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National Environmental Education Week - National Environmental Education Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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Join Environmental Education Week which is held the week before Earth Day. Get involved in Education Week programs by registering your school and classrooms. Find curricula, webinars,...more
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Join Environmental Education Week which is held the week before Earth Day. Get involved in Education Week programs by registering your school and classrooms. Find curricula, webinars, and resources under the "Resources" tab. Click on the resource list on the left for Educational materials including a Curricular Library, Green Reading, Nature Center Maps, Quizzes, and more. Be sure to subscribe to their monthly newsletter. Lesson plans and other activities can be downloaded.

tag(s): earth (228), earth day (112), ecology (135), environment (317), resources (112), water (130)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to plan great activities, lessons, and events for students leading up to Earth Day. For example, search through the Water resources to find great curricula for different age groups and be sure to use resources such as the "Water-Energy connection" to tie various resources together for better understanding of how resources and our use of them are interconnected. Use the articles and reports to pique student interest, use short videos in the classroom, and find great websites and programs linked from the page. Find lesson plans and fact sheets that can be downloaded and used. Use these resources not only for greater understanding of issues but to create awareness campaigns for change in the home, school, or community. Create posters of information learned, partner with local groups (conservation or not) to create action plans and events, and provide opportunities for change in the community. Have your students create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Science Facts - Science Facts, Part of the Cool Facts Network

Grades
7 to 12
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Science Facts is a great site for "inquiring minds." It is a simple collection of random science questions with pictures and answers. There are lots of links, and hours could ...more
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Science Facts is a great site for "inquiring minds." It is a simple collection of random science questions with pictures and answers. There are lots of links, and hours could be spent exploring this easy to navigate site. Most questions found here are about science, but there are some interesting and thought provoking math questions too!

One caution: the comment area is not censored, and there are some comments that are not nice. You may want to use this site as a resource where you as the adult control the amount of information that is shared and seen with the students. Also, this site can be a bit slow to open and does include unobtrusive advertisements in the sidebar.

In the Classroom

Use this site to offer a question related to the day's topic at the beginning of class. Post the question on the interactive whiteboard or projector either in a document or a slide creation tool, and have students think and brainstorm ideas. Challenge students to create and share a concept map using a tool such as scribblar (reviewed here). Have students partner with two other students and share ideas and concept maps. Then, have the groups share their ideas with the class. Once ample time has been given for this, teach the lesson on the topic. Some of the questions found here could make great essential questions to focus an entire unit. The nice part is there is a direct answer that you can share with your students at the conclusion of the unit. Have them create their own Q/A for units using this format on a class wiki.

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Google Treks - Dr. Alice Christie

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K to 12
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GoogleTreks allows teachers and students to synthesize information in one easy-to-use Google Map that places text, pictures, audio files, video files, and much more in one central location....more
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GoogleTreks allows teachers and students to synthesize information in one easy-to-use Google Map that places text, pictures, audio files, video files, and much more in one central location. This site offers possibilities for exploration in all subject areas for all grades. The site is organized by both subject and grade-level tasks. Currently there are only a few examples to follow; however, they offer a variety of material and ideas for creating your own Google Trek or for students to create their own. After choosing a pre-made GoogleTrek, you are directed to a Google Map with different tasks and links.

There is an excellent tutorial for creating your own GoogleTrek that includes step-by-step directions with pictures. After creating a GoogleTrek, it can be posted to the site for others to use. Also included is a rubric that can be downloaded in pdf form. More information on Google Maps can be found at the TeachersFirst review. You can also view the maps in Google Earth. To learn more about Google Earth, see the TeachersFirst review (here).

tag(s): maps (288)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore independently or in small groups. Older students can create their own GoogleTrek after viewing examples for any subject. To post the GoogleTrek, you must email the creator (directions are explicitly explained on the "Posting Your Own GoogleTrek" link. Have students create GoogleTrek's about Christmas Around the World, routes of explorers, famous landmarks, and important inventions. While presenting a GoogleTrek, have students identify points displayed on paper maps located at their seats.

