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Dollar Street - Gapminder

Grades
3 to 12
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Think of everyone in the world living on one street; the poorest people are on the left and the rich on the right. Everyone else falls somewhere in the middle. ...more
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Think of everyone in the world living on one street; the poorest people are on the left and the rich on the right. Everyone else falls somewhere in the middle. That is the setup of Dollar Street, a searchable, visual database sharing income features from 264 families from around 50 countries and including over 30,000 photos. Take a quick tour to learn how to use the interactive and understand financial guidelines used based on income per month. Use the drop-down boxes to select specific criteria including the number of beds, homes, or family snapshots. An additional dropbox allows you to select specific countries to view.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (155), cultures (132), family (52), financial literacy (92), globe (12), homes (4)

In the Classroom

Most teachers will want to bookmark this site to use in many different situations. Share Dollar Street on your interactive whiteboard to compare and contrast your community and living situation to those around the world. When reading books mentioning other countries, look up financial information using this site to help students understand typical living situations. Use Dollar Street as a starting point for research projects. Ask students to create a virtual field trip to their chosen location using Google My Maps, reviewed here. Google My Maps includes tools for labeling stops on a map as participants follow locations created.

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Empatico - Builders

Grades
2 to 5
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Although Empatico is no longer a tool to connect to other educators and students through video, it still offers an Empathy Framework with numerous excellent activities for your K-12...more
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Although Empatico is no longer a tool to connect to other educators and students through video, it still offers an Empathy Framework with numerous excellent activities for your K-12 classroom. Use the search at the top of the page to find lessons and activities for your students. Scrolling down the page, find Featured Activities, the Empathy Framework, Daily Practices, Classroom Activities, Virtual Exchanges, and activities in Spanish. Daily Practices offers valuable lessons such as mindfulness, managing big feelings, compassion, and more. Classroom activities include Kind vs UnKind Words and several Book Club topics like Gratitude, Building Bridges, and others. A note about the Virtual Exchanges: Empatico is no longer a video connecting tool, so they suggest using Zoom, reviewed here or Google Meet.

tag(s): climate (81), collaboration (89), commoncore (75), communication (133), cross cultural understanding (155), cultures (132), empathy (27), family (52), globe (12), maps (207), weather (164)

In the Classroom

Expand upon the activities included with Empatico to dig further into the topic of your activity. If you typically have students write in paper journals, try an online blog using a simple blogging tool like edublogs, reviewed here. edublog offers tools for creating class and individual blogs. Enhance and extend your Empatico project by finding a partner classroom using ePals, reviewed here; enroll your classroom and collaborate with others asking your partner classroom to participate in one of the Virtual Exchanges from Empatico. Instead of a written report at the end of your sessions, have students create an original video using Adobe Creative Cloud Express Video Maker, reviewed here to share information and new perspectives gained through your Empatico activities.

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America's Rainforests - Prince William Network

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4 to 12
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Join science experts to visit America's rainforests in Puerto Rico and Alaska through an electronic field trip shared on this site. The hour and a half long webcast presents information...more
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Join science experts to visit America's rainforests in Puerto Rico and Alaska through an electronic field trip shared on this site. The hour and a half long webcast presents information on plants, animals, and features of the rainforest. America's Rainforests also includes a variety of lesson plans aligned to science standards for teachers along with a student section with more information about this biome.

tag(s): biomes (113), rainforests (18)

In the Classroom

Include this site with your teaching materials on the rainforests. After learning about America's Rainforests, have students find and map rainforests around the world. Have students create maps sharing this information using Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND choose various locations on a map where they find rainforests. Use Zeemaps to modify technology use by creating animated maps featuring various location stops that can feature text, video, and audio. As a final project, have students create a Symbaloo Learning Path (reviewed here). This site allows users to personalize a learning activity featuring videos, games, quizzes, and more.

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Rainforest Lesson Plan - The Wild Classroom

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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 (113), habitats (86), rainforests (18), scientists (63)

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 (207), virtual field trips (80)

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 (65), computers (106), maps (207)

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. Ask students to create an annotated image of any location including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Image Annotator, 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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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 (86), maps (207), reading comprehension (142), reading lists (79)

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 Canvas Free LMS, 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 Genially, 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 (207), Microsoft (83)

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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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 (56), animals (284), coral (10), deserts (16), habitats (86), jungles (5), wetlands (6)

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 MapHub, , 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

Grades
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 as well as nearby points of interest, weather statistics, and photographs. Most also have 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 (17), landforms (37), maps (207), mountains (10), national parks (27), natural resources (38), rivers (14), volcanoes (56), 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 MapHub, 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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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 (72), states (122)

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 Image Annotator, reviewed here.

