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The Encyclopedia of Earth - Environmental Information Coalition

Grades
4 to 12
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Looking for a quality resource about the Earth, organisms, the natural environment, and their interaction with society? This Encyclopedia is a free, quality collection of articles written...more
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Looking for a quality resource about the Earth, organisms, the natural environment, and their interaction with society? This Encyclopedia is a free, quality collection of articles written by professionals, educators, and experts. The project is a collaboration, and articles are reviewed by other experts. Though written by professionals, the articles are not technical, proving useful to students and educators. It is also helpful to other professionals as well as the general public. View the authors and editors attributed to the articles. Be sure to notice the featured articles found in the center of the page. Find chapters or topics along the left side that cover every aspect of the natural and physical world as well as the many issues of human interaction with the Earth. Besides articles, find more at Encyclopedia of Earth including ebooks, lectures, and speeches.

tag(s): agriculture (47), animals (253), biodiversity (40), disasters (37), earth (220), ecology (136), ecosystems (81), energy (180), environment (305), forests (27), plants (131), pollution (69), water (122), weather (181)

In the Classroom

Use this resource when students are working on projects that pertain to any part of living things, the natural world, and man's role on the Earth. Be sure to bookmark this site on a class computer or your class website. Be sure to review the authors of the articles, following the links to their biographical pages to look at their expertise. Use this as an exercise in identifying whether information on the Internet is reliable and developing researching skills. As a challenge to your high achieving students, consider asking them to write entries that you can submit to this encyclopedia on classroom topics of interest to them. Students will have to analyze their language and writing style with more scrutiny than other assignments. Consider creating an encyclopedia with content created by students modeled after the style of this tool. Use an online tool such as Weebly, reviewed here, to create a class encyclopedia. Note: As with other resources like Encyclopedia of Earth, content on the site is considered Attribution-Share Alike. Students should always cite their sources in accordance with this type of copyright.

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Global Climate Change - NASA

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3 to 12
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Find great background information on Climate Change with this site. Find up to date information about sea and land ice cover, amount of deforestation, carbon dioxide amounts in the...more
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Find great background information on Climate Change with this site. Find up to date information about sea and land ice cover, amount of deforestation, carbon dioxide amounts in the atmosphere, sea level rise, and more along the bottom. Scroll down to view News and Features, What is Climate Change (and find your answers to the Evidence, Causes, Effects, and Solutions), and explore interactives and other information.

tag(s): climate (95), climate change (57)

In the Classroom

Use this resource for some excellent background information on climate change. Create public service announcements outlining the key points from this site. Create a campaign for making small changes in our lives that can add up to a big difference. Assign small groups to explore one facet of this site and create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Thematic Mapping Engine - Bjorn Sandvik

Grades
6 to 12
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What is a .kmz file and how do you make one? A .kmz file, when opened, launches Google Earth and the files needed to view specific portions of the globe, ...more
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What is a .kmz file and how do you make one? A .kmz file, when opened, launches Google Earth and the files needed to view specific portions of the globe, map overlays, and other information. There are several ways to create a .kmz file to share with others for specific content to be learned. Thematic Mapping Engine provides you with a very simple way to create Google Earth .kmz files. This tool uses data from the United Nations to create maps of all types of development and environmental data. Follow the instructions in the yellow box along the right side of this tool. Select a statistical indicator category from the dropdown (for example, Life expectancy or population). Then, select a year or range of years, and the manner in which they would like the data displayed in Google Earth. Preview and download the .kmz file. Share this file on your blog, wiki, or web page. Click on and then download the file. Once the file is opened, Google Earth then opens and the data is seen within Google Earth. Note: Google Earth must be installed on student computers. Check with your technology department about the availability of Google Earth in your schools. See more information about Google Earth, reviewed here.

tag(s): climate change (57), diseases (59), earth (220), landmarks (26), news (173), population (55)

In the Classroom

Use this tool with Google Earth to discuss population changes, incidence of various diseases, or look at environmental data such as carbon dioxide emissions. Use this tool when discussing various countries and populations throughout the world, looking at the various factors that affect countries. Use this information to question the history and current state of various populations. Create more than one .kmz file to place on your class website. Provide time for student groups to look at one of the files and draw conclusions or report on their findings. Use class time to look at the information from all groups to obtain a snapshot of various regions, looking at populations, diseases, and more. For younger grades, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to show these files in Google Earth and compare what students know about the United States or other areas in unfamiliar countries. This tool would be perfect for gifted students to use to extend learning in a Science or History/World Cultures class to better understand the world around them.
 