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Violent Hawaii - Public Broadcasting Service

Grades
8 to 12
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This PBS Episode, Violent Hawaii, provides a great video for teaching about volcanoes and other tectonic plate action. It includes a lesson plan which has a variety of websites that...more
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This PBS Episode, Violent Hawaii, provides a great video for teaching about volcanoes and other tectonic plate action. It includes a lesson plan which has a variety of websites that are utilized as well as important video clips from the full episode. Sometimes just a clip is enough, even though from the people at PBS, everything is educationally good. There is a link to a second lesson plan, however, that did not open at the time of this review.

tag(s): disasters (39), geology (81), natural disasters (20), plate tectonics (23)

In the Classroom

When teaching about plate tectonics and associated natural disasters, check this site out with your students. Share parts of the video or use it in its entirety. Share the video (or clips) on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use some or all of the websites from the lesson plan. The Shape It Up site is a great interactive - don't miss it! Have cooperative learning groups investigate different parts of this site and create multimedia presentations about their topic. Create a Word Cloud describing some keywords and phrases found in their research. Have students use a tool such as wordle reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Aurora Maker - Mr. Nussbaum

Grades
4 to 12
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Create a Northern Lights display by combining hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and helium at this interactive visual site. Besides combining or adding the elements, you also control the intensity...more
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Create a Northern Lights display by combining hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and helium at this interactive visual site. Besides combining or adding the elements, you also control the intensity and location of the oxygen input. Just type your name in and get started! "Control" a virtual aurora borealis, even if you live somewhere that you will never see the real thing.

tag(s): atmosphere (26), earth (228)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit on creating auroras and the earth's atmosphere. Share this unique visual display on a projector or interactive whiteboard. ESL/ELL students will enjoy trying this site on their own since it is language free. Have students keep detailed notes of their findings when combining certain elements at varying intensities.
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Lino - Infoteria Corporation

Grades
K to 12
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Create online sticky type bulletin boards to view from any online device using Lino. Click to try it first without even joining. The trial canvas has stickies explaining how to ...more
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Create online sticky type bulletin boards to view from any online device using Lino. Click to try it first without even joining. The trial canvas has stickies explaining how to use Lino. Join and create your own canvases to share stickies, reminders, files, and more. Change sticky colors from the menu in the upper right hand corner or use the easy editing tools that appear when the sticky is selected. Use the icons at the bottom of each sticky note to "peel them off," share, edit, and more. Create a group from your Lino page to share and collaborate on canvases. You can also share canvases publicly so anyone with the URL can participate. This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.

tag(s): collages (17), creative fluency (8), creativity (109), DAT device agnostic tool (196), gamification (65), note taking (32)

In the Classroom

Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Students can use this when researching alone or in groups, sharing files, videos, and pictures quickly from one computer to another. Have students write tasks for each member of the group on a sticky so that everyone has a responsibility. Show them how to copy/paste URLs for sources onto notes, too. Use Lino as your virtual word wall for vocabulary development. Use a Lino for students to submit and share questions or comments about assignments and tasks they are working on. Use it as a virtual graffiti wall for students to make connections between their world and curriculum content, such as "I wonder what the hall monitor would say finding Lady Macbeth washing her hands in the school restroom... and what Lady M would say back." (Of course, you will want to have a PG-13 policy for student comments!) Encourage students to maintain an idea collection lino for ideas and creative inspirations they may not have used yet but do not want to "lose." They can color code and organize ideas later or send the stickies to a new project board later. In writing or art classes, use lino as a virtual writer's journal or design a notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips. In science classes, encourage students to keep a lino board with (classroom appropriate) questions and "aside" thoughts about science concepts being studied and to use these ideas in later projects so their creative ideas are not 'lost" before project time. A lino board can also serve as a final online "display" for students to "show what they know" as the culmination of a research project. Add videos, images, and notes in a carefully arranged display not unlike an electronic bulletin board. This is also a great tool to help you stay "personally" organized. Use this site as a resource to share information with other teachers, parents, or students.

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Cavern Tours - Sierra Nevada Recreation Corporation

Grades
4 to 8
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This fun website about caves and caverns provides background information about one what may find in a cave, different mineral and rock formations, and inhabitants of caves. Find basic...more
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This fun website about caves and caverns provides background information about one what may find in a cave, different mineral and rock formations, and inhabitants of caves. Find basic information, activities, experiments, and quizzes about caves. The quizzes have many pictures and there are even some printable activities. There are eve some cave art activities and cave related puzzles. Warning: this site may make you want to tour a cave!

tag(s): animals (276), caves (5), earth (228), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Use this site to show kids who are going on a field trip to a cave a little of what to expect. Or have students use this website as a virtual cave field trip. Assign student groups topics to pay special attention to during their exploration of the website. Have groups share with the class on their new found area of expertise. Have your students create an interactive online cave poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Kid's Science Challenge - Jim Metzner Productions, Inc.

