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Earth Day - Earthday.com

Grades
4 to 7
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This environmental education site, a cooperative effort across the entire U.S. government, is filled with creative ways to make learning about the environment fun! Click on the "In...more
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This environmental education site, a cooperative effort across the entire U.S. government, is filled with creative ways to make learning about the environment fun! Click on the "In the Classroom" link to learn more about specific topics, play educational interactive, complete puzzles, or take a virtual trip to "Recycle City." The "For Kids" page provides an annotated collection of kid-friendly environmental Web sites filled with clever and interactive activities. Learn about the history of Earth Day, ways to celebrate in your classroom or at home, and more. There is quite a bit to explore!

tag(s): earth (228), earth day (112), ecology (135), environment (317), recycling (57)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Read the history of Earth Day together. Have cooperative learning groups explore different ways to "take action" and then create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Why not challenge students to create a video to share with the class using a site such as TeacherTube (explained here).

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A Student's Guide to Global Climate Change - US EPA

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5 to 8
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Created by the Environmental Protection Agency, this visually appealing site is filled with interactive story books, climate animations, and cleverly designed animations for students....more
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Created by the Environmental Protection Agency, this visually appealing site is filled with interactive story books, climate animations, and cleverly designed animations for students. Links include Climate Change (What is It), Climate & Weather, Greenhouse Effect, What is the Climate System, Climate's Come a Long Way, The Climate Detectives, Games, Climate Animations, Climate Change Calculator, Stuff for Teachers, So What's the Big Deal, We CAN Make a Difference, and Can We Change the Climate. Use this site to supplement a unit on the Greenhouse Effect or as a springboard for Internet Earth Day activities. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): ecology (135), fossil fuels (18)

In the Classroom

Have cooperative learning groups research the many links and activities at this site. Challenge groups to create a multi-media presentation: blog entry, wiki, PowerPoint, web page, or video.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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EcoKids - Earth Day Canada

Grades
K to 8
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This clever, creative, and entertaining resource is a must for elementary science classroom! Click to enter the Room 26: Kids or the Teachers' Lounge. Kids from all over...more
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This clever, creative, and entertaining resource is a must for elementary science classroom! Click to enter the Room 26: Kids or the Teachers' Lounge. Kids from all over the world can learn oodles from this Canadian ecology site. Teachers will find a trove of information and instructional materials as well. You will appreciate the Earth Day activities and information. There are also numerous educational interactives highlighting the food chain, bugs, animal adaptations, acid rain, transportation, and other topics. Students can participate in interactive stories; play and learn with more than 50 ecology-based on-line games and activities; learn about a variety of topics including wildlife, energy, and environment issues; and print out word games or coloring sheets.

Be aware: recently, this site started to offer certain features of the Teacher's Lounge to "members only." Membership is FREE, but does require an email address. The link for students does NOT require membership to access the interactives, information, or printables. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): acid rain (5), earth (228), earth day (112), ecology (135), transportation (40)

In the Classroom

There is SO much to look at and explore, so browse through the offerings, create a plan for your students based on their age and ability level, then mark the site as a favorite on classroom computers. Upper elementary students can use it as an independent learning center. Younger children may need help with some of the text, so consider using an interactive whiteboard or projector and exploring the activities as a class. Click on "Downloads" on the bottom left to find printables, including coloring sheets of Canadian wildlife and various ecology-related worksheets and lesson plans. Click on the 'games and activities' tab and use the interactive whiteboard or projector for whole class eco-minded fun. ESL and ELL teachers, don't miss the 'teacher' section for a cache of activities written for your ELL/ESL students. Interested students will use this one for hours, so some directions will be important for classroom use.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Freecycle - The Freecycle Network

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K to 12
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Need a bookcase or rug for your classroom or home office area? Perhaps you have extra, personally-purchased classroom supplies that you no longer use. There is a solution to both ...more
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Need a bookcase or rug for your classroom or home office area? Perhaps you have extra, personally-purchased classroom supplies that you no longer use. There is a solution to both dilemmas--Freecycle! Check this site to see if there is a local Freecycle group in your area. With 4,336 groups and growing, there's a good chance one is in your neighborhood. Twenty five states currently have participants. This grassroots, non-profit network's aim is to get unused 'stuff' into the hands of someone who can use it, and most importantly, they want to keep it out of our clogged landfills. Teachers are the most resourceful people on earth, and Freecycle is here to help fuel that creditable reputation. Membership is free -check it out!

tag(s): earth (228), earth day (112), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your class as an idea for Earth Day or being "green." Encourage your school service club or student council to consider launching a Freecycle project. Be sure to list the link on your class website, so parents can freecycle too.

