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The Sea Otter Site

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4 to 12
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The kids' area of this sea otter site offers otter images, sounds, and surprisingly detailed instructional handouts for elementary, middle, and high school students. Otters are among...more
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The kids' area of this sea otter site offers otter images, sounds, and surprisingly detailed instructional handouts for elementary, middle, and high school students. Otters are among the few mammals that use tools, and there lots of images showing how they do it. Great site for animal study research.

tag(s): oceans (164)

In the Classroom

There's also an extensive teacher's guide.

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Ocean Color Viewed from Space

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4 to 8
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This site is part of the Athena Curriculum Web site. Offers students an opportunity to record observations about the importance and meaning of the changes in ocean color. The journal...more
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This site is part of the Athena Curriculum Web site. Offers students an opportunity to record observations about the importance and meaning of the changes in ocean color. The journal activities provide a great opportunity for students to integrate language arts and science.

tag(s): oceans (164)

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Minerals, Crystals and Gems: Stepping-Stones to Inquiry - Smithsonian Institution

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3 to 8
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Very clear site and easy to follow intending to give students the basics of mineral science. Starts with an essay including clear pictures, a nice overview and history of gems. ...more
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Very clear site and easy to follow intending to give students the basics of mineral science. Starts with an essay including clear pictures, a nice overview and history of gems. Also has an activities page in Spanish and English. Resource guide with other links, books, teaching guides and kits.

tag(s): geology (77), minerals (17)

In the Classroom

The site includes three lesson units for teachers. They include objectives, materials, procedures, sample sheets and listngs of related subjects .

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Marine Institute

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1 to 12
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This site from Newfoundland, Canada provides educational information, activities, and lesson plans about marine life, fisheries, and oceanography. Select "K-12 Marine Topics" to view...more
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This site from Newfoundland, Canada provides educational information, activities, and lesson plans about marine life, fisheries, and oceanography. Select "K-12 Marine Topics" to view the icon-driven topics, activities, and links.

tag(s): oceans (164)

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Make a Weather Station - Miami Science Museum

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2 to 5
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The Miami Museum of Science shows students how to build their own weather station using simple materials. The page is part of the museum's hurricane information resources. HINT: Click...more
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The Miami Museum of Science shows students how to build their own weather station using simple materials. The page is part of the museum's hurricane information resources. HINT: Click on the words at the bottom of the screen, rather than the picture. It's a lot easier to find what you're looking for.

tag(s): weather (206)

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Lightning! - National Geographic

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2 to 6
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ZAP! - Here's an introduction to lighting - how it is formed, why it occurs, what it can do - from National Geographic. This is a site that lower elementary ...more
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ZAP! - Here's an introduction to lighting - how it is formed, why it occurs, what it can do - from National Geographic. This is a site that lower elementary students can use themselves. Content, artwork, and design are all what you'd expect from National Geographic. Works well with any connection, but faster is better.

tag(s): weather (206)

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Kids Farm

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1 to 3
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This is a site about farms and farm animals, with short texts and lots of images showing people, livestock, and equipment used on the farm. If there's no cow pasture ...more
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This is a site about farms and farm animals, with short texts and lots of images showing people, livestock, and equipment used on the farm. If there's no cow pasture near you, this is the place to go!

tag(s): agriculture (58)

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Kids Do Ecology - Univ. of California Santa Barbara

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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 (133), pollution (65), recycling (59)

In the 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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FEMA Backgrounder: Earthquakes - US Government

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4 to 8
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See where the latest earthquakes have occurred, learn why they occur, and learn about the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. This FEMA site also offers information relating to earthquake...more
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See where the latest earthquakes have occurred, learn why they occur, and learn about the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. This FEMA site also offers information relating to earthquake safety. Suggestions are geared to people living in earthquake-prone areas.

tag(s): disasters (43), earth (224), earthquakes (51)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on geology and/or natural disasters on a projector or interactive whiteboard. When an earthquake is in the news, use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects in response to their curiosity about the news event. An option would be to divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them take online notes using Webnote, reviewed here; tell students to be sure to save the URL to share their notes and questions with you and their peers. Use the information they find as a jumping off place for doing further research on areas that interest them. To show what they have learned from this site and their research, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Visme, reviewed here. Have them create presentations on different parts of the information found in the site and its activities.

