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BBC NEWS - Volcanoes - BBC

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2 to 8
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The BBC has created a short, detailed, and interactive slideshow about volcanoes. The ten slides include information about the layers of the Earth, molten rock, magma, eruption clouds,...more
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The BBC has created a short, detailed, and interactive slideshow about volcanoes. The ten slides include information about the layers of the Earth, molten rock, magma, eruption clouds, lava, lahar, active volcanoes, Earth's plates, Ring of Fire, and more. The final slide displays a clickable map to learn about some of the larger and most destructive volcanoes throughout the world. This slideshow requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): fire (25)

In the Classroom

This website is ideal for sharing on an interactive whiteboard or projection screen. Using the clickable map, divide your class into teams and have the teams take turns trying to figure out the continent, country, or body of water where the volcanoes are located. This makes the activity both a science and geography lesson.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Guns Germs, & Steel - PBS

Grades
9 to 12
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Jared Diamond's book Guns Germs & Steel won a Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. This website presents an overview of some of the major threads of Diamond's thesis as ...more
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Jared Diamond's book Guns Germs & Steel won a Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. This website presents an overview of some of the major threads of Diamond's thesis as presented in the PBS special based upon the book. Diamond suggests that geography may have been the single most important factor in the rise and fall of civilizations over the course of human history. The site examines some of the variables that have contributed to the success or failure of societies through history, including crops, animals, technology, and climate. There are lesson plans tied to national standards associated with each of the televised episodes. While viewing the series is an option, much can be gained by examining the lesson plans even without watching the series.

tag(s): cultures (105)

In the Classroom

The information contained here will be most helpful in planning lessons on the interdependence of culture, geography and technology. Students may find information here for research purposes, but this site should be considered mostly for its usefulness to teachers in advance of unit planning.

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Dynamic Earth - Annenberg Media

Grades
4 to 9
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Learn the powerful forces that shape and change the Earth. Dynamic Earth explores the Earth's Structures, Investigating Plate Tectonics, learning about Plates and Boundaries, and how...more
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Learn the powerful forces that shape and change the Earth. Dynamic Earth explores the Earth's Structures, Investigating Plate Tectonics, learning about Plates and Boundaries, and how the plates Slip, Slide, and Collide. Read the information provided, click on the Interactive pictures for more information, and test your knowledge in each section with interactive activities. In the end, test your skills using an online assessment. This website requires flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): earth (228), earthquakes (48), geology (81), mountains (13), plate tectonics (23), volcanoes (61)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introduction to Geology or Earth Science or as a review of concepts previously learned in class. Use the site as a springboard for additional activities such as mapping where most earthquakes occur. Follow up with ways to prepare for earthquakes, design buildings to withstand earthquakes, or other important topics. If you have a class wiki, have students work in teams to share various aspects of earthquake knowledge for an audience of people living in an earthquake zone.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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 (276), marine biology (33), oceans (148), 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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Rock Cycle - Annenberg Media

Grades
6 to 10
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This website takes students on a virtual "rock hunt." Throughout the journey, students learn about the three main types of rock - sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. Specific examples...more
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This website takes students on a virtual "rock hunt." Throughout the journey, students learn about the three main types of rock - sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. Specific examples of each type of rock are highlighted. Other topics of interest include "How Rocks Change" and "The Rock Cycle Diagram." There are animations that demonstrate the effects of extreme heat or cold on a rock. Volcanoes are used to demonstrate some of the changes. Weathering, erosion, compacting, and cementing are also discussed. There are several interactive "rock" activities along the way. The final activity is a review "test" about the interactive "rock hunt." Many of the activities throughout the "rock hunt" require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): acting (27), erosion (17), rock cycle (9), rocks (49), volcanoes (61), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Wow! If your class is studying rocks and the rock cycle, do yourself (and your students) a favor and take advantage of this wonderful resource. Use your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to take your students on this virtual "rock" journey. This website would also work well as a learning station for cooperative learning groups. Why not set-up several stations all about rocks. Use this website as one station on a cluster of computers, have a "hands-on" rock center with examples of each type of rock and testing equipment, make a literature/research center with books about rocks and samples to identify. Other centers could include watching a short documentary on rocks and volcanoes, a lab-report writing station, and many others.
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Habitat Wordsearch - ARKive Education

Grades
2 to 6
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This simple website offers habitat word searches for six different habitats. The habitats include Habitats in Danger, Urban, Farms & Grassland, Seashore, Forest & Wetland, and Freshwater....more
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This simple website offers habitat word searches for six different habitats. The habitats include Habitats in Danger, Urban, Farms & Grassland, Seashore, Forest & Wetland, and Freshwater. . Directions are provided on the title page. This resource requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): habitats (84), water (130)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard to share this web activity with your students. Then have students work independently, in small groups, or as a class to solve the word searches. Use this site as a review of new vocabulary learned during a science unit on habitats. Or use it as an anticipatory set for a new unit on habitats to assess prior knowledge. Discuss the various vocabulary words and habitats together.
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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 (148), 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.
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NOVA: Science Now - Hurricanes - PBS

