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Consumer Reports Blogs - Consumer Reports

Grades
6 to 12
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Teens spend a lot of money. And they influence the spending of a lot more. Marketing companies know this and pitch their products mercilessly to the teen age demographic. With ...more
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Teens spend a lot of money. And they influence the spending of a lot more. Marketing companies know this and pitch their products mercilessly to the teen age demographic. With their high need for acceptance and affiliation, teens are also very susceptible to these marketing pitches. This site, part of the well-respected Consumer Reports site, offers commentary in several areas of interest to teens: electronics, cars, money, and shopping. Each topic area includes a full post and a blog. There are also links to news, forums, and videos. Offered without the hype, these reviews and observations may help teens cut through the marketing to learn to make intelligent consumer decisions, and learn to manage their money responsibly.

In order to comment on the blog, you must enter your name and email address. Rather than using your personal or work email, consider creating a Gmail account. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

tag(s): advertising (33), business (58), safety (92)

In the Classroom

Family and consumer science, business, or "Life 101" classes might ask students to research common teen purchases using this site as a resource. Similarly, economics or psychology classes might consider the impact of marketing on purchasing, and how advertisers target and influence their audience. Follow up by having students generate their own blog entry on a product comparison they do as a project.
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EnviroMysteries - Maryland Public Television

Grades
6 to 10
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This must-see site, created by Maryland Public Television, offers some excellent interactive activities and lesson plans all about environmental mysteries (asthma triggers, causes of...more
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This must-see site, created by Maryland Public Television, offers some excellent interactive activities and lesson plans all about environmental mysteries (asthma triggers, causes of cancer, food contamination, water borne illness, and others). An excellent addition to a science, health, or physical education class, this site discusses the importance of exercise, effects of mold, how food can get contaminated, and more. The site includes a link for Inside Stories that includes interactive stories about four environmental mysteries (all involving the fictional gym: Reps). The lesson plans include national standards in science, health, language arts, math, and working with others. Lesson ideas are geared for middle grades but could easily be adapted for early high school. They also have video "tie-ins," and lots of details. Some of the activities require Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Share the Inside Stories on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or have students work with a partner to navigate the stories. Have students offer a solution at the end of the story. Check out the ready to go lesson plans. Have your students do research about environmental illnesses and create a wiki or blog discussing the causes and solutions. Have your students create video clips or podcasts about these and other environmental mysteries. Upload the videos to YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Electric Heart - PBS

Grades
8 to 12
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Take anatomy and physiology to the next level with heart surgery! Students use a virtual "scalpel" and step-by-step assistance by a surgeon guiding the process to complete heart transplant...more
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Take anatomy and physiology to the next level with heart surgery! Students use a virtual "scalpel" and step-by-step assistance by a surgeon guiding the process to complete heart transplant surgery. In the virtual Nova operating theatre, students are walked through straightforward procedures. Obviously, in real life it is much different, but by the end students have a general idea of the procedures and steps involved. Assistance through the procedure provides directions and prevents mistakes in the procedure. Site requires shockwave plug-in which is available on the site. Many districts block others from installing programs on district computers. Check with your IT department for assistance in obtaining Shockwave, if you do not already have it (try it to see!). You can also get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): heart (42)

In the Classroom

Use information learned in dissection or an anatomy and physiology unit to use the material in a different way. Students can name and describe the functions of the parts of the heart as they perform the transplant. Identify the vessels and other connecting material leading from the heart. Use this activity to compare hearts with other animals for similarities and differences. Use it as part of a study of healthy exercise and the cardio-vascular system in your health/Phys Ed class.
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Health Assist - HealthAssist.net

Grades
6 to 12
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Confused about the information and myths about health and nutrition? Use this site to gain valuable information about a wide variety of topics. Find articles in categories such as "Food,"...more
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Confused about the information and myths about health and nutrition? Use this site to gain valuable information about a wide variety of topics. Find articles in categories such as "Food," "Health Conditions," "Remedies and Therapies," "Health Tips," "Health Products," and "Tools and Lists." View a "Tip of the Day," "Latest Articles," "Interesting Health Facts," and "Latest Health News." Click on the abstract of an article of your choice to read the entire article. Sources and References are included.

tag(s): nutrition (154), obesity (19)

In the Classroom

Students can brainstorm health and nutrition concerns among their class and then work in groups to obtain information and dispel myths. Students can survey their class or school to obtain information on what students their age know. Have groups present information to the class learned through the survey and research on the site. Additionally, students can create a newsletter for the class, school, or community or publish information to a wiki or blog. Students can also create a goal for personal wellness and health. Their action plan can use relevant facts and information from this site. For example, students can research TV viewing habits, habits that can make a person fat, and identifying unhealthy food.

