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50 Amazing Facts About Earth - Jason Major

Grades
5 to 12
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This Infographic offers 50 Amazing Facts not well known about the Earth. The Infographic is separated into different sections by themes including Space, Atmosphere, Sea, Under Earth,...more
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This Infographic offers 50 Amazing Facts not well known about the Earth. The Infographic is separated into different sections by themes including Space, Atmosphere, Sea, Under Earth, Ground, and Man. Take a look to learn something new... and possibly to wonder whether everything it says is true.
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tag(s): atmosphere (29), geology (77), landforms (49), oceans (165), soil (21), space (226)

In the Classroom

This site would be a great introduction into digital literacy. Ask students how they know that these facts are actually true? Discuss how you can research the author, the quality of the site itself, the comments made, etc. Compare this site to others that are deemed to be "authorities" and with those that are not. Each student could choose one or two of these facts to do further research, not only to determine whether the facts are true, but to find important background information that can make the fact relevant to other students and the class. Be sure to check out the comments to see those who dispute some of the "facts" in the Infographic. Use research to determine which facts are correct. Why are some of the facts correct or incorrect, and what misconceptions exist about these facts? For quick projects, have students create instant graphics of important words about the Earth using a tool such as Typogenerator (reviewed here) or Wordle (reviewed here).

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Vidtionary - vidtionary.com

Grades
K to 12
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Vidtionary is a video dictionary defining words through images (and videos). The short videos include the word said aloud and shown in print, with sound effects or engaging music in...more
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Vidtionary is a video dictionary defining words through images (and videos). The short videos include the word said aloud and shown in print, with sound effects or engaging music in the background. Browse entries using the search bar or view featured collections. Browse alphabetically or explore collections. Because of the wide range of topics and difficulty levels, these vocabulary words could be used with any age. Video lengths run less than one minute per definition, many as short as 10-15 seconds. Originally designed to teach English to speakers of Korean and Japanese, the visual nature of the site appeals to all language learners.

tag(s): dictionaries (58), vocabulary (314), vocabulary development (120)

In the Classroom

While this site is ideal for any student learning new vocabulary, it is especially useful for ESL/ELL students or speech/language students with vocabulary deficits. Share selected videos in primary grades to help students see how new words are defined and spelled. Challenge your gifted students to find new vocabulary words to share with the class. Use in any classroom as a model (sharing on your interactive whiteboard or projector). Then assign cooperative learning groups to create Vidtionary inspired videos of their own to explain curriculum terms, world language vocabulary, or SAT words. Use a tool like Moovly, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

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Free Online Science Games - Sheppard Software

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K to 8
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Enjoy science interactives ideal for elementary children through middle grades. Topics include Life Cycles, Seasons, Dinosaurs, Cells, Consumers, Nutrition, Digestion, Skeletal system,...more
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Enjoy science interactives ideal for elementary children through middle grades. Topics include Life Cycles, Seasons, Dinosaurs, Cells, Consumers, Nutrition, Digestion, Skeletal system, and many others. Most resources indicate the appropriate level for their use.
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tag(s): animal homes (62), animals (319), body systems (58), cells (99), dinosaurs (54), life cycles (24), nutrition (159), oceans (165), periodic table (51), preK (284), seasons (35)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use throughout the year with science lessons. Nearly all activities would work well on your projector or interactive whiteboard. For Example, use the Cell Games (including animal, plant, and bacterial cells) to introduce and explore parts of cells. Create a link on classroom computers or use on laptop carts for students to explore on their own. Simple online coloring science activities require no reading. Share this site with parents for exploration and reinforcement at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Most Severe Weather: Hail - FEMA.gov

Grades
2 to 10
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This interactive site shows citizens everything they need to know about hail including basics, facts, frequency, size, and formation. In addition, you can see a slideshow about what...more
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This interactive site shows citizens everything they need to know about hail including basics, facts, frequency, size, and formation. In addition, you can see a slideshow about what hail looks like in its vast variety of sizes! Finally, get tips about what to do during a hailstorm.

tag(s): weather (205)