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Tree House Weather Kids - University of Illinois Extension

Grades
4 to 9
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Satisfy your interest in the weather with Tree House Weather for Kids. Help students in grades 5-8 gain a better understanding of the weather. Choose a weather section to begin: ...more
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Satisfy your interest in the weather with Tree House Weather for Kids. Help students in grades 5-8 gain a better understanding of the weather. Choose a weather section to begin: seasons, air pressure, clouds, and rock and roll weather (types of storms). Each section includes videos with explanations along with a glossary of terms. Also included is a section for teachers including activities, additional resources, and correlation to Illinois State Standards. At the time of this review, some of the videos were not working properly.

tag(s): seasons (36), weather (181)

In the Classroom

Use videos and information from the site to supplement your current resources for teaching weather. Create a link on classroom computers for students to explore on their own. Challenge students to create online montages demonstrating weather topics using images, slideshows, or comic strips using a site such as Infinite Canvas (reviewed here.)
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Polar Trec - Arctic Research Consortium and National Science Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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What can you learn when you embed a teacher with scientists in research groups? Plenty! PolarTREC chooses teachers and pairs them with scientific research groups in polar regions, which...more
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What can you learn when you embed a teacher with scientists in research groups? Plenty! PolarTREC chooses teachers and pairs them with scientific research groups in polar regions, which changes how they view and teach science. Use their journals and information to change how you and your students view science as well. Access a variety of polar-related resources that support the STEM classroom including videos recorded by the teachers and the research team. Read journals written by the teachers working with scientists in the Arctic and Antarctica that document their field experiences and research in science. Participate in live webinars where classes can hear from the teacher and scientists in real time and ask questions. View teacher posted videos and lesson plans that can be used in the classroom. This site features a lot of different careers in science uncovered in the journal entries. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): antarctica (27), arctic (41), careers (117), polar (18), scientific method (58), scientists (53), STEM (82)

In the Classroom

Point out that much of science work does not take place in a lab and that many locations are pretty cool! Be sure to investigate the main page to find links to learning resources that include lessons and activities. Read teachers' journals in the "virtual base camp" and learn about their polar expeditions. "Join" the expeditions to find web events you or your students can join in as well as read the teacher journal. Be sure to register for the free events using PolarConnect. Find quick links on the main page to recent journal updates and news. Groups of students can view various journals of an expedition to identify the different jobs that make up the whole of a research team. Use this information to research careers and identify the possible ways that a science education is helpful for many careers. Create mini lab experiences for students based upon some of these research projects. For example, bring in various flowers to discuss plant structures while learning about polar pollinators. Create pretend core samples that students can analyze to simulate the procedure researchers use to analyze polar drill core samples. Identify basic science principles needed for better understanding about these projects. Identify how these projects follow the steps of the scientific method.

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Columbia River - National Geographic

Grades
5 to 12
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How has the damming of the mighty Columbia River changed the people and the environment around it? Follow the Columbia downstream to find facts and information about the dams, the ...more
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How has the damming of the mighty Columbia River changed the people and the environment around it? Follow the Columbia downstream to find facts and information about the dams, the Columbia, and its inhabitants. Choose between the full version or the light version of this site (the full version has motion animation throughout). Hover your mouse over items to read a preview. Click to expand and read information about how people have used the Columbia, threats throughout, and various animals found there. Click Downstream to shift the viewing frame to another section of the river. Click on Resources and Links at the bottom of the Interactive for links to more information.
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tag(s): ecosystems (81), electricity (77), rivers (20), watersheds (16)