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TeachersFirst Resources for the Olympics - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Winter or summer, the Olympics provide teaching opportunities across the curriculum for students of all ages. Browse these options for curriculum connections to light the Olympic flame...more
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Winter or summer, the Olympics provide teaching opportunities across the curriculum for students of all ages. Browse these options for curriculum connections to light the Olympic flame in your classroom.

tag(s): china (66), olympics (47)

In the Classroom

Use these Olympics resources to plan an entire unit during the Olympics or make them available as links from your teacher web page for enrichment if the Olympics fall during school breaks. Not enough time for an Olympics unit? Perhaps students can use these links to generate ideas and projects to share on an Olympics extra credit wiki. Teachers of gifted will find many ways to spark new projects usig these links.

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Zunal WebQuest Maker - FREE - Zafer Unal, PhD

Grades
2 to 12
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Have you been pining to include pertinent webquests in your curriculum? This site allows you to view already created webquests and/or use their online tool to create your own webquest...more
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Have you been pining to include pertinent webquests in your curriculum? This site allows you to view already created webquests and/or use their online tool to create your own webquest without HTML code or web editor software. This site walks you through a tutorial on creating your own webquest for the parameters YOU want. The tutorial includes planning, building, and getting your webquest published. Best of all-- it is free. This site also includes ready-made webquests in nearly every subject area (math, art, music, social studies, science, etc.) submitted by others like you. There are webquests for all grade level. The webquests are free to use and many include reviews by other educators. An easy to follow webquest matrix is available, with all of the subjects and grade levels. You are also able to do a webquest search for a specific topic. Nearly all of the webquests are in English, but a few are in other languages. Note: the quality of webquests is completely determined by others using the site to create webquests, so PREVIEW before using any webquest in class.

tag(s): calories (9), colors (79), money (193), presidents (130), pyramids (29)

In the Classroom

Search the multitude of webquests that are "ready to go" at this site. If you are looking for a more personal touch, you can create your own webquest for each class, tailored to what you want to cover or want students to research. This site also provides a place to post a personal portfolio of your work (if you choose to include any student work, you must have written permission to do so from the student and his or her parent). You might also want students to create webquests as final products of group research projects. Be sure to provide a meaningful rubric for the essential features.

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Philologus - Richard Shakeshaft

Grades
4 to 12
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This game-creation site is useful for almost any grade level from intermediate up to high school. The teacher creates the game appropriate to what the topic and level is. You ...more
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This game-creation site is useful for almost any grade level from intermediate up to high school. The teacher creates the game appropriate to what the topic and level is. You do have to register, but it is free. Games are as simple as Hangman and go to more complex (but appealing for students) as TV-based game shows such as "Deal or no Deal" and "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." Some of the links and activities require Flash or Quicktime. You can get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. All of these are great tools for helping students study, as well as figure out how they learn best.

In the Classroom

The games created are interactive, so students can work individually, on teams, or on a class computer using an interactive whiteboard or projector. One of the best learning tools for kids is to have them create their OWN games, and this site allows them to do that easily. Use your own teacher account so you do not need student emails at school. Ideally, students can create games for either learning or review for their fellow classmates. Assign a small group of students to work with different game templates and then act as "host" of the game to quiz the rest of the class: an ideal review or way to present student research information an a topic and keep the "audience" engaged.

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The Target is You! Alcohol Advertising Quiz - Media Awareness Network

Grades
4 to 10
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This eye-opening website provides an interactive quiz that is designed to enable students to understand the alcohol advertising market, and how the market really does aim towards youth...more
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This eye-opening website provides an interactive quiz that is designed to enable students to understand the alcohol advertising market, and how the market really does aim towards youth (which according to the website, accounts for about 20% of all alcohol consumption). Click "Begin Quiz Now." The quiz is designed for grades 6-8, but could be very useful in other grades. The website teaches students that alcohol advertisements are everywhere - TV commercials, TV shows, ads in magazines, branded clothing, sponsorships at sporting events, and more. This website also has links to lesson plans about Kids, Alcohol, and Advertising. The lesson plans include learning outcomes and many details. They are designed mainly for grades 4-8. The quiz requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): advertising (33)

In the Classroom

Share this informative on an interactive whiteboard or projector at the start of al alcohol unit. Have students guess at their seats what the correct answer would be (either on paper or by show of hands). Use the questions on the quiz as a springboard for a class discussion or class meeting about under-age drinking. Brainstorm a list together of times that they recall hearing or seeing an alcohol advertisement. Be sure to discuss the question involving the "deaths caused by driving under the influence of alcohol." 40% of vehicle deaths involve alcohol.