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Your Ocean - National Maritime Museum

Grades
4 to 9
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Don't miss this wonderful website - perfect for environmental awareness. This "student friendly" website is divided into 4 distinct sections - your energy, your waste, your stuff (products...more
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Don't miss this wonderful website - perfect for environmental awareness. This "student friendly" website is divided into 4 distinct sections - your energy, your waste, your stuff (products that come from the oceans), and your climate. The website is designed to use with students ages 11 - 14, but could be adapted for other ages. There are interactive games, quizzes, and a wealth of information. The website even provides students with simple tips and actions they can do to save energy and protect the environment.

Be aware that this site was created in the UK, so you may notice some minor spelling differences. Some of the interactive games and quizzes require Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): climate (92), earth (228), earth day (112), energy (198), environment (317)

In the Classroom

This website would work as a group activity (on an interactive whiteboard or projector) or as a cooperative learning activity for small groups to complete together. This is also a good choice for Earth Day activities. Have cooperative learning groups explore one of the sections of this site and create a blog entry demonstrating what they learned.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Dr. E's Energy Lab - U. S. Department of Energy

Grades
2 to 12
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If you have any hesitation that students think energy is 'uncool,' think again. Tinker Bell delights the younger students with her short video clips about energy. They will spend oodles...more
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If you have any hesitation that students think energy is 'uncool,' think again. Tinker Bell delights the younger students with her short video clips about energy. They will spend oodles of time exploring the many facets of this site. Click on the various types of energy from the homepage to start the exploration. Interactives, lesson plans, crafts, printable sheets, and tons of information that we all need to know to survive on this planet is handily available here. The Game link includes "Funergy," "Energy Quest," and more! Visit the Teacher's link to find over 350 lesson plans and activities (with standards). The activities are divided into three levels (grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12). While some of the Dr. E's activities look like they are intended for a young audience, don't be fooled. Heavy information for the high school student is housed behind the "cutesy" cover. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): earth (228), earth day (112), energy (198), solar energy (38)

In the Classroom

If energy is a subject you teach in your classroom, there are several pages at this site that would work well on a projector or interactive whiteboard. You will want to explore on your own to find all the teaching materials and activities, since there is SO much information. Share this site on your teacher web page during your energy unit, since many activities can include parents, as well. The alternative fuels, renewable energy, and conservation sections are also ideal for Earth Day activities. Have students use this site to research energy. Why not have students create blog entries demonstrating their knowledge?
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Smog City 2 - U.S. EPA and Sacramento Air Quality Management District

Grades
5 to 12
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Use this interactive air pollution simulation to learn about the effects of particulates, ozone, and individual choices on air pollution. The Create Your Own section allows you...more
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Use this interactive air pollution simulation to learn about the effects of particulates, ozone, and individual choices on air pollution. The Create Your Own section allows you to test cause and effect of different factors in a controlled setting. Although the option to download the simulator is offered, it runs just fine in its online version. The site's disclaimer explains that the complex relationships between environmental factors have been simplified for this simulator, but the processes are still representative of the "real world" factors. This is a MUST for Earth Day!

This site is powerful and therefore may take some extra time to load - so prepare ahead! This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (163), earth (228), earth day (112), environment (317), pollution (66)

In the Classroom

Younger students would benefit from a teacher-centered introduction on the simulator (using your interactive whiteboard or projector), followed by directed explorations to find specific answers to teacher questions. Older students can determine the most important factors in air pollution and explore means to solve the problem as part of a health, social studies, science, or government class. Have your students present their finding on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
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Climate Chaos - BBC

Grades
4 to 10
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One word describes this all-encompassing website: amazing! If you are teaching students about global warming, climates, types of energy, recycling or any other "green" topic - you must...more
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One word describes this all-encompassing website: amazing! If you are teaching students about global warming, climates, types of energy, recycling or any other "green" topic - you must visit this website. At the website you will find interactive activities and games, guides and information about numerous topics, quizzes, votes, and chats! This site is frequently updated. Some of the activities require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): earth (228), earth day (112), energy (198), recycling (57)

In the Classroom

Share this one on an interactive whiteboard or projector to help your students to understand the effects of global warming. Include the link on your teacher web page as you study weather, climate, and environmental concerns. This site would also make a great "scavenger hunt" for students to learn the basics about global warming. Ask each to write some questions for the hunt, then have the whole class try it! Have cooperative learning groups explore various facets of this site and create a multi-media presentation.
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Kids' Planet - Defenders of Wildlife.

