TeachersFirst's Ecology - Science Resources

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This curated list of resources will help you research information about ecology. Read the descriptions to find out whether a site sounds right for what you want to know. Some sites may be more challenging reading, while others may offer solid basic information. Be sure to try several sources.  

If you cannot find what you need here, you may want to try searching on TeachersFirst for specific keywords.

Browse through our entire tagged list of resources related to ecology

  

 

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The Pack - New York Hall of Science (NYSCI)

Grades
6 to 12
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The Pack is an open-world game based in Algos, a place where healthy ecosystems are no longer in place, and the player is responsible for assessing the needs to fix ...more
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The Pack is an open-world game based in Algos, a place where healthy ecosystems are no longer in place, and the player is responsible for assessing the needs to fix the environment. Each new game begins in a unique world and encourages players to use computational thinking skills and an understanding of environmental awareness. Follow the included Teacher-Guide to find ideas and strategies for classroom use. Download the tips and tricks guide and watch the introductory video to learn more about The Pack. Use the download links to download to a Mac, Windows system, or access the app available at the iTunes Store.

tag(s): animals (264), ecology (97), ecosystems (65), environment (221), game based learning (158), plants (135)

In the Classroom

Utilize the Teacher-Guide to find ideas for classroom use. Use the table in the guide as a starting point to document and organize student learning. As students play The Pack, use a spreadsheet tool such as Excel or Google Sheets to recreate the table in the guide and add additional areas of documentation. Enhance student learning by having students use a screen recording tool like Screencastify, reviewed here, to share different portions of the game and their chosen actions. As a final activity, and to extend student learning, ask students to create their own environmental learning game using Scratch, reviewed here.
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Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants - Joe Grabowski

Grades
6 to 12
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Bring science, exploration, and conservation into your classroom through virtual field trips with scientists and leading experts around the globe sponsored on this site. Choose from...more
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Bring science, exploration, and conservation into your classroom through virtual field trips with scientists and leading experts around the globe sponsored on this site. Choose from over twenty monthly options shared via satellite. Find events by scrolling through offerings on the home page, select from map locations, or use the calendar view to browse by specific dates. Most sessions are about 45 minutes long; however, additional options offer full day and week-long events. Watch events virtually or sign up for a camera spot to interact with the session presenters. Don't worry if you are unable to attend a session, view any previous activities on the site's YouTube channel.

tag(s): animal homes (59), animals (264), conservation (79), ecology (97), explorers (60), oceans (128), space (202), STEM (219), virtual field trips (66), water (96)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free sessions to bring real-word conservation and science lessons to your students. There are three ways for your class to enjoy the sessions. The first one is to "Tune in live! Any number of classrooms can watch the events live on YouTube and even send in some questions using the chat sidebar." The second one is "Grab a camera spot so your class can appear on the screen and interact with the speaker. We generally have 5-7 classrooms joining in this way each hangout." The third viewing choice is "Every hangout is recorded directly to YouTube, we have a growing library of past events that can be viewed by classrooms anytime on our channel." See more explanations to the viewing options by clicking the wavy red lines in the upper left corner and then click For Teachers. Begin by watching virtual field trips (viewing option 3), then expand your activities in additional sessions by signing up to participate and interact with the presenters. Prepare for student questioning by brainstorming ideas. Engage students by sharing ideas using an online bulletin board tool like Pinside, reviewed here. Save and share ideas on your class website. As students research information for your upcoming topic, enhance learning by using a collaborative bookmarking tool like SearchTeam, reviewed here, for all students to share websites with their peers and add comments. Prepare your students further for interactions with researchers by watching videos from previous broadcasts using playposit, reviewed here, to add questions for students into the YouTube videos and encourage students to add comments discussing each issue. Most of the online tools suggested above will help students document their learning during remote or distance learning sessions.
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Hacking STEM Library - Microsoft

Grades
4 to 10
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The Hacking STEM Library provides a vast array of STEM projects for easy incorporation into any classroom. Scroll through the site to view the Activity Library, Master Skill Guides,...more
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The Hacking STEM Library provides a vast array of STEM projects for easy incorporation into any classroom. Scroll through the site to view the Activity Library, Master Skill Guides, and Bite-Size Activities. Each activity provides a quick look at cost, grade level, and amount of time needed before linking to the full lesson plan. Lesson plans include complete instructions, objectives, and necessary documents.

