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Fossil Tools and Resources

Grades
9 to 12
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Geological secrets are revealed in this informative site that presents a wealth of information about the search for and interpretation of fossils. Features include a guide for beginners,...more
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Geological secrets are revealed in this informative site that presents a wealth of information about the search for and interpretation of fossils. Features include a guide for beginners, a collection of fossil myths, a glossary, fossil-themed games and activities, and much more. A nice addition to an earth science unit.

tag(s): fossils (46), geology (82), paleontology (42)

In the Classroom

This site is the perfect addition to any classroom learning about paleontology or archeology. Divide students into cooperative learning groups, and allow them to explore the site on classroom computers. Have students create a digital book of what they learned using a digital such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Online Marine Picture Book

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6 to 8
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This online introduction to marine life, designed by and for middle school kids, is an excellent primer for field trip excursions to tidal pools. If traveling to the coast is ...more
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This online introduction to marine life, designed by and for middle school kids, is an excellent primer for field trip excursions to tidal pools. If traveling to the coast is not an option, the online slideshow provides photos and descriptions that are the next best thing to being there. Caution: the site contains several inactive links to videos and related resources.

tag(s): animals (290), habitats (85)

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Back to the Sea of Cortez - Jon Christenson

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9 to 12
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The famous 1940 expedition around Baja California, made by John Steinbeck and Edward Ricketts, was carefully retraced by a team of biologists in spring of 2004. Their observations of...more
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The famous 1940 expedition around Baja California, made by John Steinbeck and Edward Ricketts, was carefully retraced by a team of biologists in spring of 2004. Their observations of invertebrates found along the intertidal zone are documented in an online log. Visitors can compare the recent findings with what Steinbeck recorded in his 1951 book, The Log from the Sea of Cortez. This site provides a great opportunity to integrate environmental science and literature.

tag(s): ecosystems (86)

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Dinosaur! - NPS

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5 to 12
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There is much to explore in this impressive site from the National Park Service that takes visitors on a multimedia tour of the Dinosaur National Monument. The multimedia features are...more
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There is much to explore in this impressive site from the National Park Service that takes visitors on a multimedia tour of the Dinosaur National Monument. The multimedia features are especially riveting. Students can follow the experiences of a fossil, from the point at which it is discovered, to its placement in the museum. A video clip highlights the amazing work being done by paleontologists, and an interactive sketch allows visitors to explore an artist's conception of the prehistoric landscape. A dinosaur family tree and geologic timeline are also included.

tag(s): dinosaurs (57), fossils (46), paleontology (42)

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Jetstream - NOAA

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6 to 12
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Weather and weather safety are explored in this site that takes the mystery out of natural phenomena (like hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms), reducing them to clearly presented...more
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Weather and weather safety are explored in this site that takes the mystery out of natural phenomena (like hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms), reducing them to clearly presented "life-cycles" and lists of ingredients. Air masses, wind patterns, and cloud formations are also discussed along with more global information about large-scale weather patterns. Each well-illustrated topic is followed by frequently asked questions and interactive quizzes. A helpful index provides a glossary, common weather acronyms, and answers to review quizzes.

tag(s): air (160), hurricanes (40), tornadoes (17)

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Virtual Geology

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7 to 12
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What a great addition to an earth science textbook! This site offers virtual field trips that highlight geologic phenomena from around the world. Use the site's links and images to...more
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What a great addition to an earth science textbook! This site offers virtual field trips that highlight geologic phenomena from around the world. Use the site's links and images to show your students examples of sediments and sedimentary rocks. Information on environmental geology, as well as additional links to related educational sites is currently not available; however, this work in progress is worth adding to your toolbox of ideas.

tag(s): fossils (46), geology (82), rocks (50)

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SOFIA Kid's Page - USGS

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1 to 6
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Introduce your students to the ecosystems, animals, and water systems of South Florida with this site created by the United States Geological Survey. Many diverse habitats are profiled,...more
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Introduce your students to the ecosystems, animals, and water systems of South Florida with this site created by the United States Geological Survey. Many diverse habitats are profiled, including coral reefs, mangroves, freshwater marshes and swamps, and pinelands. Kids can meet the various critters that make their homes in these habitats, play a variety of interactive games, print out animal coloring sheets, and take several virtual tours.

tag(s): coral (11), florida (11), mars (42), reefs (7)

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Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets - National Greographic

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1 to 12
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The National Geographic Society designed this interactive site to provide background information for those who are planning a visit to the Canyon. But the impressive online tour of...more
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The National Geographic Society designed this interactive site to provide background information for those who are planning a visit to the Canyon. But the impressive online tour of the South Rim is a useful tool for introducing students to the geography of the American south west. Students can learn about the physical features and plants and animals indigenous to the region. Just for fun, the site also includes Kids' Canyon, a collection of activities, print-and-go coloring pages, screensavers, and wallpapers. Be sure to investigate the K-12 lesson plans, aligned to National Geography Standards.

