GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomUse these great interactives (and information) to learn interesting information about nature and the organisms in it. For example, under "Mammals," choose "Build a Digestive System" or "Evolution of Appendages" to learn more about how animals are adapted to live in their environment. Other interactives include "Bird Yard" that challenges learners to develop a habitat for birds and "Tracks" for learning to calculate the speed of a horned dinosaur. Use these interactives as a pre-activity to your unit on ecosystems or animals or as a way to connect learned information in an exciting and engaging way.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomThe clips are brief which makes them ideal for introductions to math lessons or science lessons utilizing the interactive whiteboard or projector. Also, a lesson could be developed in math showing students what a clip of math in a real world movie looks like, and then have students use research to create their own short video clips. Share the videos using a tool such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomUse these "courses" as reinforcement of concepts, to uncover misconceptions, and to explore interesting topics. Share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create learning centers focuses on the specific content of the activities. Have cooperative learning groups (or individual students) explore specific topics and report back to the class. For example, have each group view the activities for a specific body part (blood, brain, hearing, immune system, heart and circulation, skeleton, skin, teeth, and more) and create a multimedia presentation. Have cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Provide this link on your class website for families to explore together.
Grades5 to 9
In the ClassroomFrom Life Processes to Solids, Liquids, and Gases in Science, Orders of Operation to Probability in Math, and Writing Structure to Shakespeare in English, find a topic for any material you are covering. Share the interactive (or other sections) on your projector or interactive whiteboard). Provide this link on your class website for students to use to practice both in and out of the classroom. After viewing a topic, brainstorm the main points together as a class and use the information on additional problems or interactives within the classroom.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomDemonstrate this site (or the portions useful in your classroom) on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use data related to population such as birth, death, marriage, etc. as well as other social data such as energy and utilities and education. As you teach about data manipulation in math class, use "real world" examples that students will find interesting. Geodata includes data sets such as Biology and Geology, political boundaries, and Atmosphere and climate. As a problem solving activity, allow students to access any data of interest, develop a useful graph, and create a statement or set of questions about the data. Looking for an online graphing tool? Check out Chartgo (reviewed here). Students should develop reasonable hypotheses about the data, find relevant information that leads to further understanding, and potential solutions for understanding the problem. Class discussions can lead to the complexity of most problems and associated issues. Students can create elevator pitches that propose solutions or reasons to be concerned about issues or related blog posts that follow the conversations about the data. Create a dialogue with scientists, government officials, or other experts in understanding data, issues, and solutions. Use data as evidence for debates.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomShare one or more clips (selected from a full episode) on a projector or interactive whiteboard as part of your study of a time period in history or assign students to research different events, asking them to answer big questions such as, "What role does climate play in a community's growth and government?" or "What might have happened if the weather had been different on this day?" Have students write a blog post as an eyewitness to the events or create a class wiki on the impact of geography, climate, and other "earthly" factors on the decisions that humans make. Create one wiki page per event and assign small groups to write the pages as newspaper articles at the time and another page using historical perspective. Don't forget to add mock news pages about what might have happened if the weather had been different! Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. The same assignment could also be done on video as a series of podcast "news" stories. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
Use these videos as part of your science study of weather so students relate the hard data to human events. Have students use a multi-angle approach using both scientific data and human data about the event to create a weather wiki or multimedia project such as mock interviews at the time of the event and ten years later.
Grades2 to 9
In the ClassroomThe worm farm could be created in class. For younger students, it could be a classroom project where students are in charge of care and making observations of the worms. Older students could be shown a teacher model of the worm farm, and discuss what conditions could be changed which would start an inquiry project. This could lead to students creating experiment plans and carrying out their own ideas in class or at home. Students could also discuss soil and the relationship between the living and non-living things in the soil or even in an ecosystem. Have students create videos of the worm farms and narrate the videos with what they learned through inquiry and investigation. Use a video sharing tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomEncourage parents to use this site as a study-at-home tool for their students. Link your blog or website to this site by entering your url at the bottom of the homepage. Make sure your guidance counselor at your school is aware of this site as a tool for studying those college entrance tests. Be sure to save this site in your favorites.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Science News for Kids as a great reading and reporting assignment. Weaker readers will need a reading buddy for some of the more challenging article. Classes in lower grades will want to read the articles together. A quick check on one article using Juicy Studio's Readability test, reviewed here, provided an approximate grade level of 6.5. Check articles before assigning to elementary students. Students can find an article of interest to read, summarize, and report to the class as part of a Science in My World unit or regular science current events activity. Have students create commercials about their topics. Video and share using a site such as SchoolTube, reviewed here. Students can use these news articles to find additional relevant information on the internet. Students may find these topics to be great independent study topics. Teach reading comprehension using these factual articles on your interactive whiteboard, asking students to highlight key words and generate a "main idea" sentence using them. Articles offer ideal practice for informational reading questions on high-stakes reading tests.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomSearch for your state and see what this site has to offer. Looking for a specific topic (i.e. Civil War or Pearl Harbor), search using topics. Take advantage of these ready to go lesson plans. Infuse your lessons with technology by creating a class wiki about the lesson/topic being discussed. Maybe make a wiki guidebook to your state. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Save this site in your favorites, and check back as you plan throughout the year.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomWhy search for these sites, when the links can all be found in one place? Use this site in combination with TeachersFirst's rich reviews. Students can use these links as a springboard to research and projects. Be sure to save this site in your personal favorites! There is a lot to explore. List this site on your class website and/or wiki for students to access both in and out of the classroom.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomShare HOW to use this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students try out the site on individual computers. Make sure you provide headsets! Be sure to list this site on your class website, blog, or wiki for students to use as a review for their study of planet names, solar system planet order, and speed of rotation. Music teachers can use this site as an example of musical description as students explore the planets. Be sure to turn up the speakers!