Grades
5 to 12
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This fascinating website presents middle and high school students with concise but eclectic information about hurricanes. Topics range from Hurricane Katrina, to an online quiz, to...more
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This fascinating website presents middle and high school students with concise but eclectic information about hurricanes. Topics range from Hurricane Katrina, to an online quiz, to a 12-minute video clip. The video explains the "how" behind predicting a hurricane's direction and path. It also explains how the intensity affects various cities (such as New Orleans). The video clip requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): hurricanes (35), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check out the "Teachers Guide." There you can click on "Classroom Activities" to find a lesson plan, additional links, and explicit standards. Use the additional links included with the lesson plan for students to do further research about hurricanes. Have them work in pairs to research various "famous" hurricanes and add them to a class "disaster" or "weather" wiki.
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Underwater Exploration - University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute

Grades
6 to 12
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This informative website examines the facts of underwater exploration. Specific links include cool science, diving, experiments, quizzes, timelines, and tools/gear. The timeline provides...more
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This informative website examines the facts of underwater exploration. Specific links include cool science, diving, experiments, quizzes, timelines, and tools/gear. The timeline provides historical information about underwater exploration from prehistoric times through the 2000s. A lot of this information relates to the Great Lakes. However, the website also informs users of general underwater exploration (not specific to the Great Lakes area). Dive on in and take a peek!

tag(s): oceans (148), water (130)

In the Classroom

The experiments link provides some quick and easy (offline) experiments. Use one of these experiments as an anticipatory set for this lesson or an entire unit about underwater exploration. Be sure to use your projection screen (or interactive whiteboard) to share the wealth of information and activities available at this website. As you learn about natural resources, have one group investigate underwater exploration while another looks into challenges underground and another into space.

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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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NOVA: Science Now - Stronger Hurricanes - PBS

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5 to 12
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This site explores the connection between global warming and intense hurricanes. There are two FLASH video clips (4-6 minutes each): "Hotter Oceans, Fiercer Storms" and "Hurricane Katrina."...more
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This site explores the connection between global warming and intense hurricanes. There are two FLASH video clips (4-6 minutes each): "Hotter Oceans, Fiercer Storms" and "Hurricane Katrina." Get FLASH from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. There is also an audio slideshow that examines the connection between the rising temperatures of the sea and more powerful storms. PBS provides some of the original broadcast video clips, as well, in multiple file formats.

tag(s): climate (92), climate change (64), hurricanes (35)

In the Classroom

What an excellent website to use if your class is studying climate, weather, or Hurricane Katrina. Use an interactive whiteboard (or projector) to share the video clips with your class. Don't forget to turn up the volume. After viewing the video clips, have your students write a letter or blog entry explaining their fictitious "experience" with a hurricane, using three facts that they learned from the video clip. Or turn down the sound and have students write and perform a news-story style narration of their own for a video clip from the site.
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Maps and Graphics - United Nations Environment Programme

Grades
9 to 12
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Looking for a way to graphically display world or environmental problems? These world maps can be used to view complicated topics in a way that students can "see." Choose Freshwater,...more
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Looking for a way to graphically display world or environmental problems? These world maps can be used to view complicated topics in a way that students can "see." Choose Freshwater, Diversity and Conservation, Climate Change, Pollution, Environment and Poverty, and Urban Issues. Search global and regional data to create your own interactive map. View materials and maps by region, category, or collection. Graphics can be downloaded in pdf (readable in Acrobat Reader) or graphic png files (readable in Picture/Fax viewer or your built-in image program).

tag(s): climate (92), conservation (127), data (148), environment (317), pollution (66), statistics (122), water (130)

In the Classroom

Use a graphic comparison between different areas of the world as a starting point for environmental or social problems discussions. An interactive whiteboard with drawing and highlighting tools will allow your students to "work" with the data both visually and tactilely. Students can gain a global perspective to problems and better grasp the meaning of data. Students can then research specifics or reasons behind the statistics shown on the graphic. For example, use a map of Population of World by Poverty. Students can then research the populations of the countries as well as the possible reasons for the poverty. Students can calculate the percent differences between countries or different years. Have students make comparisons into multimedia or traditional presentations. Students can also have class discussions, debates about policies, or create a wiki to show information and sides of the issues and to make the data "show" something more meaningful than a simple number.
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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.
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Air Data - United States Environmental Protection Agency