In the Classroom

Show this interactive to the whole class on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Identify areas that are interesting, hovering over them and sharing the information. Take notes of the various impacts on the river system and how the dams have changed them. Use other resources such as Google Earth, reviewed here, to look at the Columbia River firsthand. As a project, research hydroelectric power and the advantages and disadvantages. Research and compare the uses of the Columbia River with others throughout the country. Identify problems with the rivers. For a history class, how have the uses of water changed throughout the years? Look locally at your own watershed. Research the history of the watershed and its uses throughout the history of your area. Create a multimedia project that showcases the information. Use one of the many TeachersFirst Edge Multimedia tools, reviewed here.
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edX - Anant Agarwal

Grades
8 to 12
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edX offers access to the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for a Certificate...more
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edX offers access to the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for a Certificate of Achievement or as an audit. Choose from courses with topics in many areas including computers, literature, and humanities. Each course listing offers a short description of the course, details about the university offering the course, estimated time involved, course staff, and available options for taking the course. Start any course at any time. Take the edX Demo course to get a good idea of how courses work and find out about the online learning experience.

tag(s): aeronautics (11), architecture (70), china (62), circuits (15), civil rights (99), computers (53), electricity (77), engineering (93), environment (305), evolution (102), folktales (63), greeks (27), magnetism (29), medicine (57), nutrition (149), poetry (219), psychology (51), religions (51), shakespeare (132), solar energy (32), speech (87), statistics (116), terrorism (45)

In the Classroom

Share with students on your interactive whiteboard and take the demo course together. This is perfect for use with gifted and advanced students as an option for college level courses and enrichment. Allow gifted students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share with others, in your building, as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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Science Trek - Idaho Public Television

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K to 6
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Science Trek is an integrated web and broadcast tv project introducing science topics to elementary students. In addition to the broadcasts, Science Trek provides accompanying material...more
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Science Trek is an integrated web and broadcast tv project introducing science topics to elementary students. In addition to the broadcasts, Science Trek provides accompanying material for teacher and parent use. Each month of the school year a new broadcast answers students' science questions and provides additional resources. Currently there are more than 90 topics available. Choose from any topic to view the web broadcast and explore resources such as games, facts, and glossaries.
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tag(s): animal homes (33), animals (253), archeology (28), body systems (55), brain (58), earthquakes (44), ecology (136), endangered species (33), food chains (19), forces (33), fossils (43), gravity (44), habitats (77), heart (40), human body (104), mass (20), moon (66), planets (111), plants (131), rocks (44), simple machines (33), soil (16), sound (91), STEM (82), volcanoes (57), water (122), weather (181)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free resources on the site to supplement your current teaching materials in many science topics. Create a link on classroom computers for students to view videos and share a link on your class website for students to view at home. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Don't forget to find the standards link within each resource to align to Common Core Standards.
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The Carbon Cycle Game - Windows2Universe

Grades
7 to 12
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To better understand climate change, follow a carbon atom through organisms, the Earth, and the atmosphere. As you go through the interactive, choose the next step for the carbon atom....more
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To better understand climate change, follow a carbon atom through organisms, the Earth, and the atmosphere. As you go through the interactive, choose the next step for the carbon atom. Read the information about how the carbon atom gets there and its various interactions through nature. Be sure to click on For Teachers to find outcomes, standards, background information, best practices for using the interactive, and extension activities.
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tag(s): carbon (20), carbon dioxide (15), carbon footprint (11), climate (95), climate change (57), fossil fuels (16)

In the Classroom

Follow the terrific directions in the For Teachers section including items students should record as they work through the interactive. Review the assessment and extension activities for outstanding ideas. Encourage students to create a paragraph of the journey of their carbon atom or a concept map outlining the stops and science behind the journey. Find many excellent concept mapping tools here. Research climate change and ways to reduce the amount of carbon at specific steps. Research and present to the class various energy alternatives and ways to reduce carbon released into the atmosphere. Identify the carbon footprint of different countries and identify ways to reduce this footprint. Create a public service announcement to raise awareness of small changes everyone can do.
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American Rivers: Rivers Connect Us - American Rivers