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomNavigating this site is rather simple. Simply click on one of the tabs across the top of the website: Home, Focus Areas, Projects, Connect, Forums, How-To, and ePal Tours. Parts of this site require log-in. Registration does require an email address. The site does offer SchoolMail, the leader for FREE "kid-safe" email.
A lot of safety features are already put into place at this site. The SchoolMail (email service offered at this site) offers monitored mail, instant translations, spell-check, anti-spam filters, and virus protection. To learn more about the safety features at this site, check out the ePals Tour link.
This site offers an amazing assortment of class activities and possibilities. Collaborate with schools in Africa (or 200 other countries) for a geography project. Have your students find ePals to correspond with and practice writing skills in English or in a language you are studying. Use the ready to go lessons and interactives at the "Focus Areas" and "Projects" links. Get additional ideas for projects, by visiting the "Projects" link or propose one of your own based on ideas from TeachersFirst suggestions you read in other reviews, lesson plans, and articles. After viewing one of the informative videos, challenge your students to study one of the topics available at this site and create their own videos. Use a tool such as TeachersTube, to share the video clips, reviewed here.
Includes an education-only area for teachers and students
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. This site is a perfect addition to Earth Day activities! Incorporate literacy skills into the site by having students read the silly blogs of each character. Extend into a writing assignment by having students create their own personal Green characters and write their own blogs for each episode.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students move through the rooms and take notes on conservation ideas and statistics. Students can use these notes to create a pamphlet on water conservation or a project that can be posted on a wiki. Do you want to learn more about wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Alternatively, post writing prompts that can be answered in a journal or a blog post about the thoughts, problems, and reasons for conserving. Students can analyze water usage in their homes or community and create suggestions or write a letter to the editor of the local paper or to local officials in favor of conservation.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomUse this game as an introductory activity to an ecology unit. As students play the game, they will note ways that we have an impact on the environment. Brainstorm what they learned in the end, either as a small group or as a class. Groups of students can research more information on these topics or use class discussions. Students can survey peers or families to determine habits and impact. Create multimedia or traditional posters that bring awareness to these issues. Why not have the class create a video or videos highlighting their topic? Have the students share the videos using a site such as Teachers.tv (reviewed here). Or have students create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here) and share it via email with family members.
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomShare the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use these activities as an introductory activity as you study each of these topics. For example, students can play the watershed game and note information that they learned. Students can compile this information to use as a starter for class discussion or additional research into watersheds. Have students create multimedia presentations to share with the class, such as a podcast using a tool such as Podomatic (reviewed here).
Follow up by visiting a local watershed and identifying the animals and plants and our relationship and impact on the ecosystem. Or map a local watershed with voice explanations using a tool such as Mapskip, reviewed here
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThe most difficult aspect in learning about the environment is understanding how the "stuff we use" impacts more than students can imagine. Use this thought-provoking movie to stimulate class discussions, get students thinking, and create awareness. Students can take aspects of the video and do group research of additional information needed to understand. Students can also create awareness campaigns, poll friends and families, blog, or create other multimedia articles. Looking for some creative multimedia options? How about having students create public service message podcasts ("Stop! Where do you think that ___ came from?") using a tool such as PodOMatic (reviewed here). Or create videos and share them using Teachers.tv (reviewed here).
Students can research the origins of many popular items in their lives, tracing the materials used and the resources needed to create and transport the materials and the product. Students can create a Google map or Mapskip (reviewed here) showing the movement of materials throughout the world from resource to send product to consumer.
Grades4 to 10
tag(s): environment (319)