Come up with a list of ways for the students to avoid "being the target." Have the class journal, create short skits, or have small group discussions about how to handle the advertisements.

Teachers can also use this site during a drug unit or Red Ribbon Week as background information for students or student groups to make printable anti-drug posters using PicLits, reviewed here.
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Africa Focus: Sights and Sounds of a Continent - University of Wisconsin Digital Collections

Grades
3 to 12
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Africa Focus offers a wealth of digital images and sound recordings from contemporary Africa. This collection from the University of Wisconsin contains more than 3000 slides, 500 photographs,...more
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Africa Focus offers a wealth of digital images and sound recordings from contemporary Africa. This collection from the University of Wisconsin contains more than 3000 slides, 500 photographs, and 50 hours of sounds from 45 different countries. Click Search the Collection to see image categories which include artisans, buildings and structures, cities and towns, education, landscape, religion, and women. Sound recordings include drums, greetings, rites and ceremonies, songs, and signing. The site is easily searched by keyword or by subject heading. This site requires RealPlayer. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): africa (180), air (163), architecture (83), black history (59)

In the Classroom

Teachers will find this site rich in resources for units on science, social studies, geography, architecture, music, art, and culture. Make Africa a "real" place by sharing on a projector as you share stories or learn about homes ("Structures")and habitats or landforms ("Landscape") with younger students. Use the sound recordings for lessons on oral history, myths, languages, and music. Assign student groups a topic area, which they can research and present to the class as a PowerPoint or another multi-media format using an interactive whiteboard or projector.

Images, text, or other content downloaded from the collection may be freely used for non-profit educational and research purposes under Fair Use. That means that you may NOT put them on the web in a public site, blog, or wiki, since you would not be limiting access to class members. If you want students to create blog or wiki pages, create passworded access for class members only to areas displaying these images and resources. Check the website for instructions on how students can cite this source in their bibliographies.

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Agriculture in the Classroom - USDA

Grades
1 to 12
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Understand the importance of agriculture and visit a farm using your computer! Choose from the "Limits of the Earth" and "The Story of Milk" (in the Kids Zone Virtual ...more
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Understand the importance of agriculture and visit a farm using your computer! Choose from the "Limits of the Earth" and "The Story of Milk" (in the Kids Zone Virtual Tours), among others. Spend time on the "4-H Virtual Farm" where you investigate different types of agriculture through movies, slides, and simulated tours. Explore the agricultural products we use every day as well as the biotechnology behind it. Other resources include Science in a Shopping Cart, Webquests, AgKnowledge quizzes, Teacher resources including lesson plans and science projects, and a Student Center for Teens and Kids. Most activities are geared for the younger grades though some links are more appropriate for secondary students. This site requires use of Quicktime and Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): agriculture (54), nutrition (154)

In the Classroom

Use the activities to introduce a Food and Fiber unit. Identify the products produced by the various types of farms. Use the activities prior to a farm visit or presentation. Students can also count the different types of products used by their family and use the site for background research. This would be a great way for elementary students to study various farms as part of social studies lessons on producers and consumers. Family and Consumer Science classes can use this information to begin a unit on dairy, grain, or meat products. Use the information for students to follow goods from farm to table for presentation.
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The Virtual Autopsy - University of Leicester

Grades
9 to 12
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This intriguing website gives students a front row seat to anatomy and physiology. The website provides 18 virtual autopsy cases. Each case includes a presentation about the case, history...more
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This intriguing website gives students a front row seat to anatomy and physiology. The website provides 18 virtual autopsy cases. Each case includes a presentation about the case, history of the patient, and results of examinations performed on the patient. The cases each offer students an interactive human body. Students can click on various body parts to learn more about the health of each of the systems of the body (central nervous system, respiratory system, endocrine system, gastrointestinal track, cardiovascular system, reticulo-endothelial system, genito-urinary system, musculoskeletal system, and general external appearance). Once students have investigated the case, they are asked to identify the cause of death (the website provides 5+ possibilities for each case). If the students guess the cause of death incorrectly, they receive clues.

tag(s): human body (120)

In the Classroom

What an excellent way to excite your students about learning the science of anatomy and physiology! Get out your interactive whiteboards to share a case as you talk about the process of inquiry. Or have cooperative learning groups explore different investigations. Use teacher discretion as to whether your students can maturely handle illustrations of the human body. Be sure to read the "How to Use This Website" link for additional ideas.