Grades
2 to 8
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Approach writing, reading, technology, and social studies through the lens of environmental science. Use the printable units and lesson plans (found at the Teacher's Table) for...more
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Approach writing, reading, technology, and social studies through the lens of environmental science. Use the printable units and lesson plans (found at the Teacher's Table) for direction and content, then allow students to play the related "Wild Games" as an enrichment activity. Click on the "Defend It" or "Cool Stuff" links to find creative ways for kids to take part in wildlife conservation. Students can explore an interactive map of the world to discover the status of more than 50 species. A great Earth Day resource! This site requires Flash, Adobe Acrobat, and Java. You can get all three from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): conservation (127), earth (228), earth day (112), endangered species (38), environment (317), species (29)

In the Classroom

There are many ways to incorporate this site into your Earth Day plans (or a unit on conservation or wild life). Save this site in your favorites, so students can visit often. Take advantage of the ready-to-go units of study. Share the interactives on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site for student research projects.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Teach Coal - American Coal Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Energy is always a hot topic, and what better way to learn about one of America's main resources than to visit this site? The American Coal Foundation's site includes facts ...more
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Energy is always a hot topic, and what better way to learn about one of America's main resources than to visit this site? The American Coal Foundation's site includes facts about coal mining in the U.S., and also, equips teachers with practical lesson plans (linked to National Standards) and experiment ideas. Of course this organization has its own views on coal, but the lesson ideas are solid. The lesson plans include all grade levels. Click on the tabs to find comprehensive information, such as, facts, glossary, and the latest coal news. There are also countless links to other sources about coal. Some of the links require QuickTime or Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): coal (14), energy (198), fire (25), plants (145)

In the Classroom

If you or your students need lumps of coal for experiments, use the website links provided. Any coal company would be glad to accommodate that request. Use the ready-to-go lesson plans in your class. Have students research coal and complete multi-media projects about the benefits or coal. As energy and "gong green" receive more and more media attention, this study can be part of your class debate.
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Windows Into Wonderland - National Park Service

Grades
5 to 8
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Take one of many virtual field trips to Yellowstone. Though the site suggests registration by a teacher, it is not required for the eTrips. View field trips such as "Getting ...more
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Take one of many virtual field trips to Yellowstone. Though the site suggests registration by a teacher, it is not required for the eTrips. View field trips such as "Getting Into Hot Water," "Yellowstone Exposed," "Where The Bison Roam," and "Geyser Quest." Many of the field trips have video and audio components and last approximately 50 minutes. Free registration provides more resources, including a link with lesson plans for teachers. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): national parks (16)

In the Classroom

View aspects of Yellowstone to learn about the Biology and Geology of the park. Illustrate concepts such as biodiversity, adaptation, and many environmental issues as shown in the Yellowstone National Park. Assign student groups to collect "evidence" to use in a class debate on fictitious proposed environmental legislation to change the park.
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Drought Monitor - University of Nebraska

Grades
6 to 12
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Working with NOAA, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln has created one of the best looking drought monitoring sites we've seen. There are maps showing drought severity, crop data,...more
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Working with NOAA, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln has created one of the best looking drought monitoring sites we've seen. There are maps showing drought severity, crop data, rainfall, and related topics over a wide variety of time series, and the quality of the graphics is well beyond that of most similar sites. If your students are studying weather - or just complaining about the summer heat - this site can shed some light on the problem.

tag(s): agriculture (55), climate (92), fall (16), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Share the maps on an interactive whiteboard or projector.