In the Classroom

Have students comb newspaper archives to collect pictures of historical hail storms. Challenge students to move past PowerPoint and create an online Prezi presentation, reviewed here, or another reviewed tool from the TeachersFirst Edge Presentations to explain the formation and incidence of hail events.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Most Severe Weather: Tornado - FEMA.gov

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2 to 10
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This detailed site shows a map of past tornadoes, state by state. There is also an explanation of the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale (measuring tornado strength). Find information on how...more
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This detailed site shows a map of past tornadoes, state by state. There is also an explanation of the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale (measuring tornado strength). Find information on how tornadoes form and how to survive one. Details are provided about the most significant tornadoes to strike the U.S., and data about where and when they strike. Additionally, there are photographs showing what the different levels of the EF scale look like.

tag(s): natural disasters (21), tornadoes (17), weather (205)

In the Classroom

Show pictures of the different levels of devastation before preparing students in your school for the tornado drill and preparation. Have students comb newspaper archives for similar images of tornadoes that have hit your state, if applicable. students could keep an electronic journal of what they are learning using Penzu, reviewed here. With Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. Challenge your students to use a site such as Timeglider, reviewed here, to create an interactive timeline of when the tornadoes hit. Students could create an online presentation about local tornadoes using a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free), reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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If All The Ice Melted - National Geographic

Grades
4 to 12
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View a map showing what the world could look like in 5,000 years. Despite contradictory information from non-scientists, present warming trends are predicted to raise the ocean's sea...more
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View a map showing what the world could look like in 5,000 years. Despite contradictory information from non-scientists, present warming trends are predicted to raise the ocean's sea level drastically, changing the coastline of every continent. Toggle the city names to get a really good idea of the land that will be lost. Choose the various continents to compare the loss of land.
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tag(s): climate change (70), continents (50)

In the Classroom

Compare different continents and brainstorm why some continents lose more land than others. Predict the areas that will be the hardest hit socially, politically, and economically. Research the population of these coastal areas to fully realize the enormity of the problem. Discuss the time frame needed to see these changes and begin looking for information that shows land loss is already occurring. (Note: There is research of land loss and reclamation efforts in Scandinavia and in Virginia.) How will this alter ecosystems and how humans depend upon the living things around them? Challenge cooperative learning groups to create simple infographic sharing their findings or predictions using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here.

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Teachable Moments - Walch Education

Grades
5 to 12
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Find several "teachable moments" lesson plans based on articles and current topics, ready for download in PDF format. There are a variety of topics such as Pluto is no Longer ...more
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Find several "teachable moments" lesson plans based on articles and current topics, ready for download in PDF format. There are a variety of topics such as Pluto is no Longer a Planet, Vending Machine Bans in Schools, and Is the Internet Making us Dumber? Click to download and view each lesson including background information, standards, worksheets, and options for use. The lesson plans are quite thorough and include links to related articles. They encourage "close reading" a la CCSS with engaging material in science, social studies, and other subjects. You can ignore the ads for purchase of "related materials."

tag(s): canada (31), civil rights (120), differentiation (49), energy (210), planets (131), poetry (222), politics (101), population (63), recycling (59), slavery (66), sports (98)

In the Classroom

These interesting, topical lessons would make a great resource for days when a substitute will be in your classroom or may fit perfectly in your regular curriculum. The Internet plan is well suited for digital citizenship and/or research curriculum. Save in your sub folder for a ready-to-go class activity. Print and use lessons as part of class debates and projects. Replace paper and pen and use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free), reviewed here, for students to present results.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Zidbits - Zidbits media

Grades
3 to 12
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This tool is cool little tidbits of knowledge. The subtitle is "Boldly Exploring Life's Little Mysteries." Zidbits include facts such as "What is the hardest language to learn?" "Do...more
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This tool is cool little tidbits of knowledge. The subtitle is "Boldly Exploring Life's Little Mysteries." Zidbits include facts such as "What is the hardest language to learn?" "Do trees die from old age?" or "What is the most lethal poison?" Find facts for history, science, health, entertainment, and news on this site as well as fun facts. This site doesn't provide just a quick tidbit, but also gives background information and additional details.
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tag(s): infographics (53), questioning (36), speaking (24)

In the Classroom

This resource is useful to hook your students at the beginning of your lessons or simply to get them reading non-fiction text. Use these as hooks to get your students thinking about content that will be introduced in the lesson. Students can find a Zidbit they are interested in. Poll students about possible answers and then report the actual answer and content needed in order to understand and explain it. Learn a new Zidbit yourself every week. If you teach public speaking skills, have students use these stories as inspiration or "hooks" for informational speeches, as well.