tag(s): geology (82)

In the Classroom

Beyond lesson plans, use the virtual map over the interactive whiteboard to show students the details of the canyon. Allow students to navigate through the site individually, picking which direction they want to explore first. Be sure to let the students work the interactive whiteboard - participation in technology often heightens interest. This would be a great way to introduce the material being studied.
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Changing World - BBC

Grades
7 to 12
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This interactive walk through 65 million years of history reveals just how very much things have changed during Earth's geologic lifetime. Beginning with the death of the dinosaurs,...more
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This interactive walk through 65 million years of history reveals just how very much things have changed during Earth's geologic lifetime. Beginning with the death of the dinosaurs, students can explore seven major geologic periods as a continual timeline or in segments. Interactive maps allow users to experience the continental shuffle, the many geologic changes that affected our earth, and the evolution of life forms.

tag(s): fossils (46), logic (239), paleontology (42)

In the Classroom

There are TONS of interactive games and activities on this site that could easily be utilized in the classroom. Search through the site to find one that is fitting for your class, and save it as a favorite on classroom computers to be used as a learning center or station. Teachers could even introduce the activity on the interactive whiteboard first to give students a better idea of what they will be doing and how this corresponds to the unit. Almost all would be great for a review.
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Severe and Hazardous Weather - University of Illinois

Grades
6 to 12
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This extensive Web site contains information about many types of weather phenomena and provides impressive photographs, animations, and demonstrations. Explanations of weather maps,...more
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This extensive Web site contains information about many types of weather phenomena and provides impressive photographs, animations, and demonstrations. Explanations of weather maps, high and low pressure systems, air masses and fronts, El Nino and La Nina, are included along with current weather, future forecasts, and archived data.

tag(s): floods (8), hurricanes (40), tornadoes (17), weather (194)

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Baytrippers - Maryland PTV

Grades
3 to 8
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With this online, interactive field trip to the Chesapeake Bay students can investigate how the Bay has evolved, board a virtual sail boat to discover the life of the estuary, ...more
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With this online, interactive field trip to the Chesapeake Bay students can investigate how the Bay has evolved, board a virtual sail boat to discover the life of the estuary, and learn about the changing ecology of the region and what can be done to keep the watershed healthy. Visit the "Parents and Teachers" link for lesson plans (aligned to national standards), activities, helpful tips for teaching science, and a glossary of related terms.

tag(s): chesapeake bay (4), ecology (135), water (130), watersheds (16)

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Eyewitness to History - Union of Concerned Scientists

Grades
9 to 12
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Add this eye-opening, interactive map to a lesson on environmental science, or weather and climate. Local and regional consequences of global climate change are illustrated through...more
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Add this eye-opening, interactive map to a lesson on environmental science, or weather and climate. Local and regional consequences of global climate change are illustrated through factual reports of climactic events that are divided into two groups: fingerprints (those indicating trends toward global warming) and harbingers (those directly foreshadowing climate changes). The site also includes downloadable curriculum materials for high school teachers.

tag(s): climate (91)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered on this site! This site would also be interesting as a prompt for a class debate on the political impacts of global warming and what or if the government should do anything about it. Separate students into groups, assigning a pro and con side to the debate. Provide students with resources, this being one of them to help them tailor the arguments before they begin. What's great about this site is that it has a lot of basic definitions and current examples that would allow students to really grasp the concept and their arguments. Civics and Geography teachers will find this useful.
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World Wildlife Fund Games - WWF

Grades
2 to 6
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Use these fun and interactive games to teach your students about biodiversity and conservation. Kids can tour a virtual house to discover how our lifestyles affect the planet; guess...more
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Use these fun and interactive games to teach your students about biodiversity and conservation. Kids can tour a virtual house to discover how our lifestyles affect the planet; guess the identity of endangered species; trace and capture wildlife smugglers; match tree trivia to correct rain forest species; and much, much more. Use as an independent enrichment activity during an environmental science unit.

tag(s): biodiversity (38), conservation (128), diversity (35)

In the Classroom

Use the trivia games to help students review about the animal kingdom. The tiger trivia game could be played on the interactive whiteboard or individually on classroom computers. As a cumulative activity, have students create their own trivia game or quiz about the subject - based on what they think is most important, or should be on a test.

