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Rainforest Lesson Plan - The Wild Classroom

Grades
K to 8
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Don't let the basic look of this website fool you; it contains many resources for teaching about the rainforest biome. In addition to the information on the home page, there ...more
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Don't let the basic look of this website fool you; it contains many resources for teaching about the rainforest biome. In addition to the information on the home page, there are many resources found by clicking on icons near the top of the page next to the arrow stating "Click on me." Learn about species found in the rainforest, scientist profiles, rainforest conservation, and a small selection of locations around the world containing rainforests.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): biomes (119), habitats (79), rainforests (16), scientists (61)

In the Classroom

Include this site as part of your teaching resources for the rainforest biome. Instead of creating a folder on student computers with links to various resources, consider using a bookmarking site like Symbaloo, reviewed here, to gather all of your favorite sites into one easy to use place for students. Instead of taking notes into a notebook as students gather information about the rainforest, have them write blogs sharing facts, images, and discussion of conservation efforts. Replace paper pen by asking students to write blogs sharing information learned using a tool like Edublog, reviewed here. Edublog offers tools for creating class and individual blogs. As a way to enhance student understanding, challenge students to complete a culminating project for your biome unit by creating and sharing custom maps using Google My Maps,reviewed here, to send visitors on a virtual field trip of rainforests across the globe. With Google My Maps students can embed images and videos on pointers and shapes for any given location.

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Google My Maps - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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You may already be familiar with Google Maps, reviewed here, but Google My Maps takes working with maps a step further. Use Google My Maps to create...more
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You may already be familiar with Google Maps, reviewed here, but Google My Maps takes working with maps a step further. Use Google My Maps to create custom maps with features you add. Add points or shapes to any location, use the embedded search to find places then save to your map, import information from spreadsheets, and customize your map with colored icons and your uploaded images and videos. Collaborate on your project just like you would with Google Documents, then embed maps into your website or blog.

tag(s): maps (216), virtual field trips (66)

In the Classroom

Share Google My Maps on an interactive whiteboard or projector to create virtual trips for many situations. Create a trip to biomes around the world, visit places mentioned within books, map out battlefield locations for different wars, or find and save different kinds of landforms on your map. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. Embed completed maps onto your class webpage or blog for students to view when reviewing for tests or quizzes. Have older students complete their own Google My Map project to create their own virtual field trips. This site is perfect to use in conjunction with TeachersFirst Reading Treks to follow the adventures of characters in the featured stories. Not ready to create your own maps? Use the explore feature on the site to find many examples of maps made by others.

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ClustrMaps - Free Website Map Widget - ClustrMaps

Grades
K to 12
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Add a real-time map of your website or blog's visitors with this geo-location hitmap. Download then customize the widget with your preference of colors, size, and stats available for...more
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Add a real-time map of your website or blog's visitors with this geo-location hitmap. Download then customize the widget with your preference of colors, size, and stats available for viewing. Follow the steps to create your customized code then place on your site.

tag(s): blogs (73), computers (99), maps (216)

In the Classroom

Students will love seeing the wide variety of visitors to their classroom website. Have a student share locations of viewers with other students, then research to learn more about those areas around the world. Challenge students to create an interactive map with images and videos using a tool such as Stepmap, reviewed here, for where the visitors to their blog live. With Stepmap students can colorize specific areas including national parks, or the city and neighborhoods of their visitors to their blog; additional options include latitude and longitude lines, and icons. Ask students to create an annotated image of any location including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Display a world map in your classroom and pin locations of viewers on the map for students to see at all times.

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Trench Warfare Simulation - Mr. Harms

Grades
9 to 12
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Try to break the stalemate on the Western Front with this interactive simulation. Use strategy and problem-solving skills to gain victory over the enemy. Download the materials in a...more
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Try to break the stalemate on the Western Front with this interactive simulation. Use strategy and problem-solving skills to gain victory over the enemy. Download the materials in a zip file including student and teacher instructions, a battle calculator, and a Western Front Map. Be sure to watch the video for a demonstration of how to use the materials as a battle simulation. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable.

tag(s): battles (18), france (32), world war 1 (55)

In the Classroom

Directions on the site provide two ways for using the simulation - as a whole class activity or by dividing students into groups competing against each other. Be sure to take some time to try out this simulation before sharing with students; even when viewing the video, the directions may not be easy to follow. This would be an excellent project for gifted students. Provide them the link to the site and the materials and allow them to learn how to use the simulation and teach it to fellow students. Using this site as a resource, have gifted students create their own simulation for other famous battles. Invite students use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to identify locations of battles during any conflict. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND place a marker location (on a map) where the story takes place.