Grades
3 to 6
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Looking for a way to engage your students in science beyond the classroom? Even if you have missed the deadline for this year there is still a lot of great ...more
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Looking for a way to engage your students in science beyond the classroom? Even if you have missed the deadline for this year there is still a lot of great videos and activities to share with your students year round. The Kid's Science Challenge is a yearly event where third to sixth graders can enter science experiments or questions for real life scientists to solve. The site itself is colorful and fun. There are three samples of sorts for students, teachers, and parents to look at to spark ideas. Three topics currently on the website include sound, sports, and microbes. The time line for this event is: July begins the challenge process, registration is open until October 1st, judging begins on February 28th, and on May 2nd the winner is announced. The site encourages parents to register with their email address for their child. Teachers can also register their students. There are free prizes for teachers who can get ten students to submit entries. Don't miss this fantastic elementary science site!

tag(s): scientists (68)

In the Classroom

Excite students about science by encouraging them to participate in this challenge. Integrate it as part of the science curriculum. Take your own science fair to the next level by having the students that place high in your own fair submit their ideas and experiments to the Kid's Science Challenge. If your available time is out of sync with the challenge, you could still have students create science experiments to share with the class. Video the winners and share on a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
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Surfing Scientist - ABC Science

Grades
3 to 12
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Find a variety of science resources on this great site. Explore the Tricks, Conundrums, Demos, Lesson Plans, and Videos about Science. Many of the resources include an Adobe PDF file...more
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Find a variety of science resources on this great site. Explore the Tricks, Conundrums, Demos, Lesson Plans, and Videos about Science. Many of the resources include an Adobe PDF file that can be downloaded.

tag(s): experiments (71)

In the Classroom

Use many of these resources for brain teasers, mind stretchers, or anticipatory sets to initiate class. Encourage students to brainstorm, explain, and even blog their reactions to these resources. Provide time for students to work out the science behind the demonstrations. Consider creating little podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here), with students demonstrating end explaining the science to show true understanding.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Snow School - Winter Wildlands Alliance

Grades
3 to 6
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Snow School is a program run by educators across the country that enables students to attend actual classes with hands-on learning to find out about living creatures under the snow....more
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Snow School is a program run by educators across the country that enables students to attend actual classes with hands-on learning to find out about living creatures under the snow. The site contains links to programs run in 48 states and can be used to sign up individual classrooms to participate in their area. Even if your class doesn't participate, there are 2 important sections of the site that can be used in any classroom. The first area is For Teachers. This section contains links to lesson plans that allow students to explore the snow outdoors of their classroom, snow science experiments and activities, and links to other resources for teachers. The second area is For Kids. Here kids can learn how snowshoes work, find activities to do in the snow, and links to other resources.

tag(s): density (20), snow (21)

In the Classroom

PE teachers can use the activities area for suggestions on teaching students games and other things to do on a snowy day. The Snow Science sections contains many experiments to perform in Science class that can be related to weather units, chemistry units, and animal units. Take your class outside after a snow to perform experiments in density, insulation, and snow melt included on the site or look for animal prints to identify.

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All About Snow - National Snow and Ice Data Center

Grades
3 to 12
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Everything you wanted to know about snow can be found in this informative site. The site is divided into easy to use sections containing facts, questions and answers, a gallery, ...more
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Everything you wanted to know about snow can be found in this informative site. The site is divided into easy to use sections containing facts, questions and answers, a gallery, and other useful links. The range of topics goes from blizzards to snow formations. Especially informative is the question and answer section where readers can find the answer to questions from "How big can a snowflake get?" to "Is it ever too cold to snow?"

tag(s): snow (21), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Ask students to write their own questions about snow and research the information on this site. This is a perfect site to include with any winter activities. Ask students to locate the places mentioned in the gallery on a map. Have students research a historic snowstorm from a specific geographical location and use an online mapping tool to tell the class about the winter event (and location). Try a tool such as MapSkip (reviewed here). Use the site when teaching a unit on weather (or winter Olympics) for factual information about snow using the resources link. Extend the snow "storm" with snowflake interactives such as Make a Flake, reviewed here.