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Constructive and Deconstructive Waves - Curriculumbits

Grades
3 to 8
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View an engaging interactive about two types of waves: constructive and deconstructive. Learn how they batter our coastal systems. Click through the interactive to learn all of the...more
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View an engaging interactive about two types of waves: constructive and deconstructive. Learn how they batter our coastal systems. Click through the interactive to learn all of the details.

tag(s): oceans (165), waves (22)

In the Classroom

Have students create an online Venn Diagram comparison of the waves using a program like Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram reviewed here. Challenge your students to make up a fictitious news worthy event using one type wave. Then have them collaborate to write a news article about the fictional event. Students can use a site like Model Bank Elements of Language reviewed here to see how to write a proper news article. Use a site like Google Docs, reviewed here, for online collaborative writing.
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The Science Spot - Mrs. Tomm

Grades
4 to 9
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This tool is a wonderful resource for both middle school teachers and students. Find lessons in any physical or biological content area. Find ideas for activities to use as part ...more
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This tool is a wonderful resource for both middle school teachers and students. Find lessons in any physical or biological content area. Find ideas for activities to use as part of your school's Science Club or interesting trivia to use as starters for your classroom. Other resources available include ideas for nature Centers, Puzzles, and links to other resources. This site has quite a few distracting advertisements.
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tag(s): atoms (54), cells (99), earth (224), ecology (133), forensics (26), insects (71), measurement (179), motion (70)

In the Classroom

Use the information on this site to find interesting demonstrations or facts to use when planning your lessons. Use these ideas as part of an inquiry lesson that encourages the students to be investigators and ask the questions. Students can also be the demonstrators in class. Encourage them to find an interesting idea or demonstration to perform in front of the class and "teach" the other students. Alternately, students can videotape or podcast their demonstration for viewing later on your class website. For podcasts use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here. To share videos, use a site such as SchoolTube, reviewed here.
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The 25 Best Nerd Road Trips - Popular Science

Grades
9 to 12
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Take a virtual "nerd trip" with science-history geeks. The name of this resource is sure to catch some interest, and the locations feature very interesting histories. Click on each...more
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Take a virtual "nerd trip" with science-history geeks. The name of this resource is sure to catch some interest, and the locations feature very interesting histories. Click on each point in the map to read a small synopsis of the site. You can also click links to learn more about many of the sites. We suggest you preview any information prior to sending students to explore on their own. The sites are nontraditional and can raise questions about "pop" science vs "real" science.
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tag(s): scientists (69)

In the Classroom

Use these "road trips" as a springboard for unusual research projects on science topics. These are great for gifted students or skeptical students who need the extra spark of researching something a little quirky. These are also great ideas for small group research. Encourage students to create presentations about real life science with its benefits and drawbacks. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Be sure to discuss when science enters pop culture in our society. The Center for PostNatural History, one of the sites on this map, is one such example (located near Pittsburgh, PA where organisms have been altered genetically and possibly questionably.)

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STEM Behind Hollywood - Texas Instruments

Grades
4 to 10
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Discover the science and engineering behind many Hollywood Themes: Zombies, Space, Forensics, and Superheroes. Choose one of the themes to access information, videos, TI-Nspire downloads...more
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Discover the science and engineering behind many Hollywood Themes: Zombies, Space, Forensics, and Superheroes. Choose one of the themes to access information, videos, TI-Nspire downloads for interactive activities, and more. Each page also features related Math and Science Activities. The current hosts are Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory) and Dr. Z.
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tag(s): diseases (71), forensics (26), space (226), STEM (197)