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Exploring Online: Better Hair Through Chemistry - Exploratorium Magazine

Grades
6 to 10
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Are you looking for a unique way to grab the attention of your teenage students? This interesting website explores the connection between hair and science. Correlations are made between...more
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Are you looking for a unique way to grab the attention of your teenage students? This interesting website explores the connection between hair and science. Correlations are made between bad hair days and the weather. Three of the "hands on" activities include building a hair hygrometer, the healthy hair test, and creating curls. Some of the articles feature interactive elements that require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): air (163), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Although this website doesn't have many "bells and whistles" (it dates back to 1998), the content could be very interesting in a chemistry or other secondary science class. This website takes a "teenage friendly" topic and brings it into the science classroom. There are many higher-level science topics within the text of this website. Invite students to try the experiments and even to use technology to create more up-to-date illustrations of the concepts for a health or science fair display.
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Smart Girl - NSF & UMich

Grades
7 to 12
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This site values bright young women by offering features on things that interest them: surveys, creativity, feelings, writing, horoscopes, dreams, sports, college, etc. Older girls...more
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This site values bright young women by offering features on things that interest them: surveys, creativity, feelings, writing, horoscopes, dreams, sports, college, etc. Older girls will gain confidence as they find their voices and read those of others. Mentor journals of college-age "Smart Girls" share their college experiences. The site is run by NSF and University of Michigan and provides a very positive tone. They monitor content. Links are available to outside sites on a wide variety of topics.

tag(s): organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Counselors, writing teachers, and even those working with young women in emotional support classes will want to encourage your female students to submit creative writing, write surveys, learn to do websites, and write reviews of their favorite media productions. If you have students who want to know more about college life (in a positive way), share this link with them to learn about the college experience, time management , and more from the mentor journals.

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National Atlas - United States Department of the Interior

Grades
2 to 12
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This all-encompassing atlas site provides a broad variety of information and activities. The subject areas include agriculture, biology, boundaries, climate, environment, geology, government,...more
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This all-encompassing atlas site provides a broad variety of information and activities. The subject areas include agriculture, biology, boundaries, climate, environment, geology, government, history, mapping, transportation, people, and water. All of the subjects incorporate the United States (for example, the agriculture pages discuss the agriculture of the USA). The map features are phenomenal and include both printable maps and "dynamic maps" which are interactive and awesome! Some of interactive maps include topics such as relief and elevation, West Nile virus, volcanoes and more. This site is a perfect addition to any science class that is studying volcanoes, climate, biology and more. It is also useful in a geography class studying the various uses and types of maps. Some of the activities at this site require Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): agriculture (54), climate (92), environment (317), geology (81), maps (288)

In the Classroom

Have your students work in cooperative learning groups to investigate the "dynamic maps". Assign each group a topic to explore (there are 7). Have the students research the information using the maps and then report their findings to the class, perhaps displaying examples on a projector or interactive whiteboard. In teaching any of the related subjects, using a projector to share a map will make the content more "real," such as displaying the butterfly layer in the map maker so students can see how the butterfly population their home state compares with other locations.
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World News - WN Network

Grades
4 to 12
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This is a wonderful compilation site of news from all over the world. Users can read the home page or search news of a specific geographic region. An ...more
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This is a wonderful compilation site of news from all over the world. Users can read the home page or search news of a specific geographic region. An excellent plus here is the ability to choose to read the news in a variety of languages. World Photos today, multimedia, global weather, and sports are just a few of the many attractive sections that add to this site's appeal.

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your school's foreign language teachers. Have students do comparisons between English and foreign language versions of the news. If you teach writing, you can find controversial topics as writing prompts for persuasive writing among the articles, as well, and have students find facts to support their positions. Make this site available from your teacher web page for current events assignments. Reading teachers will want to use the articles on an interactive whiteboard to teach main idea and summarizing: highlight key words to use in a main idea or summary sentence you write together below the article.