Grades
6 to 12
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Discover the uses and challenges for rivers throughout the United States! This organization has a record of protecting and restoring rivers. Find your region of the US under My Regions....more
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Discover the uses and challenges for rivers throughout the United States! This organization has a record of protecting and restoring rivers. Find your region of the US under My Regions. Find Regional Projects and News about environmental issues. Click on What We Do to read about initiatives the group works on in the various areas. Find a current Most Endangered Rivers list. Also, see the slide shows for Featured Rivers. There is an engaging three minute video about why one child loves the Northwest's Rivers. It is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): pollution (69), rivers (20), water (122), watersheds (16)

In the Classroom

Waterways are an important resource for wildlife, the economy, and recreation. Find great information about their usefulness on this site when discussing waterways with your class. Compare the various regions in terms of waterway use, conservation issues, and wildlife. Use a tool like Calemeo, reviewed here, and this site to create a recreation pamphlet outlining the highlights of different waterways. Bring a local water expert into the class to talk about water resources. Find inspiration for helping a local waterway. This would be a great activity for an ambitious class, environmental club, gifted students, or those looking for community service. Join in the undertakings of this site or find a local group to take action.

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US States & Cities With the Best Summer Weather on Cool Maps - Honolulu HI5

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore two interactive maps to find the number of "ideal" summer days per month (70F -90F degrees) or Temperature & Rain averages in over a thousand cities in the United ...more
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Explore two interactive maps to find the number of "ideal" summer days per month (70F -90F degrees) or Temperature & Rain averages in over a thousand cities in the United States. Click on any state and choose a city to view graphs displaying monthly averages of summer days for each place. Select the Temperature & Rain Averages map to see a graph of any city displaying average high and low temperatures, as well as inches of rain per month. Remember, if the temperature is above 90F, the amount of "ideal" summer days may be less in that state. Comments from this site can be shared on Facebook.

tag(s): seasons (36), temperature (28), weather (181)

In the Classroom

Include these maps for use with any weather unit to find data for your location and compare to others across the country. Ask students to use data from the maps when researching states for reports. Have students explore on their own and choose the places they would and would not like to live. Use the information in a persuasive writing project. Use the provided embed code to put information directly on your class website or blog for students to access at home. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast two different locations.

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Antarctica: The Frozen Continent of the South Pole - Enchanted Learning

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for great information on Antarctica? This site offers a variety of information about explorers, views from space, dinosaur fossils, surviving the cold, and more. ...more
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Looking for great information on Antarctica? This site offers a variety of information about explorers, views from space, dinosaur fossils, surviving the cold, and more.
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tag(s): animals (253), antarctica (27), continents (47)

In the Classroom

Provide this link to students on your class page. Provide time to view various pages of the site to gather general information to discuss as a class. Be sure to share the view from space and the map/geography on an interactive whiteboard or projector to the whole class. Identify the various Antarctic visitors (both human and other animals that come and go). Students can write a letter home and pretend to be one of the many visitors using information from this site in their creation. Consider using Throwww, reviewed here, for the letter. Throwww allows you to create "quick and easy" blog to be used one time only. A unique URL is provided and this site is as easy as using a basic Word program!
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Evolution - WGBH/NOVA Science Unit and Clear Blue Sky Productions

Grades
6 to 12
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This is the ultimate site for finding out about Evolution! Find excellent information in the Evolution Library where there is an unbelievable amount of resources about Darwin, History...more
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This is the ultimate site for finding out about Evolution! Find excellent information in the Evolution Library where there is an unbelievable amount of resources about Darwin, History of Life, Evolution of Diversity, Why Evolution Matters, and more. Find online courses in the For Teachers section. View the various lessons, resources, and online material about evolution found in the For Students section of this site. Find even more resources by clicking on the icon for various evolution topics: Darwin, Change, Survival, Sex, Extinction, Humans, and Religion.

