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Geography From Space - Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

Grades
4 to 12
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Join the annual Geography From Space online contest from the Smithsonian every November! Enjoy exploring past quizzes from previous years. Review geographic locations based on satellite...more
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Join the annual Geography From Space online contest from the Smithsonian every November! Enjoy exploring past quizzes from previous years. Review geographic locations based on satellite images with activities from this program.

tag(s): map skills (73), maps (240)

In the Classroom

Hook students into geography (and more) with these challenges. Study the quiz questions as a model and create quizzes/activities of your own about geography related to a region you are studying. Use previous quizzes as a contest in geography class. Use them as examples for students when studying different countries, and have students determine what they would feature in their own quizzes. Use in math class to determine proportions by drawing maps or ratios. Have students create similar quizzes using Google Maps, challenging classmates to answer questions about areas, perimeters, and even shapes.

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National Geographic and the Common Core - National Geographic

Grades
K to 12
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National Geographic offers collections of resources aligned to Common Core ELA standards for grades K-12. Begin your search by exploring non-fiction resources grouped by grade range....more
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National Geographic offers collections of resources aligned to Common Core ELA standards for grades K-12. Begin your search by exploring non-fiction resources grouped by grade range. If you prefer, use a keyword search to find specific content. When searching by grade range groups, scroll through the presentation slide show to view all resources and click links to go directly to the page. Be sure to take some time to find all the collection offers; there is a great deal of content available. Look for Geostories, Article, or Encyclopedic Entry to find reading resources. Don't miss the Common Core Toolkit offering a large variety of lesson plans and media aligned to National Geographic books.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (186), guided reading (40), reading comprehension (84)

In the Classroom

Use this National Geographic site to find high quality, high interest, non-fiction reading material for your students. Ask students to visit sites found through your search. Challenge students to share what they learned by creating multimedia presentations using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Use this site as an anticipatory set to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

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CurriConnects Book List: Alaska and Hawaii - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This CurriConnects collection of books takes you on a journey to Alaska and Hawaii through the pages of a book. Every state boasts culture and history of its own, and ...more
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This CurriConnects collection of books takes you on a journey to Alaska and Hawaii through the pages of a book. Every state boasts culture and history of its own, and these two have extra rich offerings. Discover their history, people, and culture, both historic and contemporary, through both fiction and nonfiction. Challenge your students to flip their view of the "Lower 48" or "Big America" (the contiguous states) through the experience of Alaska and/or Hawaii. Include these books during units on states, multiculturalism, or U.S. geography. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'® (where available) to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles'''®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): alaska (21), book lists (103), hawaii (7), independent reading (97)

In the Classroom

Include these books for independent reading during a unit on U.S. geography, multiculturalism, or the states. Compare the life of children living in Alaska or Hawaii to the students in your own class. The conversations will easily evolve into projects where students can compare and contrast or create "profiles" of childhood in different states and cultures.

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LibrAdventures - LibrAdventures

Grades
4 to 12
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LibrAdventures is a map-based exploration of literature, authors, artists, and film makers (powered by Google). Choosing an author, a genre, a literary timeframe, or a location allows...more
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LibrAdventures is a map-based exploration of literature, authors, artists, and film makers (powered by Google). Choosing an author, a genre, a literary timeframe, or a location allows you to view, using either map view or satellite view, the physical location in which the author created some of his or her famous literary works. The beauty of LibrAdventures is the combination of being able to see, either on the map or using a panoramic view, the place where great literary figures lived and did their work. There are some classic children's authors included. Many of the views also offer 360-degree panoramic views. Each collection (called an "adventure" on the site) provides narrative describing the connections between the place and the author's work, links to further information, and other explanatory material such as a film clip or other media.

tag(s): art history (53), artists (58), authors (94), literature (216)

In the Classroom

Visual learners, or those who find it difficult to make a connection with an artist or author from the past, may find that walking the streets near the author's house, or seeing the view he or she may have seen from the window, helps bring the author and that work alive. The ability to use a more interactive interface to learn more about an author will also appeal to those more accustomed to digital media and hyperlinks in order to associate concepts with a visual representation. The interactive maps can be used on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) to accompany an introduction to the life of a particular author before tackling his or her work. As they read or view works by the writer or artist, have students look for descriptive passages in the works that seem to describe what they "see" or experience on the related "adventure" on this site.