In the Classroom

Pair this information and the related activities with classroom content, video clips, and data about related events (spreading of disease, space travel, etc.) Create discussions about various technologies, discoveries, and more to engage your students in the topics you are studying. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this link on your class website for students to explore at home and learn more about how Hollywood uses science and math in film, television, and beyond. Include this site in a careers unit so students can see how science can lead to many different careers.
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Climate Change: Lines of Evidence - Division on Earth And Life Studies, National Academies

Grades
5 to 12
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Find seven videos about climate change and the evidence scientists have about recent climate change and its causes. The scientific community, on the whole, has accepted the main body...more
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Find seven videos about climate change and the evidence scientists have about recent climate change and its causes. The scientific community, on the whole, has accepted the main body of evidence about climate change and the causes. If unsure what the controversy is all about, or possibly to validate your own opinion, become more knowledgeable about climate change and causes by watching these videos. Offered in seven segments, this content replicates a longer video by the same name, making for easier viewing and understanding. Develop an informed opinion about this highly controversial issue. These videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable.

tag(s): atmosphere (29), climate change (70), earth (224)

In the Classroom

Watch the series of videos as a class or assign them for homework, in a flipped classroom strategy. If using the flipped classroom strategy, use a program like Vizia, reviewed here, where you can embed questions at certain points in the video. Another idea that would put you at the top of the scale as a Common Core prepared teacher would be to use a program like Research Assistant, reviewed here, to help you find articles about climate change, greenhouse emissions, carbon emissions, etc. from many different sources. Then embed the article and video in a program like Actively Learn, reviewed here.
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Flooding - FEMA

Grades
1 to 4
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Learn all about water and flooding. Find an interactive water cycle and discover the dangers in flooding. Look at past floods on an interactive map of the United States. Learn ...more
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Learn all about water and flooding. Find an interactive water cycle and discover the dangers in flooding. Look at past floods on an interactive map of the United States. Learn about ways to stay safe in a flood, even when in a car (NOT a great idea!). Look at a map of the United States to determine when flooding is most likely to happen in your region. Find information about how flood insurance protects you.

tag(s): disasters (43), floods (12), water (132), water cycle (32)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, use this information for your water cycle unit or weather unit. Use the interactives on your Interactive whiteboard (or projector). Share the activities with your whole class or small groups. Use at centers for further exploration. Use as a nonfiction text to help meet the Common Core standards. Add to your class website as a resource students can access both in and out of class.
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Coastal processes - LSU Center for GeoInformatics

Grades
6 to 12
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This really good (though dated) video explains how sediments are transformed into beach sand. The many details make this useful across many age groups. The video is 20 minutes long....more
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This really good (though dated) video explains how sediments are transformed into beach sand. The many details make this useful across many age groups. The video is 20 minutes long. Click on the name of the YouTube account (LSUC4G) to view other oceanography videos that may be of value in your class. This video is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then 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): minerals (17), rock cycle (12), rocks (51), waves (22)

In the Classroom

Show to the class on an Interactive Whiteboard or projector. Students WILL likely find some humor in the outdated fashions in this video! However, the content is phenomenal. Create a study guide that students can use to record vital information to remember for later. Consider having students take two part notes with words and phrases written in one column with pictures of the processes or ways for them to remember in the second column. While the video is playing, have specimens of the various rocks and minerals available for students to observe. As they draw or write observations about the specimens in their notes, they can also record any questions they might have to ask later. Students can depict various parts of this information in easy to understand language and examples with their own demonstrations recorded as a podcast or video. Students can choose from many presentation tools reviewed here. For an even more exciting tech-infused project, have student groups enhance this video with their own annotations and resources using wireWax, reviewed here.
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Global Closet Calculator - National Geographic Education

Grades
2 to 10
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Take a tour of your closet to find out where your clothes come from. Discover the concept of interdependence and the extent of our global footprints. Research where raw materials ...more
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Take a tour of your closet to find out where your clothes come from. Discover the concept of interdependence and the extent of our global footprints. Research where raw materials come from and how clothes are made. Consider the implications of manufacturing and transportation to get them to your closet. This interactive includes informative videos complete with transcript. You can save your place within the interactive by "getting a code" that you re-enter on return.

