TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jan 20, 2019

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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Open Explorer - National Geographic

Grades
6 to 12
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Open Explorer is a digital field journal sharing community stories of global exploration, science, and storytelling. The site offers a variety of ways to explore content. Choose from...more
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Open Explorer is a digital field journal sharing community stories of global exploration, science, and storytelling. The site offers a variety of ways to explore content. Choose from map locations or popular and recent explorations. Additional filters allow you to narrow choices to selected types of investigations including air, land, sea, urban, or backyard. Each research project includes a map and is set on a timeline for viewers to follow the progress of the journey. Although registration is not necessary to use the site, it allows you to monitor the ongoing activities of chosen explorations. The videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable.

tag(s): animals (319), descriptive writing (40), habitats (110), journals (21), scientific method (67), scientists (68), writing (364)

In the Classroom

This site isn't just for science teachers! Use these journals for non-fiction reading in language arts classrooms or as examples of journal writing. Explore features around the globe in social studies class as part of your geography lessons. In science class, use this site as part of your lessons on animals, habitats, or scientific inquiry. Use this site as a model for science research projects. Complete the entire project digitally beginning with an online notetaking tool such as ReadWriteThink's Notetaker, reviewed here. Notetaker allows students to organize and plan research projects with their different outline formats. During the revision portion of the project, use PeerGrade, reviewed here, for students to share their writing, extend their learning, and receive constructive feedback from classmates. For the final presentation redefine learning, by using a multimedia tool like Sway, reviewed here, to create a presentation including video, images, text, and other research information.

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WikiWhere - GitHub

Grades
8 to 12
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Test your knowledge of map-based trivia with WikiWhere. Begin with a clue to a location found somewhere on the globe, then select where you think is being described. If not ...more
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Test your knowledge of map-based trivia with WikiWhere. Begin with a clue to a location found somewhere on the globe, then select where you think is being described. If not sure, use up to two more additional hints to narrow your selection. WikiWhere provides points based on the distance between your choice and the location provided. Each round consists of five different places to find.

tag(s): maps (293), trivia (21)

In the Classroom

WikiWhere is an excellent site to use on your interactive whiteboard as a quick motivator to begin geography lessons. Share with students to play on their own, then choose a location to research for a class project. Transform learning by having students create their own trivia games using ClassTool's Arcade Game Generator, reviewed here, to share and review content with their peers. Have students use Google My Maps, reviewed here, to modify their learning and create and share virtual field trips of locations studied. Use the many features on Google My Maps to embed information from spreadsheets, add images and videos, and customize maps with icons. Take students on a virtual field trip around the world by sharing the different Google My Maps created on your class webpage.

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Instant Street View - Nick Nicholaou

Grades
4 to 12
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If you use Google Maps you know they offer a street view for locations; Instant Street View saves a step and takes you directly there. Type in any address to ...more
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If you use Google Maps you know they offer a street view for locations; Instant Street View saves a step and takes you directly there. Type in any address to browse any location. Some locations don't offer street view, in that instance Instant Street View shares the Google Map view.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): maps (293), virtual field trips (55)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site on computers for quick use at any time. During current events discussions, share a street view of locations with students to provide context for the area. When discussing famous buildings, or locations, share a street view to provide students with a 360-degree view of the actual area. Find an interesting location and use street view as a starter for a creative writing project. Extend student learning by having students share their stories using a website creator like Hashify, reviewed here. Hashify is a simple website creator that offers options for adding links and images to the site.

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A Teacher's Ultimate Destination for Virtual Field Trips - Education Database Online

Grades
4 to 12
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Take a virtual trip around the country or around the world with this expansive list of virtual field trips. Browse the list then choose a link to visit diverse places ...more
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Take a virtual trip around the country or around the world with this expansive list of virtual field trips. Browse the list then choose a link to visit diverse places like the Statue of Liberty, the Louvre, or a tour about cows and the milk you drink. Because each link leads to a different site, it is important to view it in advance to make sure your computer meets any specific requirements for that activity. *Please be aware that some of the field trips are no longer available, however, there are still approximately 50 working field trips to explore. Please check the link before you share the location with your class.

tag(s): virtual field trips (55)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this list of virtual field trips to include with your current teaching units. Visit sites together with your students on your interactive whiteboard or share a link with students to explore on their own. When finished, have students use Thinglink, reviewed here, to modify learning and create an interactive image sharing information learned on their field trip. Include images, videos, and more on their base image. To wrap up your unit, instead of a research report, have students use a multimedia tool like Story Maps, reviewed here, to redefine their learning and create and share a digital story using maps of the location studied.