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TeachersFirst Reading Treks - Make Learning a Journey - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Your students can visit the world and build their background knowledge when they choose to read a book in conjunction with Reading Treks. Find fiction and informational books at every...more
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Your students can visit the world and build their background knowledge when they choose to read a book in conjunction with Reading Treks. Find fiction and informational books at every reading level. Each Reading Trek unit has a downloadable PDF with Common Core State Standards, ISTE Standards, Grade Level, Ideas and Activities for using the Reading Trek in class, and a list of Helpful Resources. There is also a Google Maps (KMZ) file. Under the About TeachersFirst Reading Treks on the home page find step-by-step instructions for when you're ready to use a Reading Trek. TeachersFirst is just getting started creating Treks for books. Do you have a suggestion? Select Suggest a Trek from the left menu to let us know about it. We'd love to hear from you!

tag(s): independent reading (105), maps (216), reading comprehension (121), reading lists (72)

In the Classroom

These units are perfect for use with a whole-class novel, literature circles, or individual reading! Ask students to keep a journal about what they are reading and learning. Replace traditional paper and pen journals using an easy virtual journaling tool such as Penzu, reviewed here. With Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. If you are conducting literature circles a good tool to use for small group assignments and communication is Asana, reviewed here, or Edmodo, reviewed here. For students or student groups to share their book with their peers, challenge them to enhance their learning and design an interactive multimedia poster using Genial.ly, reviewed here.

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Bing Maps - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Use Bing Maps as your online resource for mapping locations and more. Allow Bing to recognize your location, then find and map directions anywhere. Additional features allow you to...more
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Use Bing Maps as your online resource for mapping locations and more. Allow Bing to recognize your location, then find and map directions anywhere. Additional features allow you to view current traffic along the route. Additional icons offer nearby locations for restaurants, gas stations, and more. Choose different views for viewing maps including road, aerial, and street-side views. Sign in to Bing Maps using your Microsoft account to save and access your collections from any device.

tag(s): directions (12), maps (216), Microsoft (61)

In the Classroom

If you teach geography, this one's a must. It is also helpful for showing students WHERE a story or news event takes place. In lower grades, use it to show students the basics of their community. Teach map skills by showing students their own community. Zoom in on their street or the school. This site is perfect for sharing on an interactive whiteboard. Set up a class Microsoft account (or use student accounts if permitted). Have students create their own custom route plans to tour historic sites. Challenge math students to plan the most economical route to visit several vacation destinations, including gas mileage and gas prices. Have students create place-marker files of the important places in the life of a famous person or the route traveled by a particular unit during the Civil War. Have student groups create place-marker files to show environmental sites, habitats, landforms, or anything you can place on a map. Share or embed student-created maps using the links and embed code provided.

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Timeline Eons - Maani.us

Grades
6 to 12
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Timeline Eons presents the history of the world from the Big Bang through current time on an interactive timeline. Additional events predict changes to the earth 22,000,000,000 years...more
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Timeline Eons presents the history of the world from the Big Bang through current time on an interactive timeline. Additional events predict changes to the earth 22,000,000,000 years in the future. Scroll left or right to move through developments on the timeline or set the timeline to run automatically. Zoom in to view events or use the search feature to find specific events. Many events feature an illustration or photograph; others include a short video. When viewing on a computer, choose the link with three dots on the upper-left side of the screen to see information on the timeline's features.

tag(s): climate change (69), conservation (84), DAT device agnostic tool (166), geologic time (9), space (202), timelines (47)

In the Classroom

Have students explore the timeline on their own, then research and share information on any given period of time. Encourage students to view future predictions on the timeline as a research project to find the basis of the predictions. Have students create a simple interactive infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here .