tag(s): angles (53), critical thinking (100), electricity (61), energy (126), light (46), makerspace (43), Microsoft (65), problem solving (214), solar energy (32)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free activities to include with any STEM lessons already taught. Many activities are perfect for use with Genius Hour or Makerspaces in the classroom. Ask students to share their journey in completing activities in a blog. Seesaw, reviewed here, offers tools for building digital portfolios and incorporating blogs. Ask students to annotate images taken of their activities with text, URL's, or videos using ThingLink, reviewed here.
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Ecology Lab - Learner.org

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5 to 12
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This animated lab is part of a unit entitled "The Producers" and demonstrates the impact on different environments as creatures make changes to the plant and animal population. Use...more
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This animated lab is part of a unit entitled "The Producers" and demonstrates the impact on different environments as creatures make changes to the plant and animal population. Use options in the lab to add plants and animal predators then run the lab to view the day-by-day changes to the environment. Changes display in the image and with a line graph.

tag(s): animals (264), ecology (97), ecosystems (65), environment (221), plants (135)

In the Classroom

View this interactive together with students on your interactive whiteboard as you change different environmental components. Ask students to predict final outcomes before viewing each scenario, ask them to vote on their prediction with an online voting tool like Dotstorming, reviewed here. Ask students to discuss results in an online blog using Weebly, reviewed here. Include before and after screen shots of your lab as part of student blog discussions. Extend student learning by having your students try their own hand at creating an online game using Scratch, reviewed here, to demonstrate interactions between plants and animals in different environmental conditions.

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Human Influence on Ecology Mapped - Erle Ellis

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8 to 12
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This short YouTube video describes a proposal to reconsider how earth's biomes are mapped taking into consideration the effect of humans and urban populations. The discussions reflect...more
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This short YouTube video describes a proposal to reconsider how earth's biomes are mapped taking into consideration the effect of humans and urban populations. The discussions reflect upon the changing environment due to changes over extended periods of time. Also, the video points out some criticisms in this plan indicating that it may diminish the importance of environmental awareness and protection. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable.

tag(s): biomes (114), conservation (79), ecology (97), population (51)

In the Classroom

Share this video as part of your unit on biomes, conservation, or world populations. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast the proposal to current definitions of biomes. Then have students debate the pros and cons of the proposal outlined in the video using a tool such as Thinkalong, reviewed here.

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World's Biomes - University of California

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5 to 12
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Read about the conservation and preservation of the World's Biomes. Click on one of the six biomes to see a very readable summary about the characteristics and facts of that ...more
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Read about the conservation and preservation of the World's Biomes. Click on one of the six biomes to see a very readable summary about the characteristics and facts of that biome. This page is part of a larger site, The Museum of Paleontology, reviewed here.

tag(s): biomes (114), deserts (15), ecology (97), forests (25), oceans (128), tundra (15)

In the Classroom

Use this site as one of multiple sources for researching biomes or a particular biome. Show students how to take Cornell (two column) notes and summarize using this information. Use a tool like 43 Folders Cornell Notes, reviewed here, to help explain Cornell Notes to students. Pair weak readers with strong readers for this activity.

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Ecosystem Explorer - PBS LearningMedia

Grades
4 to 9
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Use this collection of videos, activities, and infographics to delve deep into the ecosystems of vultures, wolves, and sharks. Use the videos to introduce the ecosystems and discover...more
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Use this collection of videos, activities, and infographics to delve deep into the ecosystems of vultures, wolves, and sharks. Use the videos to introduce the ecosystems and discover the complicated relationship between animals and humans. Play through the interactives to discover more about the ecology and conservation of the worlds of these magnificent animals. The PBS series "EARTH A New Wild" inspired this resource. Click to Launch the interactive and choose one of the three worlds. Control the sound with the controls along the top. In each screen, view any of the materials including the interactives by clicking on the colored dots.
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tag(s): animal homes (59), animals (264), ecology (97), ecosystems (65), habitats (79)

In the Classroom

Use this as an introductory activity into ecology. Students can work together on the same animals or have a group work together at exploring all three. Identify some similarities or differences between the needs and environments of all three animals. Use an online tool such as Interactive Three-Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to help with the comparison. Identify some common issues with conservation, interaction with humans, and other issues facing these animals today. Extend the discussion with a student project, researching other organisms found within any of these three environments.