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Virtual Oil Well - American Geological Institute

Grades
9 to 12
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This fun and interactive game presents students with a real-life scenario: You have inherited two million dollars and mineral rights to an eight-square mile tract of land; however,...more
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This fun and interactive game presents students with a real-life scenario: You have inherited two million dollars and mineral rights to an eight-square mile tract of land; however, to collect the inheritance, you must commit to drilling for oil on the land. The objective is to find the oil before your money runs out. The site provides guidance in the form of a glossary, background information, and virtual consultants, but the task is anything but easy! This is truly a challenging and thought-provoking activity that will strengthen your students' problem-solving skills and reveal the complex process behind drilling for oil. You might want to divide your class into small groups for this interactive experience.

tag(s): energy (202), fossil fuels (18), geology (82), oil (43), oil spill (20)

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Backyard Nature

Grades
5 to 9
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Life science teachers can find a wide variety of information about many aspects of the natural world in this well-organized site. Topics include geology, plants, fungi, animals, and...more
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Life science teachers can find a wide variety of information about many aspects of the natural world in this well-organized site. Topics include geology, plants, fungi, animals, and naming/classifying living things. A section on "tools" provides guidance in selecting the proper items for successful nature study (i.e., field guides, binoculars, notebooks). Most importantly, all of the information is geared toward understanding nature in your own backyard (or schoolyard!). Encourage your students to check out the link to 101 Nature-Oriented Things to Do for some great science-based ideas on how to fill those long summer days.

tag(s): animals (290), classification (25), plants (155)

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Cloud Types - NASA

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6 to 12
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This outstanding interactive, multimedia slide-show presents a wealth of information about cloud types through audio, photographs, and diagrams. The tutorial can be easily projected...more
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This outstanding interactive, multimedia slide-show presents a wealth of information about cloud types through audio, photographs, and diagrams. The tutorial can be easily projected in the classroom, or students can explore it independently in the computer lab (head phones are recommended). Students may choose to view the text associated with the audio, pause the show at any time, or visit related links. A text transcript of the audio used throughout the entire tutorial can be printed.

tag(s): atmosphere (29), weather (194)

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Smokey Kids - USDA Forest Service

Grades
1 to 6
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Elementary students can learn about the importance of America's forests while gaining an understanding of how fire can threaten and destroy this valuable resource. The site offers a...more
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Elementary students can learn about the importance of America's forests while gaining an understanding of how fire can threaten and destroy this valuable resource. The site offers a series of on-line, interactive "Campfire Games" that educate and entertain, as well as puzzles and printable coloring book pages. Visit the "Only You" section to learn about the science of forest fires, discover how some are actually beneficial, and find out how to prevent disastrous wildfires.

tag(s): fire (27), forests (29), safety (91)

In the Classroom

Use the games as a learning center as part of a unit or lesson on fire safety and prevention. Have students complete the games in pairs, letting them pick which of the games they want to play in the given time.

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Periodical Cicada Page - University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

Grades
6 to 12
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Most of your students have not had the pleasure of meeting and greeting those prolific and vocal insects that appear just once every 13 or 17 years in the eastern ...more
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Most of your students have not had the pleasure of meeting and greeting those prolific and vocal insects that appear just once every 13 or 17 years in the eastern half of the United States. This site profiles these infamous flying, plant-sucking creatures that can wreak havoc among trees and shrubs. Use this resource to introduce students to the behavior, distribution and damaging effects of the cicada. Many images and sound bytes of cicada songs are also included.

tag(s): insects (71)

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Virtual Cave - Djuna Bewley and Dave Bunnell

Grades
6 to 12
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From the safety of the computer lab, students can investigate some of the world's most intriguing underground realms. Lava tube, erosional, sea, and solution caves are represented with...more
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From the safety of the computer lab, students can investigate some of the world's most intriguing underground realms. Lava tube, erosional, sea, and solution caves are represented with images, descriptions, and virtual tours. Learn about the physical structures that may be encountered along the way, including conulites, helictites, and stalagmites. Use the virtual cave maps to navigate through the underground rooms and click on the features you would like to learn more about. The images are spectacular but students will have to read through the explanatory text to get the most out of the virtual tours. This would be a useful site to explore before an actual trip to a local cave.

tag(s): caves (6)

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Facing the Future: People and the Planet

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5 to 12
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Help students recognize that Earth Day is every day with this thought-provoking resource that addresses the interconnections between the environment, population, poverty, consumption...more
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Help students recognize that Earth Day is every day with this thought-provoking resource that addresses the interconnections between the environment, population, poverty, consumption and conflict. Start with the Teacher's Corner page which provides an impressive collection of downloadable activities and interdisciplinary lesson plans aligned to national standards (click on "download curriculum" to access this feature). Informational text is provided in both 60 second and in depth versions. Choose based on the reading lefel of your students. Check out the "Service Learning" opportunities for practical ideas on engaging your students in critical local and global issues. Created by Facing the Future, a non-profit organization.

tag(s): environment (318), population (62)

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