Grades4 to 10
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects about the coral reefs, animals, or tropical oceans in general. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Challenge groups to create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): ecology (138)
In the ClassroomUse this site to determine how each of us affects the environment. Bring math into the classroom by converting British units to American units. Students can research how each of these categories affects the environment and create action plans for reducing their footprint. Follow the action plans and retake the quiz after to see the change in footprint. Create Public Service Announcements in the form of posters or videos to share information. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): national parks (20)
In the ClassroomShare the film (or clips) on your interactive whiteboard or projector. One section of the site enables you to design a national park postcard to email to a friend. Groups of students might research individual national parks (links to the NPS site appear on this site) and circulate their own postcards to other groups. Students can also "collect" national park badges that can be cut and pasted into personal or class websites. You could also have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects about various National Parks. Have students create online posters or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). If you are near a park, your students could create an online park tour to share with others far away! Try a tool such as Tabblo (reviewed here)to create it!
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): environment (321)
In the ClassroomEncourage students to document the type of garbage at home or school and where local garbage and recyclables go. Create a trash audit and make recommendations for local and school authorities to implement programs. Create environmental posters to create awareness. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here.)
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site for lesson plans, videos, and other resources for teaching environmental issues to students of all ages. Share videos with younger students on a projector or as a center. Stay up to date with points of views from professionals. Have students review resources and determine points of views of other articles and resources on the web. Students can create individual, group, or class projects to increase awareness of environmental issues. Why not have students create age-appropriate multi-media presentations demonstrating what they learned? Have students create posters on paper or do it together as a class using an online tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Have cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Have students create commercials and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomWithin the education section of this site is a host of lesson plans and classroom activities that are offered for free! In addition to those, there are also small we explorations about classifying fish, fish families, and anatomy to name a few. Select the appropriate exploration for a particular unit and use that portion of the site as a learning center or station. Have students explore the desired section in cooperative learning groups or pairs. To assess what they have learned, have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomWhile this site is a little text-heavy, it is truly an excellent site for exploring the way the North American environment has been impacted by recent history. Select the time period that is appropriate to your unit, and introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students explore the rest of the site on classroom computers. To ensure that they're doing more than skimming the text, Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): endangered species (40)
In the ClassroomShare this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and open a class discussion about ways that students can help endangered species in their local area. Have students explore the site individually or in cooperative learning groups, and make a poster on ways that the class could get involved to help a specific species. We recommend using a digital poster site such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a learning center or station during a unit on space exploration. To assess student learning, have students create online posters on paper, or if you are beginning to incorporate technology in your class make the posters together using a tool such as PicLits, reviewed here. If you and your classes are more advanced in using technology try Genial.ly, reviewed here. Genial.ly allows you to create interactive posters by adding polls, videos, embeds, web links, PowerPoint, and PDfs.
Grades4 to 10
In the ClassroomThis is a massively collaborative imagining of the first thirty-two weeks of a global oil crisis. Though a game, the research shows that most of the players have continued the habits they developed in this game into their real life. Follow the Quick Tour to identify the parts of the game and have students peruse and report on player stories. Share with the class and brainstorm which stories are apt to occur in their household or community. Research ways to decrease our personal use of oil and other environmental or personal reasons to do so. Create conventional or blog writing about their personal opinions to the possibility of a world without oil and what students can personally change. Be sure to identify the many things that petroleum makes that is used in our lives.
Grades6 to 10
In the ClassroomTry having your students explore this simulation as part of a unit on volcanoes. Have the students work with a partner to practice or play with the simulation. Assign different groups different simulations. Then, have students take turns using your interactive whiteboard or projector to explain to the rest of the class how the different occurrences take place.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector when introducing this topic. Then assign different sections to students to explore then present to the rest of the class. Have students create multimedia presentations based on information learned through explorations in the site. Have students use one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomShare this site with students when working on state research projects. Display photos included on the site with students on your interactive whiteboard or projector when discussing Arizona, the Grand Canyon, or other areas of the state. Copy and use the coloring pages with the state seal, flag, and other images when learning about the state of Arizona. Rather than having students create a traditional research project, have students create a multimedia presentation using Thinglink, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse these resources as a pre-unit activity to ecology or climate change. Brainstorm the issues presented as a class. Ask students what they already know about these problems. This is a great opportunity to provide time for student writing either in a conventional journal or on a blog. Allow time for students to generate questions about what they do not understand and plan the unit based upon these questions. Consider telling your own stories from your own area which can easily be published on a wiki, blog, or site. Use older relatives and community members that can discuss changes in weather, hunting, etc. in your area. Find records from past newspapers that help paint a picture of how our seasons and activities have changed over the year. Use many of the ideas from this site to brainstorm potential videos of change in your area.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomTry showing the video (on your interactive whiteboard or projector) at the beginning of a chapter or unit on universes and galaxies. Have students discuss what they think is correct or even incorrect about the video. As you work through your unit, use the teacher activities in addition to your traditional curriculum materials. Revisit the video at least twice throughout the unit to "check-in" on your student's understanding and to assess whether their misconceptions are being cleared. Another idea, is to show the video as a writing prompt for science. Pose a question such as, "How big are you? Explain in terms of the universe." Then, have students view the video and write about their ideas generated by the video.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomIn environmental science units on conservation, try assigning this website as homework to be done together with parent or guardian help. Have students go through questions with parents and possibly even investigate their own home for evidence of energy losses and good practices. Have students email the report to their parent's address and print a copy to take to school as evidence and for further study. Or, have students' parents forward the email directly to you and print for the students. Have them calculate how much energy they could save as a class, leading them towards discussions of bigger savings overall and how little changes can make huge differences in our environment. Why not keep track of all of the data/results on a class energy saving wiki! Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades6 to 12
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): animals (307), brain (70), climate (94), computers (100), data (158), earth (230), energy (207), fossils (45), matter (59), medicine (71), news (261), planets (128), plants (165), space (221), time (139)
In the ClassroomUse this site as a research tool or to provide practice reading informational texts in the content areas. Choose an article relevant to what you are teaching, post it on your website or wiki, and have your students discuss what the article means and how it made them think. Since the articles are heavy with text, you may want to have students work in small groups to read the article you have selected for them, and use a tool such as Mindmeister (reviewed here) or bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create a concept map of the important ideas and their details for the article. Each article has several related links. Have each group choose a different one to explore, and create a concept map to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector so all can benefit from the related articles. Once created, the concept maps can be posted as links or embedded on your teacher website or wiki for review and to share with parents. If the text of the articles is simply too challenging without some "before reading" help, show students how to preview it using WordSift, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse 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).
Grades5 to 9
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.
In the ClassroomThis 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.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomThe 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.