Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomIn the lower grade levels, this site could be introduced on the interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to energy and renewable resources. Elementary students are sure to be engaged with Tinker Bell! Also, once the students have some exposure to the site, it could be used in a learning station set up where some students are working with the whiteboard to play the energy saving games together.
In the higher grade range, Roofus' Home could be used as a launch for a research project where students investigate the energy efficiency of their own homes. Students could take digital pictures of energy efficient features of their own homes and then create a photo story to explain their findings to their classmates either by posting to a wiki or presenting in class from the interactive whiteboard. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomSearch for videos relevant to your upcoming units or share the link with older students to search on their own. Use clips as engaging openings to units or as a review at the end. Have students identify the main points in the video and relate it back to class information. Students can use the examples on the site to create their own videos about a topic they have studied that could be beneficial to others.
If you do join the site to submit videos (for more adventurous technology users), we recommend uploading, commenting, and participating in the project (the creation and growth of WatchKnow) as a whole-class collaborative activity. If your students create videos, critique them locally before submitting them to the site as the "bests" from your class.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this incredible tool to look at landforms such as forests and fields. Discuss suburban sprawl, use of resources, and other issues by looking at various areas. View urban areas and the placement of roads, etc. Watch your state and transportation network "grow" as part of your state history units. Bring math, drafting, and other topics to life with use of this incredible tool. View the growth in population of various areas. As the slider moves through the years, corresponding colored dots appear on the map. Pause the player at any point to really look at where population increases have occurred. Students can take a snapshot of the map (apple-shift-4 on Mac or Alt Print screen on PC) to record specific data. Theorize the scientific, historical, or geographic reasons for changes in locations of populations over time. Students can research and present development of various areas across the world. Compare societal values and changes between different countries. Have students compare data using Venn Diagrams. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomUse these minute-length videos to introduce a topic on your interactive whiteboard or projector. These would also make a great introduction to writing prompts or blog posts. Consider using these as examples for one minute projects for students to demonstrate understanding for any topic or content area (and make accompanying quizzes for their peers to try). Have cooperative learning groups view videos of their choice and add their findings to your class "One Minute Wonder Wiki." Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. In lower grades, have students plan and act out their own one minute wonder plays to explain something they have learned or simply share the videos as humorous but accurate portrayals of science topics. American students will need to grow accustomed to the British accents.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomShare the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector for some deep class discussion and debate. Use any of the articles as a starting point in class or simply to introduce an energy unit, then revisit new issues throughout the unit. For example, read "Power from Plants" to learn about biofuels, their use, and future for energy. Read about a few biofuels. Students can then find information on other biofuels, their use, and problems with the use. Students can find data on use of fuels, analyze and make recommendations, create literature such as brochures, wiki or blog pages, or other displays to show information for others to understand. Create a debate in your classroom using the opposing voices for and against use of certain fuels. Why not have cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations to present their findings. Give the groups some options, such as creation online posters using a site such as Padlet (reviewed here). Have students create informational commercials and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Or create a class wiki on types of energy researches, the good, bad, and ugly! Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site for students to create awareness sheets that may help the public in the event of a natural disaster. Students can also create public service announcements to help the public. Evaluate the school and community emergency preparedness plan using the information about these forces of nature. Use the information to create a sample emergency kit that all households should have in case of emergency. Make it a multimedia project by having students create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here, to create an informative book about the weather phenomenon that they studied.
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.
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.
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.