tag(s): animals (253), evolution (102), fossils (43), geologic time (9), plants (131)

In the Classroom

Provide this link on your class page for students to access. Provide time in class for students to view specific links as groups and report their findings in a class discussion. Be sure to check out the case studies found in the For Teachers section for great advice on teaching evolution to students and overcoming misconceptions and misunderstandings. Use the activities in the downloadable Teacher's Guide. Rather than debate evolution, encourage students to identify the misconceptions of evolution and identify the scientific evidence against these misconceptions. To help students, discuss the reasons why understanding evolution is important.
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Aurora Alive - Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Grades
6 to 12
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Not sure about the Northern Lights? Find incredible information and activities to better understand the beautiful phenomenon. Be sure to look at the Student Materials. Looking for more...more
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Not sure about the Northern Lights? Find incredible information and activities to better understand the beautiful phenomenon. Be sure to look at the Student Materials. Looking for more information? Click on See Advanced Lessons or Multimedia Lessons for even more! The Multimedia Lessons are ready to use in class. Though the DVD has a price, the lesson plans are free to unzip and download.
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tag(s): arctic (41), atmosphere (26), light (44), space (178), stars (57)

In the Classroom

Use the various materials in class with an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the materials to learn about the Northern Lights and how and why they exist. Activities include vocabulary and scavenger hunts. Students can view many of the modules independently and teach others in the class about what they learned.
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Science of Innovation - NBC Learn

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore the Science of Innovation with this series of eleven videos provided by NBC Learn. Each video looks at different innovations such as bionic limbs or 3-D printing. All videos...more
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Explore the Science of Innovation with this series of eleven videos provided by NBC Learn. Each video looks at different innovations such as bionic limbs or 3-D printing. All videos run about 5 minutes in length and include a written transcript and lesson ideas. Lesson ideas include handouts, collaborative inquirey activities, and assessment rubrics.
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tag(s): energy (180), human body (104), inventors and inventions (101)

In the Classroom

Although part of a larger pay for use site, this portion of the site is free. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. Take advantage of the free lesson plan and incorporate suggestions into your current units. Have students brainstorm or collect ideas on other innovative ideas on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here (quick start- no membership required!).
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If It Were My Home - Disasters - Andy Lintner

Grades
6 to 12
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Put a known disaster into perspective. What would a disaster look like in your area? Choose from the Pakistan Flood or the BP Oil Spill. Be sure to click YES ...more
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Put a known disaster into perspective. What would a disaster look like in your area? Choose from the Pakistan Flood or the BP Oil Spill. Be sure to click YES for the map to be able to find your location. Use the blue buttons above the map to either move the disaster or put it in your actual location. Click Put It Back In ... to restore the map. Be sure to click Compare Living Conditions in Pakistan to compare other areas to Pakistan
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tag(s): disasters (37), floods (5), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to show the disaster placed over where students live. Discuss the areas that would be affected, noting waterways, major buildings or attractions, and how the area would be affected by such a disaster. Have a discussion about short term and long term effects on the environment, jobs, and people's lives. Provide time for students to choose locations in the world to place the disasters. Search the various areas for jobs, agriculture, attractions, and native animals/plants that are affected. Identify how all disasters are devastating no matter where they are, including research on other problems that occur after the disaster. Write a letter to the editor expressing viewpoints of a disaster. Learn about how to best prepare and handle a disaster. Identify the different cultures in areas of the US and elsewhere and how relief needs can be different.