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EarthEcho Water Challenge - World Water Monitoring Challenge (WWMC)

Grades
5 to 12
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Join others in over 50 countries around the world in the EarthEcho Water Challenge. The official kickoff for World Water Day is on March 22. However, the challenge continues through...more
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Join others in over 50 countries around the world in the EarthEcho Water Challenge. The official kickoff for World Water Day is on March 22. However, the challenge continues through December 31. Register to monitor any lake, stream, bay, or any other nearby body of water with safe access. Follow directions to test and monitor your water. There are test kits available for purchase. However, you can create your own. Share data by logging into the site. Visit the Resources page to find activity worksheets, handouts, guides, and lesson plans.
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tag(s): earth day (61), environment (221), water (96)

In the Classroom

Sign up your classroom or science club to participate in the World Water Monitoring Challenge. Follow directions on the site for how to collect and submit data. Take advantage of lesson plans found on the site in both English and Spanish. Use the lessons and resources as part of an environmental or Earth Day unit. Challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi (reviewed here) sharing their findings.
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National Environmental Education Week - National Environmental Education Foundation

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4 to 12
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Join Environmental Education Week which is held the week before Earth Day. Get involved in Education Week programs by registering your school and classrooms. Scroll down the page to...more
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Join Environmental Education Week which is held the week before Earth Day. Get involved in Education Week programs by registering your school and classrooms. Scroll down the page to find resources and activities for each day of EE Week. Educational materials include videos, infographics, and links to more resources that might be of interest. Be sure to subscribe to their monthly newsletter. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): animals (264), climate change (76), earth (172), earth day (61), ecology (97), environment (221), national parks (18), resources (85), water (96)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to plan great activities, lessons, and events for students leading up to Earth Day. For example, use the search function locateed under the menu symbol in the upper left corner and search weather + climate + video for videos and information about water shortages, drought, climate change, and resources. Use the articles and reports to pique student interest, use short videos in the classroom, and find great websites and programs linked from the page. Use these resources not only for a greater understanding of issues but to create awareness campaigns for change in the home, school, or community. Exchange pen and paper and ask students to keep a digital journal sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, replace pencil and paper and challenge your students to create a blog using Seesaw, reviewed here. Partner with local groups (conservation or not) to create action plans and events, and provide opportunities for change in the community. Transform student learning by challenging them to create interactive brochures, magazines, or posters of information learned using Lucidpress, reviewed here, or Genial.ly, reviewed here.
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Cool Earth - Mark Ellingham

Grades
K to 12
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Cool Earth is an organization that works to protect the Rainforest from deforestation and prevent climate change. The site is a valuable resource for information about the Rainforest....more
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Cool Earth is an organization that works to protect the Rainforest from deforestation and prevent climate change. The site is a valuable resource for information about the Rainforest. There is a variety of ways for schools to participate. The site contains valuable information useful for research projects, short videos, galleries full of rainforest imagery, submit questions, and read blog entries written by visitors currently in the Amazon. Schools can register with Cool Earth to receive regular updates, news, and participate in site competitions. Classrooms looking for a service project may want to participate in the "cool school" project. Students raise money or find funding from local businesses to buy an acre of Rainforest. Cool Earth then provides a map marking the exact location of your plot of land for students to view. Cool Earth also explains ways to cut carbon emissions.

Be aware: this site also includes some items for sale. You may want to advise students to steer clear of these links.

tag(s): carbon (14), climate (78), ecology (97), environment (221), sustainability (11)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site by sharing photos or videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Include this site on a list of hotlinks for students to access when researching the Rainforest, climate change, sustainability, or carbon footprints. Save this site in your favorites on classroom computers for students to view rainforest maps, ask questions, or read magazine articles. Ask students to visit the site and create an interactive multimedia presentation from the information they learn there using Sway, reviewed here. Register your school with Cool Earth and take advantage of the free lesson plans and resources they offer. The ultimate experience would be to personalize student learning and sponsor a tree or organize a fundraiser to purchase an acre of land. Ask students to research their tree, or the biome biodiversity characteristic of their acre. Include a link to this site on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class.

