TeachersFirst's Earth Science Resources

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This curated list of reviewed resources includes teaching ideas and sites related to earth science. This is a perfect list to share during Earth Science Week in October, or anytime throughout the year. Find engaging tools to use to help your students better understand weather, volcanoes, and so much more. Don't miss "In the classroom" ideas for specific projects or ideas for before, during, and after reading.

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SciJinks: Its All About Weather! - NOAA/NASA

Grades
3 to 12
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SciJinks offers informative articles and games geared toward middle school students as they learn about weather, satellite meteorology, and Earth science. Use the list on the left side...more
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SciJinks offers informative articles and games geared toward middle school students as they learn about weather, satellite meteorology, and Earth science. Use the list on the left side of the page to choose from topics, answers, find games, learn about people, and much more. Select the Topics section to find many ideas for use in science classrooms including content aligned to Next Generation Science Standards.

tag(s): atmosphere (29), careers (145), hurricanes (40), oceans (165), science fairs (25), scientific method (66), scientists (69), seasons (35), space (226), weather (205)

In the Classroom

Although geared toward middle school students and educators, anyone who teaches weather will want to take the time to explore this site for student and teacher resources. Use the educators section to find activities, science fair ideas, and content aligned to standards. Share the people portion of the site during your career exploration activities. Share a link to games and activities on classroom computers and your class website. Upon completing activities, have students create an online or printed comic about an element of weather, climate, meteorology, or any aspect of Earth science. Use a tool such as Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here, for a nontech rough and final draft. If you're new to using technology with your students, or teach younger students you may want to use ToonyTool, reviewed here, for their final drafts. For more experienced, older students try Write Comics, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ready Jet Go! - PBS Kids

Grades
K to 6
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Ready Jet Go! is a PBS Kids animated series to help children learn about astronomy and earth science concepts. This site features characters from the series in games, videos, and ...more
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Ready Jet Go! is a PBS Kids animated series to help children learn about astronomy and earth science concepts. This site features characters from the series in games, videos, and activities. Watch full episodes, connect to the live Space Station feed, or learn about spacecraft from Astronaut Amy's short videos.

tag(s): gravity (50), moon (75), planets (131), preK (284), solar system (121), space (226), stars (69), sun (69), temperature (33)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning station or center. Be sure to include a link on your class web page for use at home. If you're beginning to integrate technology in your class or have younger students, create a word cloud of the important terms students learn from this site using a tool such as Word Clouds For Kids, reviewed here. Alternatively, these students could use an online poster creator such as Printing Press, reviewed here, to present information learned about space. Teachers more advance with integrating technology, or who have older students could use Wordle, reviewed here, or an online poster creator such as Canva, reviewed here.

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CurriConnects Booklist - Natural Disasters - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find books about Natural Disasters in this leveled book list from CurriConnects. Natural disasters are a fascination for many students, but they can offer a new angle on many science...more
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Find books about Natural Disasters in this leveled book list from CurriConnects. Natural disasters are a fascination for many students, but they can offer a new angle on many science and social studies topics, as well as current events. These books provide experience with both nonfiction informational texts and fiction that requires students to draw inferences about the "facts." CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'''''® to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles'''''®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): book lists (128), disasters (43), hurricanes (40), independent reading (123), tornadoes (17)

In the Classroom

This collection of books could accompany a unit on earth science, weather, or even communities and government as your students look at how disasters affect people and how individuals or governments respond to adversity. These books would also connect well to a character education or guidance unit about dealing with a crisis. You could even include this list with a geography unit about differences in weather, climate, and landforms around the world. Talk about WHY natural disasters happen and/or the results afterward: How did communities change? What did people do in response? If having students read independently, you may want to pose a big question or two related to your curriculum for them to think about as they read. Have them return and share their answers after reading, perhaps as a presentation or small group project.