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Brain Explorer - Lundbeck Institute

Grades
7 to 12
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Brain Explorer is a comprehensive, interactive explanation of the human brain. This site is organized into three major categories: a brain atlas, neurological control information,...more
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Brain Explorer is a comprehensive, interactive explanation of the human brain. This site is organized into three major categories: a brain atlas, neurological control information, and descriptions of brain disorders. It also provides a glossary, a gallery, and additional reading material. Younger students may need some guided help or a narrow web quest because the site could be overwhelming.

tag(s): brain (72)

In the Classroom

This site would be a fantastic resource for teachers and students in biology, anatomy, health, or psychology. Share the images from the gallery on a projector or whiteboard to illustrate brain basics or assign students to find out more detailed information from the Atlas.

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MRI Game - Nobelprize.org

Grades
5 to 10
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This interactive game introduces students to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The activity provides students with historical, scientific, and medical information about the MRI. After...more
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This interactive game introduces students to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The activity provides students with historical, scientific, and medical information about the MRI. After the reader-friendly information, students have the opportunity to choose patients and take them in for an MRI. There is also a matching activity that compares images from X-Rays, MRIs, and CATs (computer assisted tomography). As you study science concepts such as magnetism, light waves, and other physical science concepts this application of scientific concepts to solve a problem (seeing inside the body) will make the concepts more meaningful. If your science curriculum includes study of famous scientists or types of science, this feature is one of several on the Nobel prize site. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): images (265)

In the Classroom

This site is ideal for an interactive whiteboard. This website does an excellent job simplifying the complicated science behind MRIs. Students doing research on applications of science in the real world could also use this as as research source(most likely at the middle school level).
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Beacon Learning Center: Student Web Lessons - Beacon Learning Center

Grades
K to 12
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This website, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, provides an enormous collection of "web lessons" (interactives) for all grade levels. There are lessons in language...more
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This website, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, provides an enormous collection of "web lessons" (interactives) for all grade levels. There are lessons in language arts, math, science, social studies, and health. There are too many lesson plans to count - and all are projector, laptop, or whiteboard-ready. Just to give you an idea of some of these unique lessons, some of the titles include "Where is Japan?", "Walrus World", "Piece of Pie", "Medians", "Fence Me In", and "Critter Craze". On the main page, a brief description is provided for each lesson plan. Click Teacher Solutions > Lesson Plans to search by subject or grade level.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), evolution (100), expository writing (44), industrial revolution (25), native americans (78), primary sources (86), probability (130), symmetry (55), writing (358)

In the Classroom

If you want ready-to-go lessons guaranteed to work well on your interactive whiteboard, this collection is a winner. You simply open the activity on the whiteboard and have students tap and drag their way through as you talk with the class. (Invite your most "active" student to be "Vanna White" for a great behavior management solution). Many lessons would work well on laptops or on a computer cluster center, as well.

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Mad Sci Network - Mad Sci Network/Third Sector New England

Grades
K to 12
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This great reference resource is an attractively packaged compilation of ways to get answers to questions about science. Offerings include a place to ask questions from K-college, access...more
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This great reference resource is an attractively packaged compilation of ways to get answers to questions about science. Offerings include a place to ask questions from K-college, access to a search engine, a list of FAQ's on common topics, a library with links to other relevant sites, a knowledge generator, an archive of lab experiments, and other assistance with science fair projects. The Mad-Sci labs also has a "Guided Tour of the Visible Human" section on human anatomy, with many images of cross-sections and internal organs.

tag(s): air (163), experiments (71), scientists (68)

In the Classroom

Navigate the human body and label parts on an interactive whiteboard, or find the appropriate experiments for all your science concepts. By searching the question archives, you can find answers to questions at all levels. Be sure to include this link on your teacher web page year-round to promote curiosity about science. Teachers of gifted will love this one as a treasury of open-ended ideas on science by scientists.

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Obesity - BBC

Grades
3 to 12
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This site provides the alarming news on obesity. The interesting topics include a comparison of obesity from 1970 to 2000, a "help" page, a body image page, information about ...more
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This site provides the alarming news on obesity. The interesting topics include a comparison of obesity from 1970 to 2000, a "help" page, a body image page, information about eating disorders, quizzes, interactive videos, information about what obesity means and more. Some of the activities require FLASH.

tag(s): eating disorders (7), obesity (19)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share this useful website with your students. This would also be a wonderful link to provide in your classroom newsletter - many parents would appreciate the information and tips. Note: the site is from the UK, but the information is valid on both sides of the Atlantic!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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