Comments

Sadly the robotics link results in a 404 error. Note from the editor: Thank you for the comments. Our review has been updated. Beth, NY, Grades: 9 - 12

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A Race of Discovery - Travelbag

Grades
6 to 12
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Travelbag uses Google Maps to create maps following the footsteps of famous explorers. Select and view the journeys of Christopher Columbus, Amelia Earhart, and more. After choosing...more
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Travelbag uses Google Maps to create maps following the footsteps of famous explorers. Select and view the journeys of Christopher Columbus, Amelia Earhart, and more. After choosing an explorer, click again to see the original journey or the journey using present-day transportation options. Each option shares directions for the explorer's journey in a step by step timeline.

tag(s): aviation (36), columbus day (8), explorers (68), Google (36), lewis and clark (17), maps (293), marco polo (6), transportation (47), women (101)

In the Classroom

Share maps from this site on your interactive whiteboard during your study of explorers and previous time periods to help students understand the difference in transportation modes compared to today's options. Before discussing as a class, have students explore these maps on their own then enhance and share their findings with a quick and easy website creator like Carrd, reviewed here. Use this site as a model and have students create their own maps to demonstrate the path of explorers, characters in novels, or historical events using Story Maps, reviewed here. Story Maps is a multimedia tool that can redefine student learning by offering tools for creating interactive maps that include images, videos, and text.

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Country of the Week - New York Times

Grades
5 to 12
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Each week the New York Times provides an interactive quiz introducing a new country through video, photography, and journalism. Begin each week by finding the highlighted country on...more
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Each week the New York Times provides an interactive quiz introducing a new country through video, photography, and journalism. Begin each week by finding the highlighted country on a map through multiple choice options. After choosing the correct location scroll down the page to answer multiple choice questions. This site also includes archives of previous quizzes dating back to September 2017.

tag(s): countries (82), cross cultural understanding (130), cultures (113)

In the Classroom

This site is an excellent addition to any social studies or geography classroom. Bookmark the site and participate in the weekly activities. Ask students to explore countries more in-depth and then modify their learning by creating infographics using Canva Infographic Creator, reviewed here, to compare what they learned from the New York Times site and their own research. Keep track of countries visited through the interactive quizzes and using Google My Map, reviewed here. Google My Map offers tools for modifying learning by creating custom maps that include uploaded images and videos. Think of it as your virtual field trip around the world during your school year!

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The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks - Google Arts & Culture

Grades
4 to 12
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Follow National Park Rangers on a remarkable journey in these 360-degree videos. Guides take viewers into the most interesting, yet unknown, places in six different park locations....more
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Follow National Park Rangers on a remarkable journey in these 360-degree videos. Guides take viewers into the most interesting, yet unknown, places in six different park locations. Choose a park to begin your journey, then after a short introduction, explore locations dragging the mouse or cursor around to view these sites from every angle. As you explore, guides provide additional information on each location.

tag(s): alaska (24), hawaii (8), landforms (48), national parks (23), states (161), video (263)

In the Classroom

Share this beautiful site and images on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector, then have students explore on their own. This site can be included with many different geography units to teach landforms found around the United States. Use as a starting point to learn more about our National Parks and Parks Service. Modify learning by having students create an annotated image of other interesting geographic locations including text boxes, related links, and videos using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos of behind the scenes information from your hometown, then share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

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Click2Map - AxioCode SAS

Grades
4 to 12
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Create, publish, and download personalized maps with Click2Map. With just a few clicks add points of interest with display markers featuring text, photos, and videos. Add lines or polygons...more
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Create, publish, and download personalized maps with Click2Map. With just a few clicks add points of interest with display markers featuring text, photos, and videos. Add lines or polygons to outline or highlight geographic areas. Browse through sample maps to find popular uses for Click2Map. When ready to create a map use the toolbar to add items and save for sharing. No registration required, but registering is free and allows you to save maps you create. Click2Map works on all devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (173), digital storytelling (141), maps (293)

In the Classroom

Enhance or modify student learning by having students create place marker files of the significant places in the life of a famous person (with videos for the modification of learning) or the route traveled by a particular unit during the Civil War. Have student groups create place marker files to show environmental sites, habitats, landforms, or anything you can put on a map. In math class have students compare routes between different locations.

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Geography Awareness and Exploration Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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TeachersFirst's editors selected these resources to inspire interest and explorations of world geography in any classroom from kindergarten through high school. There are many ways...more
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TeachersFirst's editors selected these resources to inspire interest and explorations of world geography in any classroom from kindergarten through high school. There are many ways to view and learn about our world: maps, statistics, photographs, narratives, interactive navigation systems, and mobile apps. Exploring geography and seeing relationships between natural resources, maps, landforms, climate, and human activity can seem overwhelming, but these resources will entice even the most reluctant student or adult to take a new "view" of the world.

tag(s): map skills (78), maps (293), natural resources (57), population (63)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your favorites for Geography Awareness Week each November. Include the link on your class web page for students to access both in class and at home. Ask students to explore and choose their favorite geography resource, then give a "tour" of it to the rest of the class on your projector or interactive whiteboard.