Grades
9 to 12
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This website allows students to view the air quality of any state in the USA. Choose a region of the US, a state, or a specific zip code. The site ...more
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This website allows students to view the air quality of any state in the USA. Choose a region of the US, a state, or a specific zip code. The site provides a detailed information sheet (Air Data Report). The website allows you to choose several states (or regions) to compare and analyze the data. Visit the Air Data Home Page to learn about the various features and information available at this website. This site requires FLASH. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): air (163), data (148), environment (317), pollution (66)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous authentic instruction tool for any science class studying air quality or pollution. Why not divide the students into groups to investigate a specific pollutant or to compare different regions of the United States. Use this tool to enable students to generate data, analyze the data, research trends, create a plan of action to improve air quality, investigate surrounding landforms, or other lesson ideas.
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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 (101), planets (123), 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.
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Tramline Volcano Field Trip - Tramline

Grades
3 to 8
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All aboard! It is time to take your class on a virtual field trip around the world to learn about volcanoes. This tour has 19 "stops" (although 2 links are ...more
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All aboard! It is time to take your class on a virtual field trip around the world to learn about volcanoes. This tour has 19 "stops" (although 2 links are "currently under construction.") This website provides excellent information about volcanoes through interactive graphics, pictures, detailed information, interactive maps, and more. Don't miss the eruptions page (stop 3 of the field trip). This "stop" provides an excellent interactive explanation of volcanoes (and an interactive map). This website requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): fire (25), volcanoes (61)

In the Classroom

If your class doesn't have the time to visit all 19 "stops" on the tram adventure, browse through the topics and decide which fit your curriculum best. The introduction page provides a list of all of the "tram stops" at the bottom of the page. The introduction page also provides explicit details about how to proceed with your virtual field trip. Just remember to click the arrow (pointing right) to go on to the next stop, or click the little house to return to the homepage for the tramline field trip. Get your interactive whiteboard (or projector) ready for your adventure! Have your students write a blog or journal entry about what they saw while "traveling"!
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Celebrating NASA's 50th Anniversary - NASA

Grades
4 to 12
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Celebrate NASA's 50th anniversary by learning about its major feats and heroes. While this site has pages of information through fact sheets, its greatest asset is the interactive...more
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Celebrate NASA's 50th anniversary by learning about its major feats and heroes. While this site has pages of information through fact sheets, its greatest asset is the interactive time line where students scroll through the years of space exploration using their mouse, and then clicking on the blocks to learn more about NASA's accomplishments.

tag(s): moon (72), nasa (39), space (205)

In the Classroom

Celebrations for NASA's 50 years continue throughout 2008, so put this unit on your calendar early. Check out the calendar of events to coordinate your lessons with NASA events. In addition, the NASA Links section found at the left is your portal to all NASA websites and web pages.
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Who's Got What? - sciencemuseum

Grades
3 to 12
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This interactive website displays the natural energy resources found throughout the world. This website is appropriate for any grade studying and/or researching natural resources and/or...more
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This interactive website displays the natural energy resources found throughout the world. This website is appropriate for any grade studying and/or researching natural resources and/or forms of energy. To use the map, you simply click on one of the eight symbols at the bottom left-side. Resources include gas, oil, sunshine, uranium, wood, coal, wind, and geothermal. This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): coal (14), earth (228), earth day (112), electricity (89), energy (197), natural resources (59), oil (45), resources (112)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous resource for any class studying various forms of energy and natural resources found throughout the world. This would be an excellent addition to a science class studying about energy, or a geography class learning about the resources found on the various continents of the world. Even earth science classes can locate resources and explain how the geology of these areas provides the resources.
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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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Exploring Africa - Michigan State University

Grades
6 to 12
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Wow, this website is amazing! Exploring Africa brings Africa into your classroom through numerous interdisciplinary lessons. There are 20 modules (within 4 general units of study)....more
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Wow, this website is amazing! Exploring Africa brings Africa into your classroom through numerous interdisciplinary lessons. There are 20 modules (within 4 general units of study). The general units include "Why Study Africa", "Studying Africa Through the Social Studies", "Studying Africa Through the Humanities", and "Regional Perspectives". Each module contains a teacher version that includes objectives, focus questions, activities, background information, and more. These teaching and learning activities all follow the "5 E's" format: Engage, Explore, Explain, Expand, and Evaluate. The website also provides links for specific country information and current events.

tag(s): africa (180), diversity (36)

In the Classroom

This website is literally a textbook online. The information is ready to go and easy to use. It may not be possible to cover all of the information included in this extensive website. Pick and choose the modules that will be useful in your own classroom. Modules can easily be used independently and include detailed teacher notes, evaluations, printable pages, and more. Many of the a ctivities will work well using technology, though the plans do not specify this. For example: Share some of the maps on your interactive whiteboard or have students draw some of their "preconceived notions" about Africa on the whiteboard as part of the introductory image activities.

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