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Contrasts in Blue - Smithsonian Institution

Grades
6 to 9
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This site, from the Smithsonian Institution's "Art to Zoo" series, contrasts two marine ecosystems: the coast of Maine and the reefs of the Carribean. The entire unit, including teacher...more
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This site, from the Smithsonian Institution's "Art to Zoo" series, contrasts two marine ecosystems: the coast of Maine and the reefs of the Carribean. The entire unit, including teacher guide, discussion questions, and lesson plans, is available as a series of downloadable Adobe Acrobat PDF files which can be printed and used in the classroom or at home. (A color printer works best, of course.) You can download the Adobe Acrobat reader from the TeachersFirst Toolbox.

tag(s): oceans (166)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free lesson plans, activities, and worksheets on coral reefs and varying beaches. This site would be a great segway for a unit on conservation and differences in environments. These are straightforward lesson plans, but do give yourself some prep-time in order to edit a few details to tailor them to your specific classroom.

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Reviled and Revered: Toads, Turtles, Snakes, Salamanders, and Other Creepers - Smithsonian Institution

Grades
3 to 8
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Starts with an essay including an overview to help students better understand these creatures that are often misunderstood. This lesson also has a section titled "What you can do to...more
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Starts with an essay including an overview to help students better understand these creatures that are often misunderstood. This lesson also has a section titled "What you can do to help." Offers grade levels and educational standards. Five lessons and loads of resources with links. From the Smithsonian's lesson collections.

tag(s): amphibians (21), reptiles (12)

In the Classroom

Use these free lesson plans as a way to help students better understand ill-reputed snakes. The lesson plans are all pretty straightforward, and cross-bridge art, language arts, and the science of the squirmy animals.

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The Journey North - CPB/Annenberg

Grades
4 to 9
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This Internet-based project tracks the coming of spring and the resulting migration of animals in the northern hemisphere. Teachers may complete a free registration to participate actively...more
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This Internet-based project tracks the coming of spring and the resulting migration of animals in the northern hemisphere. Teachers may complete a free registration to participate actively in the project's three main areas of focus - Sunlight and Seasons, Plants and Seasons, and Seasonal Migrations.

tag(s): birds (52), butterflies (11), mammals (35), migration (58)

In the Classroom

Check out the Teaching Resources for ideas on incorporating this project into your curriculum, correlations to standards, and professional development opportunities. A great way for students to learn about the complex and dynamic ecosystem that surrounds and connects us all.

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Arctic National Wildlife Reserve - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Grades
6 to 12
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Much in the news as a possible site for oil drilling, this official site about the ANWR provides brief summaries of the habitats and ecosystem of this unique arctic environment. ...more
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Much in the news as a possible site for oil drilling, this official site about the ANWR provides brief summaries of the habitats and ecosystem of this unique arctic environment. Useful as an example of efforts to preserve fragile ecosystems, and also as a supplement to the study of arctic biomes.

tag(s): arctic (46)

In the Classroom

Include this site with materials you use to teach about biomes, ecosystems, and animals. Ask students to annotate an image of the Arctic using ThingLink, reviewed here to highlight and share information learned.

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Monarch Watch - University of Kansas

Grades
4 to 8
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Here's the complete site for those interested in learning about Monarch butterflies. It offers Monarch information on dozens of topics, at a variety of levels. You can find out about...more
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Here's the complete site for those interested in learning about Monarch butterflies. It offers Monarch information on dozens of topics, at a variety of levels. You can find out about migration, mating habits, even how to raise monarchs. This is a great starting point for a butterfly study.

tag(s): butterflies (11)

In the Classroom

Share this site on classroom computers or at a learning center. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Loose Leaves, reviewed here. 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, challenge your students to create a blog using EasyBlog, reviewed here. If you and your students are comfortable with using computors, take this a step further and have small groups create and interactive poster or infographic using Genial.ly, reviewed here, where you can insert maps, surveys, video, audio and more.

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My Favourite Scientist - Brady Haran, Nottingham Trent University

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn about the life and careers of many famous scientists by viewing intriguing videos. Find out about scientists such as Richard Feynman, Rosalind Franklin, and Gregor Mendel through...more
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Learn about the life and careers of many famous scientists by viewing intriguing videos. Find out about scientists such as Richard Feynman, Rosalind Franklin, and Gregor Mendel through interviews with scientists in their field today. Don't let the cartoon figures fool you: these videos are not "juvenile." The scientists included may not be household names to everyone, but the videos make their work accessible and interesting. At the time of this review, there were over a dozen scientists included, and more were being added regularly. Note that the actual videos are hosted on YouTube so may not be accessible in some schools.

tag(s): biographies (88), darwin (10), scientists (69)

In the Classroom

Use as a resource for finding more information about a variety of different scientists told from a scientist's perspective. Share the videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Consider having students create their own report about the importance of research and not just the biographical information about a scientist. Encourage students to make their own videos (or other presentation tool) about scientists to place on a wiki, site, or blog. Have students use one of the many TeachersFirst Edge multimedia tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Ocean Adventures: Debris Dilemmas - KQED and Ocean Futures Society

Grades
5 to 8
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This lesson explores the large amount of debris that washes up on the most remote islands in the world and the effect of this garbage on ocean animals. The lesson ...more
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This lesson explores the large amount of debris that washes up on the most remote islands in the world and the effect of this garbage on ocean animals. The lesson features the video, "Trash on the Spin Cycle" and includes pre-viewing activities, focus questions, and post-viewing questions. Be sure to also check out the many additional resources included on the site.