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TackTile - Doug Keith

Grades
5 to 12
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This one-stop source is a curation of images and videos to engage students in science. Registration is required to access the collection. Created by a teacher, TackTile is an easy,...more
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This one-stop source is a curation of images and videos to engage students in science. Registration is required to access the collection. Created by a teacher, TackTile is an easy, efficient way of finding great science starters from around the Internet. Choose from science subjects: Chemistry, Biology, Geology/Earth Science, Astronomy, Engineering, and Physics. Choose a topic within the subject area (such as Volcanoes and Igneous Rocks in Geology). Each topic is divided into subtopics. View the tiles in each subtopic. Tiles are captioned with information that relates to the subtopic. Below the tiles are Activity and Demonstration Ideas to use with each subtopic. Click on any tile to view in a pop-up window. View the images directly or download easily from TackTile. Copyright information is included with the images. Videos can be played directly within the pop-up window or click to view on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Tube Offline, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animals (319), atoms (54), biodiversity (35), biomes (139), cells (99), chemicals (45), earth (224), earthquakes (51), electricity (93), energy (210), engineering (132), forces (47), life cycles (24), magnetism (39), matter (61), moon (75), motion (70), natural disasters (21), natural resources (58), plants (175), rock cycle (12), rocks (51), solar system (121), sun (69), volcanoes (67)

In the Classroom

This tool has great ideas and ready to use images and videos from around the Internet. Use as a starter activity to engage students and "hook" them into the lesson. Use the images or videos to discover misconceptions, find prior knowledge before beginning the lesson, or just to interest students in the topic. Show the image or video on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to share this site (with a log in) on your class website for students to use when preparing individual or group presentations. Use resources in these tiles to engage students in creative writing about science or to explain the concepts learned at the end of the unit.
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Earth exploration Toolbook - Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College

Grades
9 to 12
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Discover a series of online activities, tools, and case studies for using Earth Science data sets. Be sure to read the introductory material about how to use the site. Find ...more
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Discover a series of online activities, tools, and case studies for using Earth Science data sets. Be sure to read the introductory material about how to use the site. Find the activities and data sets in the "Chapters in the EET" link in the navigation bar. Activities include many related to data sets concerning Climate Change, Air Quality, and more. The site is intended for secondary and college levels.

tag(s): air (145), climate (93), climate change (70), earth (224), pollution (65), weather (205)

In the Classroom

Each resource provides lesson plan ideas including questions and all information needed. Use this resource to uncover trends found in data and look at the statements that can be made about these trends. Students can use their findings to compare to present models of Earth systems. Students can also debate whether they support or reject present models and conclusions by scientists.
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Exploring Fossils and the Fossil Record - e-Learning for Kids

Grades
1 to 5
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Dive into the world of fossils and go on an expedition in this multimedia presentation. Learn about fossils, and gather each of the tools you will need. Gain knowledge about ...more
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Dive into the world of fossils and go on an expedition in this multimedia presentation. Learn about fossils, and gather each of the tools you will need. Gain knowledge about paleontology as you venture into the desert and plains. In each environment, learn about the fossils you dig up with a detailed picture and description.

tag(s): dinosaurs (54), paleontology (40)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to explore the world of paleontology. Add this site to your unit of Earth science, or dinosaurs. Introduce on your interactive whiteboard and encourage students to do more research on specific areas that fossils have been discovered. Challenge students to create a wiki about dinosaurs and paleontology (or add to one you already have). Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Have students integrate this knowledge with other informational books to do a short, focused research project to align with Common Core standards. (Learn more about short, focused research projects a la Common Core in this article.) Include actually "making" fossils to integrate art into your study. Add to a literacy center for further exploration. Include this link on your class website for students to access outside of class.
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K-5 GeoSource - American GeoSciences Institute

Grades
K to 6
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K-5 GeoSource bills itself as the "one-stop professional development website for Earth science." Sections include content, activities, assessment, and careers. Explore content to view...more
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K-5 GeoSource bills itself as the "one-stop professional development website for Earth science." Sections include content, activities, assessment, and careers. Explore content to view animations and earth science images. Download slides or PDF presentations on rocks, seasons, fossils, and other topics. View benchmarks for Science Literacy while investigating many suggestions for activities.

tag(s): careers (145), climate (93), erosion (19), fossils (45), rocks (51), seasons (35), soil (21), water (132), weather (205)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use during any Earth Science unit. View PowerPoints on your interactive whiteboard with students. Use suggestions from the literacy strategies with any classroom subject and share with student teachers as a resource for lesson planning. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as WordItOut, reviewed here.