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EcoKids - Earth Day Canada

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

Be aware: recently, this site started to offer certain features of the Teacher's Lounge to "members only." Membership is FREE, but does require an email address. The link for students does NOT require membership to access the interactives, information, or printables.

tag(s): acid rain (5), earth (172), earth day (61), ecology (97), transportation (34)

In the Classroom

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

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

Grades
5 to 8
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Created by the Environmental Protection Agency, this visually appealing site is filled with interactive story books, climate animations, and cleverly designed animations for students....more
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Created by the Environmental Protection Agency, this visually appealing site is filled with interactive story books, climate animations, and cleverly designed animations for students. Links include Climate Change (What is It), Climate & Weather, Greenhouse Effect, What is the Climate System, Climate's Come a Long Way, The Climate Detectives, Games, Climate Animations, Climate Change Calculator, Stuff for Teachers, So What's the Big Deal, We CAN Make a Difference, and Can We Change the Climate. Use this site to supplement a unit on the Greenhouse Effect or as a springboard for Internet Earth Day activities. Though a few parts of this site requires Flash, there is plenty of information to learn that doesn't require Flash.

tag(s): ecology (97), fossil fuels (9)

In the Classroom

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

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Matching Aliens with Impacts - WGBH

Grades
6 to 8
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Find out how the introduction of an organism not indigenous to an area can wreak environmental havoc. In this interactive game, students must examine ten successful invaders and attempt...more
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Find out how the introduction of an organism not indigenous to an area can wreak environmental havoc. In this interactive game, students must examine ten successful invaders and attempt to match them to the damage they can inflict in their new environment. There is a lot to learn at this site, however the interactives still require Flash.

tag(s): ecology (97), species (16)

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Electronic Field Trip to the Forest - Kentucky Educational Television

Grades
4 to 8
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Take your students on an electronic field trip to the forest with this informative site that covers a range of curriculum topics including environmental and life sciences, history,...more
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Take your students on an electronic field trip to the forest with this informative site that covers a range of curriculum topics including environmental and life sciences, history, geography and economics. The actual Field Trip is a 60-minute overview of forest ecology, broken down into three independent segments. Students will encounter foresters, a wildlife biologist, and an ecologist in the course of the virtual trip. Other features of the site include an interactive Habitat Game, a slideshow on saving the American chestnut, and a teacher's guide containing links to downloadable forestry units. A high speed connection is a must.

tag(s): biomes (114), ecology (97), forests (25)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities hosted by this site! They correspond to the website and instruct teachers on how to specifically use the site site teach. There is also a habitat game that would make a great learning center or station to review the material with. Science teachers will appreciate this one.

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Voyage of the Odyssey - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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On March 17, 2000, the Odyssey began its five-year journey to shed light on the health of the world's oceans and the fate of whales and marine organisms. Explore this ...more
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On March 17, 2000, the Odyssey began its five-year journey to shed light on the health of the world's oceans and the fate of whales and marine organisms. Explore this multimedia site to view video and audio clips, read about oceanic and nautical history, and email scientists with questions about ocean ecology.

tag(s): ecology (97), ecosystems (65), marine biology (23), oceans (128)

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The Galapagos Islands - Adaptions - Kyrene

Grades
4 to 12
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The National Science Teachers' Association developed this elegant site about the Galapagos islands, Darwin, and the abundance of species still found on the island. In addition to good...more
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The National Science Teachers' Association developed this elegant site about the Galapagos islands, Darwin, and the abundance of species still found on the island. In addition to good maps and excellent photography, there are lesson and study ideas, explanations of geological features, and leads for further exploration of the topics presented. Great site for a study of ecology or natural science.

tag(s): ecology (97)

In the Classroom

Introduce this activity with a projector or on an interactive whiteboard to show students how to navigate the site. Then, in your flipped or blended classroom (or at a computer center), have students explore on their own. Have students take notes on the material and write down questions they still have and topics that confuse them. They can do this with pen and paper or online. If you want the assignment online, explain to students they need to open a new tab in their browser window and take notes with a tool such as Webnote, reviewed here; tell students to be sure to save the URL to share their notes and questions with you and their peers. As a final assessment and to transform student learning, have small groups choose to make an interactive website using Webnode, reviewed here, or an interactive infographic using Canva Inforgraphic Creator, reviewed here, as if they are updating this site with a current look and using newer technologies.
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Kids Do Ecology - Univ. of California Santa Barbara