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Gas Prices/Fuel Economy - US Department of Energy

Grades
4 to 12
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Find great information on the factors that affect gas prices and ways to improve fuel economy! Be sure to click on Gas Mileage Tips for great ways to improve fuel ...more
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Find great information on the factors that affect gas prices and ways to improve fuel economy! Be sure to click on Gas Mileage Tips for great ways to improve fuel economy. Use the Fuel Cost Calculator to identify changes in miles per gallon when making changes in improving fuel economy. View the frequently asked questions in Understanding Gas Prices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): energy (180), fossil fuels (16), resources (106)

In the Classroom

Provide time for students to view the suggestions in Gas Mileage Tips and then report to the class about their findings. Create a survey for students to participate in (if at a high school) or to observe their parents driving patterns. Use a tool such as SurveyRock, reviewed here. Encourage students to suggest tips that their families can use to increase their gas mileage. Research the types of cars found in other countries and the average mile per gallon of the cars driven. Also, research the gas prices/gas tax in other countries to identify how gas prices/taxes lead to better choices in cars and driving practices.

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Water Use It Wisely - Park & Co

Grades
1 to 12
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Find an impressive amount of information about water conservation on this site. Though created for conservation in Arizona, the information is applicable to a variety of areas. This...more
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Find an impressive amount of information about water conservation on this site. Though created for conservation in Arizona, the information is applicable to a variety of areas. This is a hot topic in many locations suffering through droughts. Be sure to look at the latest news and information in the energy saving toolkit. The toolkit includes interactive activities to teach water conservation. Find 100+ ways to conserve in the tab along the top and numerous resources under the Kids and Resources tabs.

tag(s): conservation (122), natural resources (56), water (122)

In the Classroom

Use the information from this site for inspiration in the creation of digital or conventional posters for water conservation. Create a campaign for increasing water conservation in school and at home. Survey the school community on their water usage using a tool such as SurveyRock, reviewed here. Calculate the amount of water saved as a Math activity. Use this site on a computer during learning centers when studying other environmental issues.
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Interactive Sites for Education - Clouds, Condensation, Evaporation, and the Water Cycle - Interactive Sites

Grades
1 to 8
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This tool features a dozen interactive activities for learning about the water cycle. Click each separate part of the chosen interactive to learn about the parts of the water cycle,...more
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This tool features a dozen interactive activities for learning about the water cycle. Click each separate part of the chosen interactive to learn about the parts of the water cycle, how these parts are connected together, follow a water molecule through the cycle, and more. Learn about clouds and play a cloud match game or perform experiments learning about evaporation. Information is read aloud, so get your ear-buds ready!

tag(s): natural resources (56), water (122), water cycle (31), watersheds (16)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to find activities for students to learn about the water cycle. Use this at the beginning of a unit to collect basic information as students play with the interactive. After some time with the activity, students can think/pair/share information they learned, and then share it with the class. Use this tool at the end of a unit as a review for students.
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ABC Splash - ABC TV and Radio Australia

Grades
K to 10
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ABC Splash is a large educational website from Australia containing videos, games, and audio clips. Special sections for parents include informational articles, teaching resources,...more
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ABC Splash is a large educational website from Australia containing videos, games, and audio clips. Special sections for parents include informational articles, teaching resources, and education news. Choose from primary or secondary level to view offerings sorted into categories or go to games and sort by topic or grade level to find resources. Register on the site to store and save favorite activities for later use. The site was created in the Australia, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.

tag(s): addition (232), animals (253), antarctica (27), atmosphere (26), australia (28), cells (100), climate change (57), continents (47), counting (119), decimals (130), division (159), earth (220), earthquakes (44), ecosystems (81), egypt (66), energy (180), environment (305), food chains (19), forces (33), forensics (27), fossil fuels (16), gold rush (16), human body (104), immigration (54), insects (65), light (44), maps (264), molecules (39), money (180), multiplication (210), nuclear energy (22), nutrition (149), oceans (135), parts of speech (67), percent (77), perimeter (28), place value (56), plants (131), probability (121), rhymes (34), rocks (44), songs (48), sound (91), subtraction (192), time (139), vietnam (34), volcanoes (57), weather (181), whole numbers (16), world war 1 (46), world war 2 (143)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Share this link on your class web page and/or in a parent newsletter for help with homework and school projects. These high-quality media resources will engage your students and enhance their learning.
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