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GE Teach - Josh Williams

Grades
2 to 12
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This cool, teacher-made tool shows Google Earth in two side by side windows for easy comparison and contrast --without loading any software. Drop downs on each window turn layers ...more
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This cool, teacher-made tool shows Google Earth in two side by side windows for easy comparison and contrast --without loading any software. Drop downs on each window turn layers on and off. Click Choose an Earth to move between Physical Geography, Human Geography, Historical maps, and the CIA Factbook. Explore various kinds of geographic and demographic data within this menu. You can even find earth science topics such as plate tectonics. Use Fetch An Earth to enter a KML or URL to load other Google Earth files. Not familiar with Google Earth? Learn more in our review. This handy tool offers use of Google Earth's basic tools and layers without installing Google Earth, a very handy advantage if you are not able to load software on your computer.

tag(s): data (156), earth (224), latitude (13), longitude (13), map skills (81), maps (294), plate tectonics (22)

In the Classroom

Use side by side Google Earth to teach geography or simply give location context to class readings or current events, especially on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Keep the earth's "big picture" open on one side as you zoom in to investigate on the other. Or arrange side by side comparisons. Example: compare the peaks scaled by Lewis and Clark or volcanoes that rise in the Aleutians. Compare various locations for global warming, compare of volcano activity, or a history of immigration. Compare historic maps from different time periods to show how countries and boundaries change. Turn layers on and off from Choose an Earth or onscreen options to look at population centers and transportation systems. Teach the concept of scale/proportion using a visual experience on an interactive whiteboard with the scale and measurement tools. Use one window to show human geography and the other window to show items from the CIA Factbook for comparison. Have students hypothesize connections between geographic features and statistics about human development.

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Nova Science Now Education - WGBH Educational Foundation

Grades
3 to 12
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Discover a reorganized, teacher-packaged collection of Nova resources for bringing science, technology, and engineering to the classroom. Find standards based, classroom resources based...more
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Discover a reorganized, teacher-packaged collection of Nova resources for bringing science, technology, and engineering to the classroom. Find standards based, classroom resources based on programs from Nova and other PBS programs. There are teacher guides, teacher interactives, and teacher videos. Topics include anthropology, archaeology, earth science, engineering, environmental science, forensic science, geography, health science, history, life science, math, paleontology, physical science, science and society, space science, and technology. At the time of this review, the website is still in BETA version and is not all inclusive in each subject. Find a TV programming schedule to help planning and resource gathering.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): archeology (31), engineering (132), environment (321), forensics (26), paleontology (40), space (226)

In the Classroom

Enjoy the interactives, videos, and text together on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use selected activities as a center (station). Include as resources for your curriculum. Use as a model to make a wiki for your current topic of study for a group project or classroom project. Not familiar with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Use this format to spice up your classroom blog.
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CurriConnects Book List - Earth Science - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Use this CurriConnects list to find books related to Earth Science. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels...more
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Use this CurriConnects list to find books related to Earth Science. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'® to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly.

tag(s): book lists (128), earth (224), reading lists (77)

In the Classroom

Build student literacy skills, reinforce what students are learning about Earth Science, and help students build the important reading strategy of connecting what they read to prior (classroom!) knowledge. Share this link on your class web page or wiki so students can select independent reading books to accompany your unit on Earth Science. Don't forget to share the list with the school and local libraries so they can bring in some of the books on interlibrary loan. CurriConnects are a great help for teachers who have lost school library/media specialists due to budget cuts.

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Science Buzz - Science Museum of Minnesota

Grades
5 to 9
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Brimming with color and current science information, this site is a great current happenings resource. To post to the blog, students must sign up, but the site promises no spamming...more
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Brimming with color and current science information, this site is a great current happenings resource. To post to the blog, students must sign up, but the site promises no spamming from the sign up. The confirmation email does take some time to arrive, and the buzz requires verification before a user can participate. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.

The articles contained in this site are to the point, clear to understand, and in a large font. There are very few distractions going on in the site. It is easy to navigate and has a cool teacher tool in the buzz blog. Click on the Community tab, and the blogs are indexed by standards and grouped into topics such as earth science and physical science with subtopics.

tag(s): animals (319), endangered species (41), news (258), nutrition (159), weather (205)

In the Classroom

This site would be a great resource for current events projects. Students could be assigned a specific article to read, and then post to a discussion forum on the class wiki or another internet discussion board that is acceptable at school. Or have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Science Master Learning Galleries - The KGM Group, Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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This site is a categorized collection of scientific pictures (and descriptions) to enhance understanding of specific science concepts. This specific page is this site's jump-start for...more
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This site is a categorized collection of scientific pictures (and descriptions) to enhance understanding of specific science concepts. This specific page is this site's jump-start for Earth science. There are also jump start pages for space science, life science, and physical science.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): acid rain (5), carbon (23), climate (93), earth (224), earthquakes (51), fire (27), fossils (45), glaciers (17), hurricanes (40), images (281), natural disasters (21), natural resources (58), rocks (51), tsunamis (18), volcanoes (67), water cycle (32), wetlands (11)

In the Classroom

For a quick use, add images from this site to a PowerPoint. For a more in-depth use of the site, either choose several pictures/topics that would enhance your unit, or allow students to choose a topic they would like to investigate further. Have pairs or small groups of students brainstorm questions they have about the topic. Many of the questions they come up with will be answered when they click on the picture. For the questions that aren't answered on that page, have the student research the answer using the Internet as a resource.