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The Square of Life - The Center for Innovation in Science and Engineering

Grades
1 to 12
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Become a part of a local and global Internet based collaborative project studying your square meter of life. This project may look "plain vanilla," but the hands-on, real world learning...more
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Become a part of a local and global Internet based collaborative project studying your square meter of life. This project may look "plain vanilla," but the hands-on, real world learning is terrific. Once you choose your square meter, document and record data of all the living and nonliving things within your square. While sharing findings look for similarities. This project takes place multiple times a year. The guide offers lesson plans, extension activities, and worksheets. Also find assessment ideas, standards, and information for urban teachers. After creating an account, submit data, view data, and participate in the discussion area. Resources include student galleries, reference materials, ask an expert, project leader, and more. Some past student contributions are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): ecology (129), environment (282), scientific method (49)

In the Classroom

Bring a heightened awareness to your local and global environmental education. In lower elementary grades, do the project together as a class. Teach scientific observation using a hands-on project. You could also include this as part of a civics or government class discussing the environment and public policy. This well-defined project is ready made for you. Integrate observations, documentation, measurements, deeper inspection, and ways to identify living and nonliving materials. Take photographs and record written accounts. Create presentations in PowerPoint, Prezi, reviewed here, Google presentations, reviewed here, or other presentation tools to draw in language arts standards. Expand the project to each student's backyard. Are any squares in your school or local area severely damaged environments? Brainstorm with students to find a way to change them back to their original state.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Discovering Ancient Egypt - Mark Millmore

Grades
4 to 9
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Explore Ancient Egypt! Choose from topics on the left such as hieroglyphs, pyramids and temples, or kings and queens. Each topic includes descriptions, maps, videos, and more to take...more
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Explore Ancient Egypt! Choose from topics on the left such as hieroglyphs, pyramids and temples, or kings and queens. Each topic includes descriptions, maps, videos, and more to take an in-depth look. Be sure to check out the cool hieroglyphic typewriter for typing names and sending or printing secret messages! The videos from this site are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): egypt (60), pyramids (28)

In the Classroom

The videos and information from this site would be useful during any unit on Ancient Egypt. Math teachers will also love the information about Egyptian numbers to include in a unit on different number systems. Share videos on an interactive whiteboard (or projector). Create a link on classroom computers for students to explore on their own. Have students create messages using the hieroglyphic typewriter then print (or screenshot) for others to decode. Have students create timelines using information from this site (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles reviewed here.

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Planet Pals - PLANETPALS

Grades
K to 5
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Discover countless activities, lesson plans, facts, and fun at Planet Pals. Lively characters such as Moonbeam and Earthman guide you through activities teaching about our planet and...more
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Discover countless activities, lesson plans, facts, and fun at Planet Pals. Lively characters such as Moonbeam and Earthman guide you through activities teaching about our planet and resources. Other links lead to Fast Facts about Earth, Wonders of the World, and much more. Explore book lists, arts and crafts, coloring pages, and much more within sections for teachers and parents. Don't miss the newest part of the site featuring Green Journals for use during holidays and seasonal celebrations.
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tag(s): conservation (115), earth (208), earth day (105), endangered species (28), environment (282), ozone (11), recycling (49), weather (168)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson about our planet and more on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Share this link on your class website for families searching for more science fun at home! Take advantage of the many free lesson plans. This site is perfect to find crafts for homemade gifts for holidays throughout the year.

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Free Map Tools - Andreas Viklund

Grades
K to 12
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Free Map Tools provides tools for measuring, marking up, and using overlays with maps. Scroll through to find tools for discovering the radius around any point on a map, calculating...more
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Free Map Tools provides tools for measuring, marking up, and using overlays with maps. Scroll through to find tools for discovering the radius around any point on a map, calculating the area of the enclosed point on a map, or determining the distance between any two points. Choose any of the tools to begin and follow directions to find results. This site has some clickable advertisements, so be cautious where you click.
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tag(s): area (54), map skills (73), maps (240), measurement (144)

In the Classroom

Use Free Map Tools to add interest to any Social Studies or Math lessons. Learn about area in math by locating homes or businesses on the map, and determining the area that would need to be shoveled during each winter. Find the distance between any two points (home and the pizza place?) and compare that distance to actual driving distance. Want to know what is directly underneath you on the globe? Have students make a prediction. Then use the Map Tunneling Tool to find out if the predictions were correct. Use throughout the year for any number of purposes! You will want to share this one on your class web page for quick access when questions come up.