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Spacehopper - visualised.io

Grades
5 to 12
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Test geography skills with Spacehopper (powered by Google Maps). After viewing a Google Street View interactive image of a location, your goal is to pinpoint the location on the world...more
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Test geography skills with Spacehopper (powered by Google Maps). After viewing a Google Street View interactive image of a location, your goal is to pinpoint the location on the world map. Look around using Street View tools to find information that can help determine where you are. Click to receive up to three clues to narrow down the correct answer. Then click the correct dot showing the location of the image. Check your answer. Receive the answer and location after three incorrect guesses. You can also click the clue button a fourth time and you move on to the next location. Choose specific continents rather than the entire world, if too challenging.

tag(s): cities (27), landmarks (25), map skills (78)

In the Classroom

Display Spacehopper on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to practice problem-solving skills along with geography and map skills. First review how Street View tools work. (Why not allow a student emcee to operate it?) Have students research locations and and modify their learning by creating an annotated map image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students create their own location mysteries and associated questions to put on their Thinglink map image. Or have theme simply "drop" a placemarker in Google Maps and write clues and questions to accompany the placemarker url so classmates can figure out why the location is important. Mysteries could include home ports of explorers, locations of major landforms, environmental disaster sites, author homes, or any location that places your curriculum "on the map." In world language classes, have students write the hints in their new language as they introduce cultural locations related to the language.

Comments

Such a cool way to have interactive geography questions for the whole group. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): area (71), map skills (78), maps (293), measurement (180)

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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The National Parks: America's Best Idea - PBS

Grades
4 to 12
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Ken Burns has been busy again, this time creating a film about the US National Parks. This site carries many clips and even the full length film. There are many ...more
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Ken Burns has been busy again, this time creating a film about the US National Parks. This site carries many clips and even the full length film. There are many resources here about the US National Parks. To make the site more collaborative, you can submit a story and pictures about a visit to a national park. There is an extensive bank of other web resources as well. There are also lesson plans available at the "Educators Link."

tag(s): national parks (23)

In the Classroom

Share the film (or clips) on your interactive whiteboard or projector. One section of the site enables you to design a national park postcard to email to a friend. Groups of students might research individual national parks (links to the NPS site appear on this site) and circulate their own postcards to other groups. Students can also "collect" national park badges that can be cut and pasted into personal or class websites. You could also have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects about various National Parks. Alter student learning by having students create online posters or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. If you are near a park, your students could redefine their learning and create an online park tour to share with others far away! Try a tool such as Adobe Spark For Education, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Globetracker's Mission - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 6
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Globetracker's Mission is a projector or whiteboard-ready episodic story in blog-style format, taking students in grades 2-6 on a journey as they learn standards-based geography, landforms,...more
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Globetracker's Mission is a projector or whiteboard-ready episodic story in blog-style format, taking students in grades 2-6 on a journey as they learn standards-based geography, landforms, and map skills in an engaging, interactive context. Each weekly "post" from Geo and Meri, fictitious brother and sister techno-savvy teens, traces steps on a secret mission for their Uncle Globetracker and his important but unnamed government agency. Episodes include annotated vocabulary terms, interactive maps to practice map skills, and think-aloud questions the teens pose as they use today's tools: text messaging, cell phones, and blog posting. Readers vote at the conclusion of each post, telling Geo and Meri what to do next. TeachersFirst member teachers have other options for their classes to become involved in the mission. All episodes have accompanying Google Earth placemark files so your class can "tour" with Geo and Meri using Google Earth's free, downloadable software. Included are complete tech tips, detailed lesson and management ideas, and teacher information.

tag(s): continents (49), directions (19), earth (224), landforms (48), latitude (12), longitude (12), map skills (78), maps (293), oceans (163)

In the Classroom

See "Lesson Ideas" from the Teacher Edition page for a complete list of ways to use this creative unit with younger students, on laptops with student partners, or as semi-independent work. Be sure to share the link on your teacher web page for students to share at home (or check on the next episode, if they can't wait!).

Encourage parents to join the fun on the mission by sharing the suggestions listed under "Parent Info."

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Antarctica - BBC

Grades
3 to 12
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This website (created by BBC) is all about Antarctica. The focus is on research information about Antarctica, animals from Antarctica, Global Warming issues and a student's visit to...more
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This website (created by BBC) is all about Antarctica. The focus is on research information about Antarctica, animals from Antarctica, Global Warming issues and a student's visit to Antarctica. Students will enjoy the pictures and games on this website. The use of a peer (student) visitor sharing information will make this site more appealing to students.

tag(s): antarctica (29), arctic (46)

In the Classroom

With Global Warming issues being discussed frequently, use this website as a simple guide to group discussions on the topic or to introduce the lesser-known continent to your youger students. Don't forget to use a projector or whiteboard to share this authentic footage with your class.

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