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Habitats - Smithsonian Science Education Center

Grades
2 to 6
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Learn about animal habitats through this interactive where players match animals to their correct habitat. Use buttons to navigate between habitats, then drag and drop animals into...more
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Learn about animal habitats through this interactive where players match animals to their correct habitat. Use buttons to navigate between habitats, then drag and drop animals into their correct location. Upon proper placement, click to learn more about individual animals with pictures and a summary including images and additional facts.

tag(s): animal homes (58), animals (259), coral (9), deserts (15), habitats (79), jungles (5), wetlands (8)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Share this site on classroom computers to use as a center during your habitat or animals unit. Instead of oral presentations of research findings, have students create animated movies online using Powtoon, reviewed here. Have students choose an animal or habitat to research further, either individually or as a group. As a class, use a mapping tool such as Click2Map, reviewed here, to create a map of different habitats and add display markers featuring text, photos, and videos and information about the animals found in each location.

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Anyplace America - AnyplaceAmerica.com

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4 to 12
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Anyplace America provides an extensive resource of free topographical maps of the United States. Choose maps by water, land or man-made features, or browse maps featuring each state....more
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Anyplace America provides an extensive resource of free topographical maps of the United States. Choose maps by water, land or man-made features, or browse maps featuring each state. Maps include local information including nearby points of interest, weather statistics, and photographs. Most also include a link to download a color PDF of the featured map. Google and the U.S. Geological Survey provide the maps used on this site.

tag(s): bridges (11), glaciers (16), landforms (37), maps (216), mountains (12), national parks (18), natural resources (37), rivers (13), volcanoes (51), water (101)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to use when teaching about landforms, bodies of waters, or geographic features. Be sure to create a link on classroom computers or your class website for students to access at any time. Have students use a mapping tool such as Click2Map, reviewed here, to create a map of local landforms with audio stories and pictures included.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Grassland Biome - University of California Museum of Paleontology

Grades
7 to 12
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This short, but informative, site shares information about the grasslands biomes. Learn about the differences between savannah and temperate grasslands. Explanations include detailed...more
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This short, but informative, site shares information about the grasslands biomes. Learn about the differences between savannah and temperate grasslands. Explanations include detailed information on locations, climate, and vegetation found in each biome.

tag(s): biomes (119), climate (79), environment (219)

In the Classroom

Include this site with other resources when teaching lessons about biomes. The text portions may be challenging, so you should pair weaker readers with a partner as they research on this site. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their knowledge about grassland biomes using Visme, reviewed here.

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Grassland - Jeremy M.B. Smith/Encyclopedia Brittanica

Grades
7 to 12
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Explore the grasslands biome in-depth with this article from Encylopedia Brittanica. Read through to learn about the origins of grasslands, the type of environment necessary to maintain...more
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Explore the grasslands biome in-depth with this article from Encylopedia Brittanica. Read through to learn about the origins of grasslands, the type of environment necessary to maintain a grassland, and common uses such as grazing and agricultural production. Be sure not to miss links near the top of the page to View All Media, and to Print, Cite, and Share the article.

tag(s): biomes (119), ecology (102), environment (219)

In the Classroom

Before exploring the site as a class, download images of grasslands and have students identify the biome and its properties. The text portions may be challenging, so you should pair weaker readers with a partner as they research on this site. Include this site as a resource for your biome unit by sharing a link on your class website. Upon completion of your biome unit, have students make an infographic showing what they learned using Visme, reviewed here.

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A Guide to Anthropogenic Biomes of the World - Andrew Petit de Mange & Kelly Kennedy

Grades
7 to 12
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Find a guide to understanding our planet through the ways human impact has changed ecological patterns and processes. Choose from the six biomes for a broad overview of information,...more
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Find a guide to understanding our planet through the ways human impact has changed ecological patterns and processes. Choose from the six biomes for a broad overview of information, then dig deeper by selecting one of the subtopics within a biome to view facts as related to climate, population, and land use.

tag(s): biomes (119), earth (175), ecology (102), environment (219)

In the Classroom

Include this site with your class resources when teaching about biomes and ecology. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class to display human impact on your local environment using a tool such as Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts sharing ideas on how to reduce the impact of humans on our environment. Use a site such as Buzzsprout, reviewed here.