Have student groups make an online Stixy (reviewed here) of things they discover about their picture/topic, and later rearrange the items to "explain" their topic to classmates visually.
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Exploring Earth Visualizations - McDougal Littell

Grades
6 to 12
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View a variety of visualizations about earth processes. Choose from chapters from their popular Earth Science book to find fascinating simulations and interactives that are engaging...more
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View a variety of visualizations about earth processes. Choose from chapters from their popular Earth Science book to find fascinating simulations and interactives that are engaging and educational.

tag(s): atmosphere (29), climate (93), earth (224), earthquakes (51), erosion (19), geology (77), oceans (165), plate tectonics (22), volcanoes (67), water (132), weather (205)

In the Classroom

Use "Observe a raindrop traveling through various paths of the water cycle" at the beginning of a unit on the water cycle. Give students the vocabulary terms and have them describe or narrate the path of one drop of water through the interactive. Students choose anywhere to start and after time will realize why it is a cycle. Use "Examine Earth from a new perspective" to view the Earth using a variety of contexts: earthquakes, sea surface temperatures, or seasonal changes in land to name a few. Use the Earthquakes visualization to see where the major earthquakes have occurred over time. Use this visualization to find the pattern in the earth. Use as the start of a unit in plate tectonics or later in the unit when discussing human population in the world as well. (Many are along coastlines where major populations are located.)
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Earth Science Teaching Lessons - Compiled by Christy Pratt

Grades
4 to 12
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This site contains links to many lesson plans and resources for teaching Earth Science. The top of the page links to different topics of Earth Science such as Astronomy, Earthquakes,...more
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This site contains links to many lesson plans and resources for teaching Earth Science. The top of the page links to different topics of Earth Science such as Astronomy, Earthquakes, Rocks and Minerals, and others. Within each category are links to information, webquests, and videos, as well as lesson plans. One excellent portion of the site may be easy to overlook so be sure to look on the left side of the page for Categories. Here you will find a wealth of information on diverse topics such as historical geography, tsunamis, world records, careers, and more. Within these links are news, videos, and popular items. Note: many of the links will take you to different websites so you will want to review before using with students.
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tag(s): earthquakes (51), erosion (19), fossils (45), hurricanes (40), maps (294), rocks (51), tsunamis (18), volcanoes (67), water (132), weather (205)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to view videos and images from the site with your class. Use lesson plans provided as additional resources within Earth Science units. Assign students different portions of the site to review and prepare multimedia projects to share with the class. Have cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Or challenge students to narrate an image using a site such as Thinklink, reviewed here.
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Study Jams Science - Scholastic

Grades
3 to 8
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This site provides excellent practice and review with different Science topics. Topics include plants, human body, the solar system, weather, matter and more. After choosing a topic,...more
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This site provides excellent practice and review with different Science topics. Topics include plants, human body, the solar system, weather, matter and more. After choosing a topic, various additional choices are offered. For example, under Force and Matter options are available to choose inertia, action and reaction, simple machines, acceleration, and gravity and inertia. Key vocabulary is presented along with a short video explanation of the topic. Don't miss the "karaoke" videos about each topic - sure to delight students (and teachers). In addition to the video, there is an option to test your own ability. Each topic can also be printed to use in the classroom and there is a link to related "jams."

tag(s): earth (224), ecosystems (90), inquiry (32), matter (61), weather (205)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a Science unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Share the videos and/or karaoke with your students. Have students sing along and learn more about science. Especially younger students will enjoy this feature. Create a link to the site on your classroom website or blog for students to use for review and practice at home. Include a link on your classroom newsletter so that parents can use the site at home with their student. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. View the videos on your interactive whiteboard, print out the quizzes for students to take as an assessment.
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Earth Science Week - American Geological Institute