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Explore a Pond - Utah Education Network Brandon Thacker

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4 to 8
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This is the website of teacher Brandon Thacker. Scroll down the page to "My UEN Content" to find a collection that offers a neat set of activities built around the ...more
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This is the website of teacher Brandon Thacker. Scroll down the page to "My UEN Content" to find a collection that offers a neat set of activities built around the ecosystems of small ponds. For those without a pond nearby, there's even a virtual pond simulation that lets users select the way they want to populate their pond and then see how well the ecosystem functions.

tag(s): ecosystems (90)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for your science lessons on scents, disolved oxygen, camouflage, soil erosion, and math lessons on probability, surface area, estimating perimeter and more; there is something for every grade level. Easily adapt lessons that are not at your grade level.

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EPA Curriculum Materials - US Government

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2 to 12
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This is a surprisingly detailed collection of lesson ideas, information, and resources related to environmental issues and their inclusion in the classroom. Materials are sorted into...more
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This is a surprisingly detailed collection of lesson ideas, information, and resources related to environmental issues and their inclusion in the classroom. Materials are sorted into a number of different subject areas: Air, Climate Change, Ecosystems, Energy, Health, Waste, Water. They include links to other sites for more extensive information on specific topics.

tag(s): ecology (133), pollution (65), recycling (59)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to include with your lessons on environmental issues. After completing your unit, consider using the links to " other sites for more extensive information" for students to continue research in an area that interests them. Challenge students to share their extended learning with their peers in a multimedia presentation using one of these tool suggestions (click on the tool name to access the review): Piktochart, Lucidpress, Powtoon, and Rooclick.

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Ecological Regions of North America - Commission for Environmental Cooperation

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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 (133), pollution (65), recycling (59)

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

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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 (224), environment (320)

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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Earth and Moon Viewer

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5 to 12
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Includes various images and maps of the moon and Earth. Also included are views from satellites as well as an interactive Perigee and Apogee calculator. Images could be used in ...more
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Includes various images and maps of the moon and Earth. Also included are views from satellites as well as an interactive Perigee and Apogee calculator. Images could be used in research reports.

tag(s): earth (224), moon (75)

In the Classroom

Deepen your study of the planets through further reading and beautiful graphics. Focus on the use of nonfiction text in your classroom, combined with literature studies of space or planet fiction, such as Jules Verne's, "From the Earth to the Moon," or Roald Dahl's, "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator." Find useful information, graphics, and diagrams for PowerPoints, Screencasts or Prezi's reviewed here. Include on your list of resources for science units on space on your classroom webpage. Be sure to show this tool on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to introduce space. Visit before your trip to the planetarium or science museum. Use to inspire artwork inspired by space. Deepen your students' background knowledge in writing about space travel, future, or creativity.

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Drinking Water - Kids' Stuff - US Government

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2 to 5
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The EPA created this site to help elementary students understand how we get our drinking water and how we keep it safe to use. There are a variety of explanations ...more
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The EPA created this site to help elementary students understand how we get our drinking water and how we keep it safe to use. There are a variety of explanations how how water is purified, and there is also a collection of simple experiments which can be conducted with commonly available materials.

tag(s): pollution (65), recycling (59)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lessons and classroom activities hosted on this site! This would be a great addition to a unit on natural resources. Be sure to save this site as a favorite on your classroom computer to allow for easy retrieval later on!

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The Dino Directory - British Museum of Natural History

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4 to 12
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This site from the British Museum of Natural History is a rich resource for images of dinosaurs. Users can select by body type, country, geologic time period, and other idicies. ...more
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This site from the British Museum of Natural History is a rich resource for images of dinosaurs. Users can select by body type, country, geologic time period, and other idicies. Apart from the images, which are watermarked, there is only basic information on the size and environment of each creature. While not intended for elementary students, the navigation is simple enough for these students to use effectively in finding images.

tag(s): dinosaurs (53)

In the Classroom

In a unit on dinosaurs, share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector with students. The function they will most interesting about this site is the area that describes the dinosaurs that existed in their local area! Brief bios are presented on all the dinosaurs, so this could also be a great resource if the students were to research their local dinosaurs for a project.