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GameOn.World - Jeff Borland and Orkhan Nadirli

Grades
6 to 12
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Increase your knowledge of the world and geography in an entertaining way with GameOn.World. Select from one of the nine categories (Sports, Entertainment, Science, Cities, Facts, People/Things,...more
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Increase your knowledge of the world and geography in an entertaining way with GameOn.World. Select from one of the nine categories (Sports, Entertainment, Science, Cities, Facts, People/Things, and more), and challenge others to join in using the Game I.D. and their name. Play GameOn.World on any device with Internet access; No registration is required! Switch the audio on or off at the bottom of the screen.

tag(s): famous people (20), game based learning (155), sports (79), trivia (17)

In the Classroom

GameOn.World is addictive and not just for teaching geography! It is a whole class activity, so introduce it to your students with a projector and their own devices or classroom computers. The questions are on your large screen or whiteboard, and students answer on their devices. Also, projected on the large screen will be the participant names and results. GameOn is an interactive activity; for instance, for location and timeline games, students respond to questions by moving a marker on a map or clicking a date on a timeline. Use GameOn.World at the beginning of class to engage students immediately. With categories like Sports, Entertainment, Science, Cities, Facts, People/Things, and more, there is something for any student to enjoy and excel in. Use GameOn.World to wrap up the end of class. Students will leave class reluctantly with a smile on their faces! Coming soon to GameOn will be the ability to create your own games, so play what they have, often, and watch for that announcement.

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Capital Toss - ABCya

Grades
2 to 5
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Match capital cities to their states and countries with this entertaining game. Match ten correct to earn different forms of the ball toss. Miss three in a row and the ...more
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Match capital cities to their states and countries with this entertaining game. Match ten correct to earn different forms of the ball toss. Miss three in a row and the game is over.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): capitals (15), countries (67), states (123)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introduction to state or country capitals. Share a link on your class webpage and classroom computers for practice as a center. Take this information a step further and have students create an annotated state image, including text boxes and related links, using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.

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MetKids - The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Grades
2 to 12
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Explore over 5,000 years of art in three exciting ways at this vibrant, interactive site from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Along the menu at the top find Explore the ...more
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Explore over 5,000 years of art in three exciting ways at this vibrant, interactive site from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Along the menu at the top find Explore the Map, where you choose and double click red or yellow markers to explore fun facts and videos about art from all over the world. Next, hop into the Time Machine to learn more about specific time periods, geography, and big ideas such as inventions or creatures. Also find, Watch Videos that teach about celebrations, share art made by kids, or provide detailed directions for creating your art.

tag(s): art history (73), artists (72), inventors and inventions (67), myths and legends (23)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use on classroom computers or for a blended class for students to explore on their own. Streghthen student learning by asking them to find information for a specific period of time or country and label what they find important using Webnote, reviewed here; tell students to be sure to save the URL to share their notes and questions with you and their peers. Next, transform classroom technology and extend learning by showing students how to embed media into an interactive time line using Sutori, reviewed here. With Sutorie you can include images, text, and collaboration, or Preceden, reviewed here, for creating multi-layer timelines for over lapping events.

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Twitter Chat: Social Studies When Time is Limited - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from May 2017 and will open in Wakelet. View this archive to learn tips and tools to use when teaching social studies. Find ideas about ...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from May 2017 and will open in Wakelet. View this archive to learn tips and tools to use when teaching social studies. Find ideas about how to incorporate more social studies when your time is limited during the school day. Browse the strategies offered by the chat moderators and participants.

tag(s): professional development (250), twitterchatarchive (111)

In the Classroom

Is your social studies time limited? Check out this archived chat for tools and tips to use in your class to make social studies stretch past the limited time allotted. Share this tool with your colleagues interested in learning more tips and tools to use in social studies lessons.