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Up the Creek - New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy

Grades
8 to 11
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Up the Creek is an informative, cartooned look at biodiversity. While the cartoon is made in and for New Zealand, the concepts and ideas are still good for teaching biodiversity ...more
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Up the Creek is an informative, cartooned look at biodiversity. While the cartoon is made in and for New Zealand, the concepts and ideas are still good for teaching biodiversity anywhere. In fact, since this is in a slightly different setting than the United States, it is interesting to see that the environmental protection practices tend to be the same. There are some native, Maori words and unfamiliar terms for North American kids, however they can easily be understood through context clues or having students research them from the computer.

tag(s): biodiversity (38), diversity (36), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Try having students work through the cartoon tour of the New Zealand environment, having them keep a graphic organizer comparing the biodiversity and environmental practices to those that are practiced in their community or state. Challenge students to compare using a tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Have students research unfamiliar terms. Perhaps share what you are doing in science a cultures class and work with them to create a mini culture lesson to pair up with your biodiversity lesson.
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Study Jams Science - Scholastic

Grades
3 to 8
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This site provides excellent practice and review with different Science topics. Topics include plants, human body, the solar system, weather, matter and more. After choosing a topic,...more
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This site provides excellent practice and review with different Science topics. Topics include plants, human body, the solar system, weather, matter and more. After choosing a topic, various additional choices are offered. For example, under Force and Matter options are available to choose inertia, action and reaction, simple machines, acceleration, and gravity and inertia. Key vocabulary is presented along with a short video explanation of the topic. Don't miss the "karaoke" videos about each topic - sure to delight students (and teachers). In addition to the video, there is an option to test your own ability. Each topic can also be printed to use in the classroom and there is a link to related "jams."

tag(s): earth (228), ecosystems (88), inquiry (37), matter (56), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a Science unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Share the videos and/or karaoke with your students. Have students sing along and learn more about science. Especially younger students will enjoy this feature. Create a link to the site on your classroom website or blog for students to use for review and practice at home. Include a link on your classroom newsletter so that parents can use the site at home with their student. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. View the videos on your interactive whiteboard, print out the quizzes for students to take as an assessment.
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Wolf Quest - Minnesota Zoo

Grades
3 to 8
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Can you survive the call of the wild as a wolf? This exciting, interactive game (requires download) is a 3D wildlife simulation that allows you to learn about the life ...more
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Can you survive the call of the wild as a wolf? This exciting, interactive game (requires download) is a 3D wildlife simulation that allows you to learn about the life of a wolf in Yellowstone Park. In the first episode, players learn how to survive in the wild and find a mate. Episode two delves further into a wolves life where they will now establish a den, find a mate and raise pups. There is also an online community where players can share artwork, take online quizzes, compete for prizes and more. The site also has many educational materials to be used in the classroom. Note - the game has to be downloaded to your computer before playing.

tag(s): animals (276)

In the Classroom

Share this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to an animal unit or geography unit about the western United States. Use material from the site's photo and video gallery to support student's research.
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CO2 Science - Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change

Grades
4 to 12
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CO2 Science offers journal reviews on environmental topics, an online environmentally minded journal, and under the education tab some excellent laboratory ideas. There are videos,...more
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CO2 Science offers journal reviews on environmental topics, an online environmentally minded journal, and under the education tab some excellent laboratory ideas. There are videos, weekly blog entries, an educational center, and more. This is a great teacher and high school student resource.

tag(s): carbon (21), climate (92), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Integrate different activities from the education section into your classroom. Use the readings for older students as they are far above the reading level of elementary and early middle school students. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate on article/blog topic and create a multimedia presentation. Have your students create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here.
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Explore the Night Sky Simulator - Physic.org

Grades
5 to 12
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Struggling to find a way to teach astronomy during the day in the classroom? This night sky simulator is a great option to assigning star gazing as homework. This way ...more
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Struggling to find a way to teach astronomy during the day in the classroom? This night sky simulator is a great option to assigning star gazing as homework. This way you can ensure that your students are viewing accurate representations of the night sky. The best way to run this in class is to leave the lights off and make the room as dark as possible. The simulation is easy to interact with as it has onscreen instructions. The sky is a simulation of the sky over different parts of the United Kingdom. Of course you will want to ask your students on other continents how it may differ from the sky they see! Note: This site may take more than a few second to load. Be patient.

tag(s): planets (123), solar system (119), space (205)

In the Classroom

Have students use this simulation to discuss points such as light pollution and constellations. Try having students compare three different locations, taking screen shots of each location. Then, have them put the pictures into a single document or slide and have them make comparisons. Have students use an online tool to compare the locations such as the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Students can hypothesis as to the causes of differences by investigating the geography, climate, and populations of the area that they are observing.
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WaterWorks - Investigating Fountains - OMSI