Grades
4 to 8
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This site from the University of California at Santa Barbara lets students explore selected ecology topics in several ways. There are sub-sites dealing with ecology principles, whales,...more
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This site from the University of California at Santa Barbara lets students explore selected ecology topics in several ways. There are sub-sites dealing with ecology principles, whales, and several other marine species. There's also a very nice section on Data, showing why data collection is important for scientists and illustrating different ways to present data visually. Both sections might be useful in introducing scientific method and experimental procedure.

tag(s): ecology (97), pollution (47), recycling (44)

In the Classroom

Though this site is no longer maintained, the links work and there is plenty of material to use in your classroom. This site is a great science find for both teachers and students! Teachers, there is an entire section of free lesson plans and activities that can be easily recreated in your classroom. For students, use this site as learning center or station. Allow students to use the site in cooperative learning groups, for any science unit on biomes, ecology, mammals, or data collection. This site would be a great supplement to book materials.

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Ecological Regions of North America - Commission for Environmental Cooperation

Grades
4 to 12
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This is a beautifully produced site from an international ecological consortium. It provides detailed descriptions of the major North American ecological regions, along with photos...more
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This is a beautifully produced site from an international ecological consortium. It provides detailed descriptions of the major North American ecological regions, along with photos of representative ecological features. A good overview and comparison of the differences among ecological regions in North America.

tag(s): ecology (97), pollution (47), recycling (44)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or with a projector to show students how to navigate to the Tools and Resources and what is there. Then allow students to choose an area to investigate individually, with a partner, or in small groups on classroom computers. Ask students to take notes using Simplenote, reviewed here; tell students to be sure to save the URL to share their notes and questions with you and their peers. Simplenote updates across all devices. Next challenge students to share their findings with their peers by creating online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. Take this a step further with technology and make the posters interactive using Adobe Spark, reviewed here.

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Earthwatch - Earthwatch Worldwide

Grades
4 to 12
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Find great ecology projects and adventurous ideas at Earthwatch, a program where everyone and anyone can get involved in making our planet environmentally safe. Sign up for their free...more
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Find great ecology projects and adventurous ideas at Earthwatch, a program where everyone and anyone can get involved in making our planet environmentally safe. Sign up for their free newsletter for the latest news, events, and ways you can get involved. There is a comprehensive guide and a fact sheet. Find many, many lesson plans on the Educator Opportunities page, on the right menu. If you haven't planned your next vacation, why not do something out of the ordinary and get involved in an Earthwatch expedition? There are more than 140 expeditions from all over the world from which to choose. You will meet professional research scientists, Earthwatch guides and professionals, and like-minded volunteers like you from around the world. There are grants available to fund your expedition.

tag(s): earth (172), environment (221)

In the Classroom

Select "Global Classroom" for a summary of planned and on-going scientific field trip explorations. Some explorations include classroom resources. Topics pertain to oceans, ecology, and endangered species.You will find there are lesson plans relating to: Oceans, Ecosystem Services, Cultural Heritage, Climate Change, and Taking Action.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Biology4Kids

Grades
6 to 12
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This site offers an introduction to three areas of bioology: cells, chemistry, and ecology, along with a set of study materials. Though the concepts are "real science," the language...more
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This site offers an introduction to three areas of bioology: cells, chemistry, and ecology, along with a set of study materials. Though the concepts are "real science," the language is approachable and interesting enough to keep students engaged. This site is well worth a look for use as either a self-study or a resource to accompany an introduction to biology. Part of the Kapili.com collection.

tag(s): cells (80), ecology (97)

In the Classroom

This site will compliment your study of cells. Use it as an introduction or review. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students explore this site independently or in pairs. If used independently put the site on a classroom computer and use as a center. To use in pairs, bring students to the lab or use a classroom set of laptops. This site would also be a good one to add to your class webpage or blog for use at home. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Visme, reviewed here.

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