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MetKids - The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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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 worldwide. Next, hop into the Time Machine to learn more about specific times, geography, and big ideas such as inventions or creatures. Also, find Videos that teach about celebrations, share art made by kids, or provide detailed directions for creating your art, all on the menu bar across the top.

tag(s): africa (139), art history (87), artists (78), asia (69), china (62), europe (75), inventors and inventions (71), japan (56), middle east (43), myths and legends (21), russia (33)

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 Sutori 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 (395), twitterchatarchive (175)

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 (132), globe (12), maps (207), webcams (10)

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 MapHub, reviewed here. With MapHub 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 900,000 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 900,000 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 (257), national parks (27), primary sources (117)

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 Visme, reviewed here. Visme allows you to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then add music to their narration. Here is a royalty free music site, Joystock reviewed here.

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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 (20), florida (10), hawaii (7), landforms (37), national parks (27), states (122), utah (2), video (260), virtual field trips (80)

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 Google Drawings, reviewed here. Google Drawings allows you to annotate an image with links to videos, text, websites, and more. Not familiar with Google Drawings? Watch an archived OK2Ask session to learn how to use: OK2Ask Google Drawings, here. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos using FlexClip, 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): area (52), countries (72), map skills (56), maps (207)

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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Wall of Birds - Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Grades
2 to 12
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Wall of Birds is a cool interactive map from Cornell's Bird Academy based on an epic mural Found at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The site features species found around ...more
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Wall of Birds is a cool interactive map from Cornell's Bird Academy based on an epic mural Found at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The site features species found around the world spanning 375 million years using content from the All About Birds website, reviewed here. The colorful world map depicts 243 birds, one from each taxonomic family, showing where to find each on the globe. Find extinct species on the mural in black-and-white, and you can zoom in and out and pan to see the progression of evolution that led to modern birds. Click on each bird picture and a window opens with its name, family name, natural history, a sound file of its call, and a map showing where to observe it. A social media aspect lets you vote for favorites and check out a leaderboard.

tag(s): birds (45), evolution (85), map skills (56), maps (207)

In the Classroom

This enticing and engaging site will stimulate interest in birds at any level and works on any device. Explore the world of birds on an interactive whiteboard or projector with your whole class or have small groups or individuals research particular species. The lower right-hand navigational buttons, help explore the map and lead to other content about it. Using the map as an example, have students create their own maps featuring local, national, or international animals using Google Maps, reviewed here, or on paper. Research birds online using Audubon Adventures, reviewed here, or with bird guidebooks. Using a mobile device, have students collect their own bird pictures and calls to share in an online presentation, using a tool such as Sway, reviewed here, or on a Google Map. After watching the "Behind the Scenes" video whose link is in the right-hand corner of the Wall, have students work collaboratively to create a class mural of local birds or other topics.

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bioGraphic - California Academy of Science

Grades
4 to 12
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bioGraphic is a stunning multimedia magazine showcasing nature and solutions to sustaining life on earth. Scroll down the home page to browse through the latest articles and be prepared...more
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bioGraphic is a stunning multimedia magazine showcasing nature and solutions to sustaining life on earth. Scroll down the home page to browse through the latest articles and be prepared to be drawn in through the beautiful imagery included! Browse by specific topics such as wildlife, places, or people, or use the keyword search. Be sure to click on the three dots next to the search icon that enables you to choose from specific types of content such as videos, photos, or immersive experiences.

tag(s): animal homes (56), animals (284), deserts (16), habitats (86), multimedia (43), natural resources (38), oceans (149), rainforests (18)

In the Classroom

Even if you don't teach science, you and your students will love this magazine because of the beautiful images shared! Use bioGraphic for informational reading in your Language Arts classroom. Include a link on classroom computers for students to read on their own. In science class share bioGraphic articles as a starting point for any unit on animals, for social studies, use bioGraphic to learn more about places around the world and the people that live there. Have cooperative learning groups create online books about information learned on this site using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Don't forget to subscribe to bioGraphic to receive updates as new articles are added to the magazine.

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National Geographic Kids - National Geographic

Grades
K to 7
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National Geographic offers this kid-centric site as a companion to National Geographic Kids magazines and Little Kids magazines. The focus is on information about animals, geography,...more
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National Geographic offers this kid-centric site as a companion to National Geographic Kids magazines and Little Kids magazines. The focus is on information about animals, geography, and the natural world presented in a fun and engaging format. Use this busy interactive site for free, register to gain access to more content. Buttons on the home page lead to short videos, images, stories, polls, news bites, games, and activities. The site includes heavy advertising for the magazine subscriptions. A search box at the top right allows for exploration of the extensive content.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (284), blended learning (37), countries (72), endangered species (27), environment (238), plants (147), reading comprehension (142)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for interactive whiteboards or projectors. Display the site on your whiteboard to use as a learning center for students. Select videos for lesson introductions for flipped or blended learning activities. For language arts, practice finding the main idea or summarizing stories using these interesting informational texts. ENL/ESL learners can also find accessible news stories here. Choose words from stories to include with weekly spelling tests or as vocabulary builders. Assign different stories to groups of students to summarize and present to the class. Enhance learning by challenging cooperative learning groups to create videos about any article on the site. Upload images (use Creative Commons or other copyright-safe pictures) and use moovly, reviewed here, for this project. Then share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Use the site for learning games that will appeal more to younger students. Preview all video since some feature animals hunting which may upset some students.

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