tag(s): natural resources (58), resources (105)

In the Classroom

When discussing the Food and Fiber system (materials used to produce food and the many products we use daily), use this site to gather initial information of where their items come from. As products are no longer made closer to our actual lives, many students are disconnected from the materials and processes used to create everyday products and are unaware of their global footprint. Students can continue research by investigating other items used daily to determine what they are made from, where they are manufactured, etc. Continue this process with the foods that they eat to show how many popular foods are very removed from the whole foods that we should be eating. In geography classes, have students use a reviewed geo/mapping tool from the TeachersFirst Edge to map the path across the globe from raw materials to finished products, just to make one pair of jeans. Discuss the role of natural resources and economics in determining this path.

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Evogeneao - Evogeneao

Grades
3 to 12
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Introduce evolution with the Evogeneao tree of life. This resource promotes teaching and acceptance of the biological theory of evolution in one transformative way. Life on Earth is...more
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Introduce evolution with the Evogeneao tree of life. This resource promotes teaching and acceptance of the biological theory of evolution in one transformative way. Life on Earth is one big extended family. Not only are we related to every other living thing in some way, but also to everything that has ever lived.
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tag(s): animals (319), biodiversity (35), evolution (102), plants (175)

In the Classroom

Introduce the concept beginning with the Evolutionary Genealogy section. Just as we are so, "many times removed" from a distant relative, all life on Earth is related and can be measured. Find great lesson starters and resources for understanding and teaching evolution to students Don't miss the "For Teachers" section. Students can find their favorite animal in the Tree of Life and trace it backwards to find a common ancestor with humans.

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Exploring Nature Educational Resource - Sheri Amsel

Grades
K to 8
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This free tool created by a botanist/zoologist is a useful resource about living things. Though some of the content requires a membership, there are many resources that are free. Find...more
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This free tool created by a botanist/zoologist is a useful resource about living things. Though some of the content requires a membership, there are many resources that are free. Find information, photos, and even free video clips. Note that illustrations are copyrighted by the site owner, and information from the site must be cited with the correct references given (examples are provided.) Be sure to check out all the tabs that include Plants and Animals, the Planet Earth, Science words and Pics, Human Body, and more. Don't miss the chance to Ask a Zoo Vet (under Bringing Science to You) and many activities for those as young as preK (see Words and Pictures).
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tag(s): animals (319), earth (224), human body (133), plants (175)

In the Classroom

Use this resource for students to find information about a large variety of plants and animals for their research. The examples for citation reinforce the need to cite all sources used for a project. Be sure to include this site on your class website or bookmark it on a classroom computer for quick reference. Use information gathered to create conventional projects (i.e. posters or displays) or multimedia projects including podcasts, Infographics, or presentations. Find many ideas for creating presentations on TeachersFirst Edge.

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Geokov - Geokov.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Use this free interactive mapping site to make additions to Google Maps, incorporating other data and maps with them. Add topographic maps and spatial or environmental data. This is...more
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Use this free interactive mapping site to make additions to Google Maps, incorporating other data and maps with them. Add topographic maps and spatial or environmental data. This is an easy tool for adding symbols and icons or for adding a drawing on a Google map. Find many of the simple tools along the top of the map. You can do something as simple as adding text labels or shading a region. Add data to the map using the tools below the map. Create a mashup of KML, GPX (easily imported from Garmin), WMS and GEORSS data sources. This video explains many of the features of Geokov. Please note this video is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then it may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Tube Offline, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): environment (321), landforms (49), landmarks (26), maps (294)

In the Classroom

Take a virtual field trip through the map maker. Explore landforms and other terrain features from Google Earth and topographic maps. Easily create maps for field trips, presentations, classroom activities and more. Create a shade relief topographic map of any region. Doing an environmental study of an area or region? Find the region in this tool first and add the necessary information for classroom discussion or presentation. Use one of the many TeachersFirst Presentation Tools to present information learned. Tie information from literature, stories, history, and other sources to add value and interest to the maps.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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