Grades
4 to 8
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This site provides six different activities to investigate how water moves. Investigations featured here are simple and cheap to construct. The activities are very open ended and could...more
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This site provides six different activities to investigate how water moves. Investigations featured here are simple and cheap to construct. The activities are very open ended and could be adapted, with good questioning to just about any level. The last link on the page offers two videos with real life applications of the student investigations. This makes for a great inquiry activity.

tag(s): experiments (71), water (130)

In the Classroom

This would fit nicely into a unit on water movement or basic physics. Have students conduct experiments and then debrief by asking why and how the water reacted the way that it did. Have students work in cooperative learning groups and take digital photos throughout their experiment. Then have students narrate the pictures explaining what happened during their experiments. Use a site such as ThingLink, reviewed here, to have students narrate their pictures.
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We Can Waste Wise - Florida PBS Stations in Partnership with DEP

Grades
2 to 5
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"We Can Waste Wise" is a fun, interactive challenge for younger students. This site is created through the partnership of several different concerned companies to promote earth-friendly...more
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"We Can Waste Wise" is a fun, interactive challenge for younger students. This site is created through the partnership of several different concerned companies to promote earth-friendly practices and especially recycling starting at a young age. The game is easy to play and navigate. There are three different levels of recycling that include washing the recyclables, too. After each level of the activity is an informative piece of information that is both in words on the screen and read to you. The final part of the activity is where students can create new characters or machines out of recycled materials. These creations can be emailed to share, but this step is optional.

In the Classroom

Try using this interactive with students as an introduction to a lesson on recycling. Students can make guesses based on what they may already know about recycling and reusing to complete the activity. Teach the lesson on the three R's of reduce, reuse, and recycle. Then have students revisit the activity to see if their scores improve. An extension based on this activity could be to have students research freecycle.org (reviewed here) with their parents. Student could put their unwanted toys or outgrown clothes on freecycle.org with their parents help, or do an outgrown clothes drive for Goodwill or other such organizations.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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CurriConnects - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Use CurriConnects to find books related to curriculum topics or subject areas. Build student literacy skills, reinforce the place of curriculum concepts in other contexts, and help...more
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Use CurriConnects to find books related to curriculum topics or subject areas. Build student literacy skills, reinforce the place of curriculum concepts in other contexts, and help students build the important reading strategy of connecting what they read to prior knowledge. Share CurriConnects as links on your class web page or wiki or share them with school and local libraries where students can select books to accompany what they are studying. Topics include Earth Science, Explorers, Frontiers and Settlers, Geographic Wonders (landforms), Inventors and Inventions, Maps, Math in Use, Medicine and Health, The Artists's Eye (books with outstanding illustrations and books about artists), What Do You Do? (careers). More are being added on an ongoing basis. Grade ranges vary.

tag(s): book lists (126), independent reading (126), reading lists (73)

In the Classroom

Share CurriConnects as links on your class web page or wiki or share them with school and local libraries where students can select books to accompany what they are studying. Explore the many ideas TeachersFirst offers for using CurriConnects in your classroom. Be sure to share these lists with ESL/ELL teachers for reading selections to build student vocabulary and understanding of curriculum.

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Shipwreck Challenge - Museum of Science, Boston

Grades
6 to 8
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Shipwreck Survival is a plan for a great "thinking outside the box" activity to engage your students and promote critical thinking and problem solving skills as part of the engineering...more
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Shipwreck Survival is a plan for a great "thinking outside the box" activity to engage your students and promote critical thinking and problem solving skills as part of the engineering design cycle. The activity itself takes approximately thirty minutes and utilizes every day, reusable items so it is inexpensive. There is a downloadable worksheet that you can print for your students, clear instructions, and great background information. It is an ideal small group or team activity. While this activity in real life would happen outside, the simulation can easily be done indoors with some imagination.

tag(s): creativity (109), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Set up this activity by talking about creative ways to solve problems and using one's imagination, connecting it to what scientists and engineers do. Have your students agree on what parts of the classroom will represent different parts of nature. For example, desks could be trees. Then group students into fours, give them a box of materials, and have them think and then create different survival gear. Debrief the class by having them show their designed gear, explain how and why it would work, and their thought process. Possibly have students summarize their design on a video. Share the videos on a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here). Then, have other groups respond by suggesting improvements or alternative ideas.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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