Points of Light Institute

Grades
K to 12
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The goal of this site is to educate youth about philanthropy and giving their time and knowledge for the global good. To do this, they offer over 1400 free lesson ...more
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The goal of this site is to educate youth about philanthropy and giving their time and knowledge for the global good. To do this, they offer over 1400 free lesson plans for teachers, parents, and community leaders. Lessons are coded to state standards and can be searched by grade level, keyword, subject, or academic or philanthropy standard. Some lessons are geared toward private or religious schools and are clearly labeled as such. Lessons include subject, key concepts, vocabulary, objectives, materials needed, approximate time, procedures, extensions, handouts, and much more. An example of a grade 3-5 lesson would be Cool Kids Compost which explores responsible use of resources by gathering data about lunchroom waste. Don't let the concept of philanthropy keep you from exploring the site, there are many great classroom lessons available for all subjects.

tag(s): african american (113), animal homes (41), animals (276), charts and graphs (195), colonial america (107), communities (35), data (148), diversity (36), ecology (135), environment (317), heroes (24), money (193), recycling (57)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for all subject matters, search for subject and browse resources. Share with other teachers in your building or district including teachers of the arts. Get your students involved! Challenge cooperative learning groups to create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here discussing one of the topics at this site.

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Earth Science Teaching Lessons - Compiled by Christy Pratt

Grades
4 to 12
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This site contains links to many lesson plans and resources for teaching Earth Science. The top of the page links to different topics of Earth Science such as Astronomy, Earthquakes,...more
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This site contains links to many lesson plans and resources for teaching Earth Science. The top of the page links to different topics of Earth Science such as Astronomy, Earthquakes, Rocks and Minerals, and others. Within each category are links to information, webquests, and videos, as well as lesson plans. One excellent portion of the site may be easy to overlook so be sure to look on the left side of the page for Categories. Here you will find a wealth of information on diverse topics such as historical geography, tsunamis, world records, careers, and more. Within these links are news, videos, and popular items. Note: many of the links will take you to different websites so you will want to review before using with students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): earthquakes (48), erosion (17), fossils (44), hurricanes (35), maps (287), rocks (49), tsunamis (16), volcanoes (61), water (130), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to view videos and images from the site with your class. Use lesson plans provided as additional resources within Earth Science units. Assign students different portions of the site to review and prepare multimedia projects to share with the class. Have cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Or challenge students to narrate an image using a site such as Thinklink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Curiosity - Discovery Channel

Grades
8 to 12
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See fascinating questions contributed to Discovery by actual people. View the multimedia answers to understand the facts about to the question. Apply to become an expert to help answer...more
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See fascinating questions contributed to Discovery by actual people. View the multimedia answers to understand the facts about to the question. Apply to become an expert to help answer questions. Select subject topics along the bottom to view questions. Warning: there are sexually related questions. You will want to preview before sharing in class. And you may also want to make this site a teacher-lead activity only.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): questioning (31), sexuality (14)

In the Classroom

Looking for an answer to a student question? Check here first. The answer may be waiting for you! Promote scientific curiosity by featuring a question a week as a class intro. Consider creating a similar page on your class site (or wiki) sharing student questions to guide student research and presentation of answers in an engaging manner. Challenge more able students to add their own thinking questions/answers as alternatives to curriculum they have already mastered. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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NOAA's satellite fire imagery pages - US Government

Grades
1 to 12
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Satellite Fire Detection/Imagery ...more
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Satellite Fire Detection/Imagery

tag(s): fire (25)

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