Grades
K to 12
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Join in the "Understanding of Climate" during Earth Science Week (held in October, each year). Click on "What's Going On" to find events near you, enter contests, and view other ...more
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Join in the "Understanding of Climate" during Earth Science Week (held in October, each year). Click on "What's Going On" to find events near you, enter contests, and view other links and materials. Read information about "What is Earth Science Week?," or use the information to "Plan an Event" in your area. Browse and use a vast array of activities and resources in the "For Teachers" section. Find lesson plans and activities for students in all grades. Students at all levels can use the "For Students" section to find resources, events, and career opportunities with links to dozens of science career sites.

tag(s): ecology (133), minerals (17), resources (105), rocks (51)

In the Classroom

Bring Earth Science into your class no matter what subject you teach. Earth Science has broad applications in almost all sciences and many other subject areas as we are connected to the Earth. Use the information, videos, and pictures to create discussions and inquire about topics in your classroom. Many of the activities in "For Teachers" are great for demonstrations and generating interest in phenomenon. For example, use "Sinkholes in a Cup, "to demonstrate how fast removal of groundwater in an area can cause sinkholes. Follow this demonstration with Google Earth reviewed here layers that show this phenomenon in various areas of the world or research of where these have occurred. Find videos, large scale maps, and other resources to share via an interactive whiteboard, wiki, or blog.

Students can create public service announcements about earth science issues to raise awareness and provide learning opportunities to others.
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BBC News - Animated guide: Volcanoes - BBC News

Grades
6 to 9
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This is an excellent tutorial or interactive on volcanoes. Great for helping students understand the basic mechanics of a volcano and the interior of the Earth. The interactive is informative...more
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This is an excellent tutorial or interactive on volcanoes. Great for helping students understand the basic mechanics of a volcano and the interior of the Earth. The interactive is informative but extremely straight forward.

tag(s): disasters (43), natural disasters (21), volcanoes (67)

In the Classroom

This interactive could easily be used as the bulk of a lesson in earth science on volcanoes. The site covers the basics without text overkill. This would be great for middle level learners. It could also be used as part of a good online unit on natural disasters such as volcanoes, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Use this as a part of a webquest or web hunt in natural disaster units.
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Interactive science exercises - Katharine Lady Berkeley's School

Grades
4 to 12
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Choose from a variety of science activities from Earth Science, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. For example, choose "The Human Skeleton." Identify the names of the bones in the human...more
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Choose from a variety of science activities from Earth Science, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. For example, choose "The Human Skeleton." Identify the names of the bones in the human skeleton by simply dragging the names to the appropriate bones. Take advantage of the timers to help stay on task. Choose the drop down menu option as well. Click finish to see what you missed. Print the page to hand in the score. Additional information on bones and the skeletal system is given. Other specific interactives include matching planets to their descriptions, the human eye, enzymes and labeling the digestive system, and several others.

tag(s): body systems (58), periodic table (51), solar system (121)

In the Classroom

Use this site to check student understanding of topics being studied. Share this site and the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have groups of students investigate various topics together. Students can use this site individually to check for understanding and additional practice. List this link on your class website for students to use for practice both in and out of the classroom.
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Science Review Games - Science Review Games

Grades
6 to 12
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Looking for games to review science concepts from a variety of topics? Look no further. Use this free site to access interactives in Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Geology,...more
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Looking for games to review science concepts from a variety of topics? Look no further. Use this free site to access interactives in Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Geology, Living Environment, Meteorology, Nature of Science, or Physics. Click on a subject to view a list of games. Click on the teachers section to receive great tips, create your own games, and download study sheets for use in class.

tag(s): crosswords (20)

In the Classroom

Use this site for section, chapter, quiz, or test review. Provide student(s) with a topic of study and an assignment to create questions to make their own review game. Assist students in identifying the important material and creating questions. Students can play each other's review game and discuss the questions that were helpful. Create a class wiki to discuss, compare, or constructively critique the student created review activity! Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
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Dinosaur Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Kids "dig" dinosaurs, whether they learn about them in science class while studying paleontology and geology or simply include explore dinosaur as a personal favorite topic. Dinosaurs...more
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Kids "dig" dinosaurs, whether they learn about them in science class while studying paleontology and geology or simply include explore dinosaur as a personal favorite topic. Dinosaurs are an elementary school perennial, but even high school students enjoy digging into fossils and geologic time. This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst features a wide range of lesson ideas and research sources for students of all ages. Spend some "geologic time" as you try some of the project ideas or simply make this collection available to your dino-maniacs.

tag(s): dinosaurs (54), fossils (45), paleontology (40)

In the Classroom

Use the resources on this site to supplement a unit about paleontology, fossils, or dinosaurs. The resources listed can be used for webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like! This is a great resource for Earth Science teachers.

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