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Totally History - totallyhistory.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Totally History offers a brief overview on many historical events and topics. Choose from categories including art history, U.S. history, world history, famous history, and the history...more
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Totally History offers a brief overview on many historical events and topics. Choose from categories including art history, U.S. history, world history, famous history, and the history of technology. Within each topic, find facts and a several paragraph overview of the content.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): american revolution (67), art history (53), civil war (131), presidents (113), religions (49), vietnam (32), world war 1 (38), world war 2 (136)

In the Classroom

Totally History offers a starting point to find basic facts and information on many topics. Use material from the site to introduce any topic such as presidents or events in World or American History. Share with students to use as a resource for classroom projects and reports. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president or any person or event in history.

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OK2Ask'® Go Google - Searching, Gmail, Google Maps July 2014 - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2014, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore Gmail, Google Calendar, Super Searching on Google, Google Maps, and...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2014, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore Gmail, Google Calendar, Super Searching on Google, Google Maps, and more. Explore ways to safely use Gmail in class. Learn how to use Google Calendar to get organized. Explore the world using Google Maps. Familiarize yourself with Google Trends, Google Correlate, Blog Searches, and more. Participants will be given time to explore. A question/answer period will also be available. Prerequisite: All participants MUST have a Google account. This session is for teachers at Beginner to Intermediate Technology Comfort Levels.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Find ways to incorporate both Google Calendar and Gmail in your classroom/position. Browse and explore Google Trends, Google Correlate, Blog Searches, and more. Learn about and navigate around Google Maps. (Follow-up) Create a lesson for your own classroom (or position) using one of the Google tools shared.

Applicable ISTE-T standards (2008)*: 1a and b, 2b and c, 3a and d * The text of these standards is copyrighted. Please read the full text at ISTE's standards page

tag(s): map skills (73), maps (240), organizational skills (94), search engines (58), search strategies (23)

In the Classroom

Get organized this year with Google Calendar. Learn about using gmail in your classroom. Take your students on a trip around the world - make them learn while they are having fun exploring! The possibilities are endless! Save yourself time searching using some of these search secrets shared during this session. Learn about search tools appropriate for even the youngest elementary students. Take a look at the resource page full of MANY great sites and ideas! Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Adventure '14 - Jason Elsom

Grades
K to 12
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Experience a worldwide, virtual, culture exchange in November, 2014. Adventure '14 is an opportunity to work with students from another culture. The only equipment needed is a computer,...more
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Experience a worldwide, virtual, culture exchange in November, 2014. Adventure '14 is an opportunity to work with students from another culture. The only equipment needed is a computer, webcam, reasonable Internet connection, and a projector. Signing up indicates an interest, not a commitment. Sign up requirements: contact information about the school or group, age range, and website address. Also, indicate if there is an interest in pairing up with others by subject, language, or interests. Although there are places to fill in Twitter account information, having a Twitter account is not required. Get to know about people in another culture, embrace the opportunity to work together on a global project, and create a website together (optional).

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (87), cultures (86)

In the Classroom

Consider the many ways your class could collaborate. Science students can collaborate on labs, history students on research, and math students can solve some of the world's most difficult equations together. ESL/ELL students might collaborate with students who want to know about their experiences where one does not speak the language.

Partner teachers can choose a collaborative platform students can use to brainstorm ideas they have about the other country and culture before they meet. Use a projector and Primary Wall (reviewed here, no membership required) to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge about the culture with whom they will be working. Once the project is underway, go back to Primary Wall occasionally, and add what they learned and whether it coincides with the students' original ideas. Ask the partner class if they will fill in the areas and ideas missed on your Primary Wall. Also, consider asking the partner school to blog together. It is amazing the improvement you will see in student writing when they know they have an authentic audience! If you never blogged before, you might want to check out TeachersFirst Blog Basics for the Classroom. Use the blogs as a way to discuss topics related to both culture AND your curriculum: environmental topics, different types of government, or simply day to day life.