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Desert USA - Desert USA Magazine

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4 to 6
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This on-line magazine offers a constantly changing selection of information on desert environments - animals, insects, plant life - as well as descriptions and explanations of the landforms...more
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This on-line magazine offers a constantly changing selection of information on desert environments - animals, insects, plant life - as well as descriptions and explanations of the landforms and geology associated with these regions. Neat introductory resource, and an interesting site to check periodically for updates. Includes some advertising, most of which appears inocuous.

tag(s): geology (77)

In the Classroom

Add this online magazine about desert life to your informational reads. Talk about the differences in weather, plants, and animals in the deserts from where you live. Discuss what you would need to take if you took a walk or camped in the desert.

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Bear Information and Resources

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3 to 8
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The title says it all. There are pictures and descriptions of most types of bears, their habits, ranges, and habitats. Simple navigation and design and attractive photos keep the site...more
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The title says it all. There are pictures and descriptions of most types of bears, their habits, ranges, and habitats. Simple navigation and design and attractive photos keep the site interesting. Great research site for younger students.

tag(s): mammals (34)

In the Classroom

Use this site as part of your unit on animals and habitats. Introduce this site with a projector or on an interactive whiteboard to show students how to navigate it. Once you have introduced the bear, show students the list of types of bears. Group students by their interest in a certain type of bear. Have them take notes with an online tool like Simplenote, reviewed here, and proceed to other resources to look for more information about the bear they chose. Ask them share the information they learned with their small group. Tell students to be sure to save the URL to share their notes and questions with you and their peers. Simple note allows you to access and update across all devices. If you have the time, you could then mix the groups up and have them share what they learned with the new group, thus giving students a little more knowledge about other bears. Another idea is to use the photographs of bears on this site as formative and summative assessments.

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Where are Environmental Hazards? - Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute

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8 to 12
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Investigate these lesson plans from Yale to use with your high school Chemistry and Earth Science classes. Students will learn about specific environmental pollutants, causes, effects,...more
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Investigate these lesson plans from Yale to use with your high school Chemistry and Earth Science classes. Students will learn about specific environmental pollutants, causes, effects, and possible solutions. Students will develop an understanding of DDT, heavy metals, lead poisoning, radon, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, water pollution, drinking water quality, and air pollution and their effects on the environment.

tag(s): environment (320), pollution (65), recycling (59)

In the Classroom

Choose from these lessons to support your students paper and projects on the environment, pollution and recycling. Allow AP students to choose lessons they are interested in investigating. All students should take notes with an online tool like Simplenote, reviewed here, to have them share the info they learned with their peers. Tell students to be sure to save the URL to share their notes and questions with you and their peers. Simplenote allows you to access and update across all devices. If you have the time, you could then rotate students around the room and have them share what they learned with another student, thus giving students a little more knowledge about a huge topic: Environmental hazards

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Watershed Instructional Resources - US Government

Grades
11 to 12
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Originally created by the EPA for field orientation, this is a nice collection of instructional modules which appear to have originally been powerpoint presentations. The content includes...more
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Originally created by the EPA for field orientation, this is a nice collection of instructional modules which appear to have originally been powerpoint presentations. The content includes several different areas of watershed ecology, management, and preservations. Many of the topics could serve as background information for lesson development on these topics. In addition, advanced high school students may find some topics useful in their science studies.

tag(s): water (132), watersheds (15)

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. Ask students to create their own concept maps sharing their learning and understanding using MindMup, reviewed here. Take this a step further and allow pairs or small groups of students to explore Related Activities and share what they learned with their peers using an interactive infographic like Canva, reviewed here. Students can keep their work for future reference in a digital portfolio such as DIY, reviewed here.

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