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3D parks - USGS

Grades
1 to 12
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Make landforms and geology REAL to your students. This site offers a rich collection of 3D photography and tours of the geology of U.S. National Parks. Use these activities with ...more
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Make landforms and geology REAL to your students. This site offers a rich collection of 3D photography and tours of the geology of U.S. National Parks. Use these activities with a variety of ages of students. Choose National Parks to view or print pictures. Pictures (anaglyphs) are best viewed with cheap 3D glasses (just like the movies!) Non 3D images are also found on the site. Pictures are not copyrighted and can be used for any presentation or format as long as you give credit to the site and the USGS. The site includes a tutorial on making anaglyphs. Each National Park has a link to the 3D image, regular image, link to the park website, and a link to other information that includes stratigraphy, virtual tours, or other links. Click "Suggestions for Teachers and Students" for ideas at different grade levels.

tag(s): geology (81), landforms (45), national parks (16)

In the Classroom

Students can look at pictures and decide upon common features they see. Display images side by side on your interactive whiteboard and note the features using the pen tools. Research or explanations about the features can lead to additional research into the natural processes that created them. Students can write "what is it?" clues to identify specific National Parks for others to identify. Share them on your class wiki for others to solve. Since the images are in the public domain, students can download them to include on the "answers" page of the wiki! Create class anaglyphs with pictures and Adobe Photoshop (if available), using the directions provided on the site.

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Dinosaur Dig - National Museum of Natural History

Grades
4 to 12
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Your students can dig dinosaur bones right from their computers. This site has two interactive three-dimensional tours: 1) a tour of a museum room featuring dinosaur artifacts where...more
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Your students can dig dinosaur bones right from their computers. This site has two interactive three-dimensional tours: 1) a tour of a museum room featuring dinosaur artifacts where you can scroll your mouse over the contents to learn more; and 2) from the ground to the museum, you can dig bones out west and then unwrap them for display at the Smithsonian. Of course, with a click of the mouse, your students have a vast amount of information for research or fun, including an interactive dinosaur tree of life. Audio and Flash are necessary. They can be obtained from here: TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): dinosaurs (57)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to effectively show and discuss the dinosaur dig and museum to your class. This Smithsonian website also features a fossil lab slide show if your students crave to learn about this branch of science. Have your students research different types of lesser known dinosaurs and create interactive presentations to share with the class. Rather than a presentation about the research, have students write a fictitious blog post from their researched dinosaur to a large animal of today (such as the elephant). What characteristics do they share? What makes them different?

Teachers of gifted students-- even younger ones-- will want to steer their dinosaur-obsessed students to this site for independent projects.
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Water Cycle - EPA

Grades
3 to 7
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Follow the parts of the water cycle and interactivity with living things, the earth, and the processes that occur in the water cycle. Through the interactive information, students learn...more
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Follow the parts of the water cycle and interactivity with living things, the earth, and the processes that occur in the water cycle. Through the interactive information, students learn the vocabulary and interrelatedness of the water cycle on the Earth. This site requires flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): water (130), water cycle (33)

In the Classroom

Students can be divided into groups to view the four different areas presented. Students can view the section and create study guide questions for the rest of the class. Students can ask questions after viewing using a KWL chart and search for answers to their questions. Students can create a presentation using traditional media (posters or bulletin board) or using multimedia (web page, wiki, video, powerpoint, etc.) A weather report style newscast would be an entertaining method for presentation for the class.
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Stormpulse - Stormpulse

Grades
6 to 12
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Scroll through the earth to watch the current paths of tropical storms/hurricanes. View satellite imagery, news, up to date coastal weather, or view storm archives from 1850 to present....more
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Scroll through the earth to watch the current paths of tropical storms/hurricanes. View satellite imagery, news, up to date coastal weather, or view storm archives from 1850 to present. This is not considered an actual weather source but is an aggregate of information on storms. Probabilities of storms and hurricanes are given, based upon weather movement. This interactive site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

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

In the Classroom

Watch storm movement and predict potential path. Use archives to determine common paths, areas where storms are more prevalent, change in numbers of hurricanes in different decades, etc. Use this site as a springboard for further research and better understanding of causes of hurricanes, factors that change the movement, destruction from hurricanes, or how best to prepare for hurricanes. Students can create traditional (poster, bulletin board) or multimedia presentations (newscasts, wiki, blog) on storms or even "create" a mythical storm of the future that follows predictable patterns, documenting it on a class weatherwiki.
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We can change the world challenge - Siemens