Comments

I intend to use this. It sounds like a great idea. , MD, Grades: 1 - 1

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GeoSettr - Create your own GeoGuessr Challenge - GeoSettr.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Create your own GeoGuessr game using five Google Map street view locations. NO membership is required! These challenges show actual views of mystery locations for people to guess where...more
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Create your own GeoGuessr game using five Google Map street view locations. NO membership is required! These challenges show actual views of mystery locations for people to guess where they are. (See this reviewof GeoGuessr to see how the challenges work.) Move the person to the desired map location to set a location for each round. When complete, GeoSettr generates a URL that will take people to your unique GeoGuessr page.

tag(s): map skills (73), maps (240)

In the Classroom

Make geography come to life by gamifying it! Create (or have students create) landform games (what do these locations have in common), culture games, travel collections, etc. Use this tool to explore world cultures (or languages), geography, historical locations, famous battle locations, and more. Demonstrate how to create a game, then have students create and play games of their own. Pair this activity with What Was There (reviewed here) and have students use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast changes over time.

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4 Free Photos - 4freephotos.com

Grades
K to 12
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4 Free Photos offers public domain and free stock images. Preview and download the photos at no cost. Use the search feature to find the image you are looking for. ...more
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4 Free Photos offers public domain and free stock images. Preview and download the photos at no cost. Use the search feature to find the image you are looking for. The images on this site are contributed by the photographers for open sharing under Creative Commons. Be aware, there are photos for sale (clearly labeled). Some of the links for "More Free Photos" and other ads take you to outside sites. You may want to advise students to avoid those links. Note that all uses of the photos are supposed to be accompanied by the link to the license (available on each photo's display page).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): copyright (45), creative commons (17), images (214), photography (132)

In the Classroom

Starting a lesson on copyright? With so much social media and access to almost anything on the web, it is important to teach students about copyright and about owner's rights. Use this site to search for photos for presentations, photos, projects, or research. For your ESL/ELL students or speech/language, use the images for them to create their own visual dictionary. World language teachers can also challenge students to use images to illustrate vocabulary or accompany writing. Use images for writing prompts or even to create descriptive sentences. Have one student describe the image as another sketches the image. Now compare the described image to the real image. To find more Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here or PhotoPin, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Map of Continents and Oceans - Naace

Grades
2 to 5
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Practice locating oceans and continents with this simple, drag and drop map activity. Drag ocean names (in blue) and continent names (in yellow) to the correct locations with question...more
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Practice locating oceans and continents with this simple, drag and drop map activity. Drag ocean names (in blue) and continent names (in yellow) to the correct locations with question marks. You are asked to identify both northern and southern Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Incorrect responses drop back to the starting point while correct answers remain in the proper location. Reset to start over and play again.

tag(s): continents (41), maps (240), oceans (126)

In the Classroom

Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for practice locating continents and oceans. Create a link to this activity on classroom computers for use as a center. This site is also ideal for your interactive whiteboard or projector with students operating the activity.

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Introduction to Africa - InterKnowledge Corp

Grades
4 to 8
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From Botswana to Zimbabwe, explore the diverse nations that make up the continent of Africa. Begin by choosing a country from the list to read short articles including information about...more
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From Botswana to Zimbabwe, explore the diverse nations that make up the continent of Africa. Begin by choosing a country from the list to read short articles including information about the history, climate, culture, and highlights of each area. This site is rather text-heavy, but includes a lot of useful information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): africa (178)

In the Classroom

The text portions are challenging, so you may want to pair weaker readers with a partner as they research on this site. This is a great find for gifted students. Challenge them to explore unusual topics or do more in-depth investigation related to a "standard" curriculum topic! Save this site as a favorite on classroom computers, and have students look at individually. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here. Have students examine the different sections of the site, and then create a "travel brochure" for a portion of Africa. Since events and governments change rapidly in Africa, challenge your gifted or more able students to find more recent stories about an African country on Google News and compare recent events to the information on this site. Is the Internet always accurate? Have students use a mapping tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map of local landforms (with audio stories and pictures included)!