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EarthCam Live Webcam Network - EarthCam, Inc

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K to 12
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Discover what is happening all around the world, live, as it takes place. EarthCam's network includes live webcams featuring weather, traffic, animals, and more. Discover webcams by...more
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Discover what is happening all around the world, live, as it takes place. EarthCam's network includes live webcams featuring weather, traffic, animals, and more. Discover webcams by topic or explore popular offerings. Scroll further down the home page to choose webcams on a clickable map by location. Because webcams may feature streaming from inside homes or contain other personal information, do not have young children access them without supervision. Previewing all videos before sharing with the class would be wise.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cultures (97), globe (13), maps (216), webcams (7)

In the Classroom

This site would be an excellent addition to any science, social studies, or world cultures class. Teachers click on a webcam in different parts of the world to see things like weather and basic geography. Share the videos on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. In early elementary, use webcams to introduce the world visually with a projector or on an interactive whiteboard. Select specific webcams and create shortcuts on classroom computer desktops for students to "see what's happening" on a certain continent as you study the seven continents. Use this resource to visit different areas that have been effected by natural disasters. Use animal webcams for students to observe animal behavior and keep a "lab journal" of what they see. Instead of the traditional paper and pencil "lab journal," have students keep a virtual journal about what they are learning. Use an easy virtual journaling tool such as Penzu, reviewed here. With Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. Challenge students to further research the animal(s) they observed and to create an interactive map showing where the animals can be found with a tool like Click2Map, reviewed here. With Click2Map students can include display markers featuring text, photos, and videos!

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Open Parks Network - Clemson University and the National Park Service

Grades
4 to 12
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The Open Parks Network offers over 350,000 digitized images of cultural heritage objects and 1.5 million pages of literature from the National Park Service. Use the keyword search to...more
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The Open Parks Network offers over 350,000 digitized images of cultural heritage objects and 1.5 million pages of literature from the National Park Service. Use the keyword search to find specific information, or scroll through the home page to browse by parks or collections. Also, use the Explore tab to find resources located on maps. Use the "Draw Bounding Box" option to narrow your search to any particular boundary.

tag(s): images (253), national parks (18), primary sources (95)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to use throughout the year to find images and other primary sources for United States locations. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects. Include this site on your class webpage for students and parents to access as a reference. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted for reproduction), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Slidestory, reviewed here. This site allows you to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then add music to their narration.

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The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks - Google Arts & Culture

Grades
4 to 12
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Follow National Park Rangers on a remarkable journey in these 360-degree videos. Guides take viewers into the most interesting, yet unknown, places in six different park locations....more
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Follow National Park Rangers on a remarkable journey in these 360-degree videos. Guides take viewers into the most interesting, yet unknown, places in six different park locations. Choose a park to begin your journey, then after a short introduction, explore locations dragging the mouse or cursor around to view these sites from every angle. As you explore, guides provide additional information on each location.

tag(s): alaska (22), hawaii (6), landforms (37), national parks (18), states (123), video (243)

In the Classroom

Share this beautiful site and images on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector, then have students explore on their own. This site can be included with many different geography units to teach landforms found around the United States. Use as a starting point to learn more about our National Parks and Parks Service. Enhance learning by having students create an annotated image of other interesting geographic locations using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Thinglink allows you to include text boxes, related links, and videos. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos using Biteable, reviewed here, of behind the scenes information from your hometown, then share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

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The True Size of... - James Talmage and Damon Maneice

Grades
4 to 12
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The True Size of...uses Google Maps and drag and drop technology to allow you to compare the size of any two countries. Because normal maps have a certain amount of ...more
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The True Size of...uses Google Maps and drag and drop technology to allow you to compare the size of any two countries. Because normal maps have a certain amount of distortion, sometimes it's hard to see real size differences on a standard map. Just type in the name of any county. Once highlighted, drag the country to any location on the map to compare. Hover over the country to view statistics with the actual size. When finished, right click and start over.
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tag(s): area (55), countries (67), map skills (57), maps (216)

In the Classroom

The True Size of... is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Use to demonstrate size differences in countries. Have students use this site when presenting reports of nations around the world. Have a new student from another state or country? Use this site to begin a discussion of the comparable size of where they came from to where your classroom is located. This tool would be especially valuable when explaining the concept of map scale or square miles/meters. Use The True Size of... to compare locations students read about in Globetracker's Mission, reviewed here, books they are reading, or when reading with ReadingTreks, reviewed here. Include it in discussions about the impact of a country's size on its culture in world language or cultures classes. Use an online tool such a Canva, reviewed here, to create a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast different countries.

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