Grades
5 to 8
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Use the virtual lab activities on the Siemens Challenge website to investigate energy-related topics. Choose from "Wow, Windmills," "How Big Is Your Footprint," "Ponder This," "Everyday...more
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Use the virtual lab activities on the Siemens Challenge website to investigate energy-related topics. Choose from "Wow, Windmills," "How Big Is Your Footprint," "Ponder This," "Everyday Fossil Fuels," "The Ever-changing River," and more. Each activity begins with an introduction, investigation where factors are changed, and results. Registration and login is not required for the virtual labs. A teacher section contains great lesson plans dealing with fuels and biodiversity as well as many others. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): biodiversity (38), conservation (127), diversity (36), ecology (135), energy (198), fossil fuels (18), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Introduce units with the virtual lab to build background information. Assign each group a different factor to manipulate, and have them report back to the class with their results. Students can then identify factors needed to understand the concept as well as questions. Have students research or provide them the information to answer their questions. Use the lesson plan and extension activities for understanding. Students can join in the Siemens Challenge or create a proposal in their community or school to improve use of natural resources and biodiversity.
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Saving electricity - Michael Bluejay

Grades
7 to 12
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Learn the basics of electricity: the meaning of kilowatt hour, reading bills, and identifying how different appliances use electricity. Students can browse a wealth of resources written...more
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Learn the basics of electricity: the meaning of kilowatt hour, reading bills, and identifying how different appliances use electricity. Students can browse a wealth of resources written in easy-to-understand terms on energy saving devices, carbon footprints, and alternate forms of energy.

tag(s): climate (92), climate change (64), conservation (127), electricity (88), energy (198)

In the Classroom

Students can work in groups to research various issues regarding electricity use. Students can create powerpoints, multimedia presentations, or wiki pages to demonstrate what they have learned. Have your students present to members of the class and follow up with a town hall debate concerning household, local, and other decisions concerning electricity use and production.

Have students learn to read their electricity bill and create an action plan to save electricity. Have students journal or blog the changes that were made and the savings in money and pollution. Identify energy wasters at school and formulate a plan to save money and resources. an to save money and resources.

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Moon Olympics - Scholastic

Grades
3 to 8
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This intriguing website shows you various cartoon video clips of sports (such as weight lifting, diving, golfing, and others) being played on Earth. Then you try the same sport on ...more
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This intriguing website shows you various cartoon video clips of sports (such as weight lifting, diving, golfing, and others) being played on Earth. Then you try the same sport on the moon. You are given multiple choice answers to choose from to determine the outcome of the same sport on the moon. Learn about the atmosphere, air, water, gravity, and more.

tag(s): air (163), atmosphere (26), moon (72), sports (97), water (130)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. This is a perfect addition to a physics unit or while teaching about the atmosphere. Take your students to the moon to play a different sport each day and then discuss the science behind that sport on both Earth and the moon. Ask students to predict what will happen before you start the game.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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StarDate Online - McDonald Observatory

Grades
K to 12
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Use this comprehensive site to learn about the planets of the solar system as well as other objects. Use the "Stargazing" tab to view "Weekly Tips," "Sky Almanac," "Constellation Guide,"...more
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Use this comprehensive site to learn about the planets of the solar system as well as other objects. Use the "Stargazing" tab to view "Weekly Tips," "Sky Almanac," "Constellation Guide," "Moon Phases," "Beginner's Guide," and more. Under the "Teacher's" tab use resources such as "Lesson Plans," "Classroom Activities," "StarDate in the Classroom," or "Teacher Workshops." Materials in the teacher section provide activity directions, materials needed, as well. as documents in Adobe pdf format. There are lessons from K-12. In the "Resources" section, you will find a wealth of information and pictures about the Sun, inner planets, outer planets, and minor bodies. View past and future planned space missions. Links to keywords allow for a greater understanding of the material. Activities in the "Resources" section are listed along the side with appropriate ages. Ask Merlin provides questions and their answers. A tab to the "Gift Shop" is available, so students should be cautioned. Some of the classroom activities require Adobe Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): planets (123), solar system (119), space (205)

In the Classroom

Use the activities in the Teacher's resource section to provide background material for understanding Astronomy. Many activities may already be known to the teacher, but these are thoroughly explained. Students could even teach the concepts to their classmates and use these activities as a demonstration.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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