tag(s): environment (322), oceans (166)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this lesson to use during your units on oceans or the environment. Share on your interactive whiteboard and watch together as a class, or include a link on classroom computers for students to view on their own. Instead of having a pre-made vocabulary list for your unit, have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Enhance your students' video experience by using EdPuzzle (reviewed here) to insert questions directly into specific portions of the video. At the end of your lesson, ask students to create a presentation using Sway (reviewed here). Sway offers the ability to create interactive presentations using drag and drop features to include images, text, video, and more.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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BrainPOP Free Stuff - BrainPop

Grades
K to 12
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Visit this fabulously FREE site, created by BrainPop, to find a wealth of interactives, videos, lesson plans, and more. Wow - doesn't even begin to describe the wide array of ...more
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Visit this fabulously FREE site, created by BrainPop, to find a wealth of interactives, videos, lesson plans, and more. Wow - doesn't even begin to describe the wide array of topics and subjects. The best part is the FREE stuff for BrainPop Espanol, BrainPop Jr, and BrainPop ESL. Some of the specific topics include: Harlem Renaissance, Civil War, Blogs, Angles, DNA, Stocks & Shares, Digital Animation, and MANY others. These were the FREE topics at the time of this review, and of course is subject to change.

tag(s): angles (87), blogs (84), charts and graphs (197), civil war (142), digital storytelling (154), dna (64), energy (210), grammar (210), harlem (8), internet safety (116), main idea (8), mars (41), martin luther king (36), nutrition (159), shakespeare (109), stock market (14), women (96)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to find lessons and/or animations in a variety of topic areas. There are "ready to go" movies and more in health, social studies, art & music, engineering & technology, and other topics. Share the sites on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Provide this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the class. Save this link in your favorites and check back to see "what's new."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Tundra - National Geographic

Grades
2 to 10
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Learn about the dry, cold, and windy tundra at this site. There is also information about tundra threats, a photo gallery, and maps! This tundra site is also a web ...more
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Learn about the dry, cold, and windy tundra at this site. There is also information about tundra threats, a photo gallery, and maps! This tundra site is also a web resource for the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit for grades 4-8.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (320), arctic (46), biomes (139), tundra (20)

In the Classroom

Have cooperative learning groups explore specific areas of this site and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Rainforest Alliance: Species Profiles - Rainforest Alliance

Grades
2 to 10
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This site offers an extensive list (and information) about the amphibians, birds, insects, mammals, and plants of the rainforest. The site is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive...more
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This site offers an extensive list (and information) about the amphibians, birds, insects, mammals, and plants of the rainforest. The site is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit. If you are teaching about the biomes of the world, be sure to check out this site!

tag(s): animals (320), biomes (139), habitats (108), rainforests (21)

In the Classroom

Have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects about one of the topics presented at this site using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Deciduous Forest - Connie T., Blue Planet Biomes

Grades
2 to 10
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Come to this site to learn more about the deciduous forest: plants, animals, climate, and Northeast Asian Deciduous Forests. This website is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive...more
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Come to this site to learn more about the deciduous forest: plants, animals, climate, and Northeast Asian Deciduous Forests. This website is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit. If you are teaching about the biomes of the world, be sure to check out this site!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): biomes (139), forests (34)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects about one of the topics presented at this site. Challenge groups to create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Fall Colors: Depend on Weather Changes - USA Today

Grades
2 to 12
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Looking for information about leaf color changes? Check out this informative site, brought to you by USA Today. This website is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive...more
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Looking for information about leaf color changes? Check out this informative site, brought to you by USA Today. This website is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit. If you are teaching about the biomes of the world, be sure to check out this site!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): colors (78), fall (11), forests (34)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture (in this case, of a leaf - of course.)

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Coniferous Forest: Mission: Biomes - Earth Observatory

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers a great deal of information about the coniferous forest: temperature, vegetation, location, maps, and more. This website is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive...more
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This site offers a great deal of information about the coniferous forest: temperature, vegetation, location, maps, and more. This website is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit. If you are teaching about the biomes of the world, be sure to check out this site!

tag(s): biomes (139), forests (34)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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TVA Kids - Tennessee Valley Authority

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers information about energy, including games and videos, for students and provides curriculum materials for teachers. Students can read and learn about the history of...more
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This site offers information about energy, including games and videos, for students and provides curriculum materials for teachers. Students can read and learn about the history of electricity, power safety tips, and learn about "green" power. Games include Power Bandit, a word search, crossword, and jigsaw puzzles. Beware of the Energy Vampire explains to students how to save energy and which appliances use a lot of energy. There is a large inventory of videos showing different types of energy production plants, explaining power production through the use of coal and nuclear reactors, and the history of the TVA. Teachers, be sure to check out the teachers section of the site which includes lesson plans and activities for elementary through high school.

tag(s): electricity (93), nuclear energy (25)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students on your interactive whiteboard or projector and allow students to explore on their own. Create a scavenger hunt with questions from the students and have students explore the site to find answers. Watch videos on your interactive whiteboard during lessons on energy production, conservation, or history lesson. After learning about a specific topic, challenge cooperative learning groups to complete a multimedia presentation such as a "annotated pictures" using Speechable, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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