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Animal and Environmental Facts - Young People's Trust for the Environment

Grades
3 to 8
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The Young People's Trust for the Environment (UK) offers a large selection of fact sheets about animals and environmental issues. The information is primarily text-based. Scroll through...more
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The Young People's Trust for the Environment (UK) offers a large selection of fact sheets about animals and environmental issues. The information is primarily text-based. Scroll through the alphabetical list of animals to view available fact sheets. Sheets contain an image along with other pertinent information such as habitat, size, food, and daily life. Click the blue box on the upper left side of the page to download and print all information in PDF format. Note: Only text appears on downloaded sheets; images appear as X's. Choose the Environmental Facts link to explore fact sheets with subjects ranging from Acid Rain through Zoos. This site was created in the United Kingdom, so you may notice some slight spelling differences from American English.

tag(s): acid rain (6), animal homes (28), animals (218), climate (90), energy (165), environment (282), habitats (69), pollution (64)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Bookmark this site for use with any animal or environmental unit. You will need to pair weaker readers with a stronger reader since the information is almost entirely text. Allow students to choose an animal or environmental topic from the resources available and become "experts." Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students use Page Flip-Flap (reviewed here) to turn their Word documents, PDFs, and images into an online book. There is even a page-turning effect! Have students create maps of animal habitats using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Cosmeo - Virtual Volcano - Discovery Channel

Grades
4 to 12
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Take an in-depth look at volcanoes. Begin with a global perspective to find plate boundaries and active volcanoes around the globe. Explore the three common types of volcanoes to learn...more
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Take an in-depth look at volcanoes. Begin with a global perspective to find plate boundaries and active volcanoes around the globe. Explore the three common types of volcanoes to learn how they form and their impact on the earth around them. Go inside a volcano and take a 3D look at a cross section of a typical volcano. When finished, build your own volcano and watch it erupt.

tag(s): plate tectonics (23), volcanoes (51)

In the Classroom

Virtual Volcano is perfect for viewing on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Students may also enjoy exploring this site on their own. Be sure to include this site on your class website for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Use an online poster creator, such as PicLits (reviewed here, to demonstrate student-created volcanoes. Be sure to label with the different viscosity and gas conditions used to create the volcano.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mapping Our World - Oxfam Education

Grades
4 to 8
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Mapping Our World is an engaging activity exploring the relationship between 2D maps and 3D globes. Choose from three different lessons introducing you to globes and maps through quick...more
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Mapping Our World is an engaging activity exploring the relationship between 2D maps and 3D globes. Choose from three different lessons introducing you to globes and maps through quick learning activities. Can you guess where mole (a character on the site) ends up when digging from one side of the earth to another? Help save pirates walking the plank by providing correct clues for the different map perspectives. These and other activities guide you through thinking about different perceptions of the world. Be sure to check out the Teacher's Notes provided for each activity within the three lessons. If you are teaching geography and map skills, this is a MUST see!

tag(s): continents (41), globe (12), map skills (73), maps (240), oceans (126)

In the Classroom

Mapping Our World is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on maps, map skills, or the earth and continents. Some activities allow for several responses, providing the opportunity to predict the outcomes then analyze results together. Create a link to this site on classroom computers for students to explore on their own or in small groups. Have students or groups collect ideas and findings using Padlet, reviewed here. The Padlet application creates free online bulletin boards.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Outline Maps - David Rayner Beagle Graphics

Grades
4 to 12
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If you need a basic outline map of a country or continent, this is the site for you. Click on any country, continent, or region to view the large version ...more
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If you need a basic outline map of a country or continent, this is the site for you. Click on any country, continent, or region to view the large version for printing. Highlight the map and click to print or save into a Word document to resize, add text, or personalize before printing.

tag(s): continents (41), countries (65), maps (240), printables (33)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this link for use any time you need a printable map. RIGHT click the images and save to use in handouts or on your interactive whiteboard. Include a link on your class webpage for students to print maps for use with class projects. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here as part of continent or country reports.

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School of Fish - Marks and Spencer plc

Grades
2 to 6
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School of Fish offers activities that bring the magic of the sea to life for the young and young at heart. Learn amazing facts about fish, watch their journey from ...more
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School of Fish offers activities that bring the magic of the sea to life for the young and young at heart. Learn amazing facts about fish, watch their journey from sea to the dinner plate, and discover ways to protect fish and their habitats. Explore the different topics and components of the site as you choose from different sections including Fishopedia, Watch, Play, or Ask Blowfish. View interesting information through images, video, and text. Download lesson plans and activities within the section just for teachers. School of Fish is an excellent resource for exploring and learning about life within the seas! The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.

tag(s): animal homes (28), animals (218), fish (23), habitats (69), oceans (126)

In the Classroom

Be sure to bookmark this site for use in any animal or ocean unit. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Encourage your students to use this tool for classroom projects. Be sure to share a link on your class website for students to explore at home. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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