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We can change the world challenge - Siemens

Grades
5 to 8
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Use the virtual lab activities on the Siemens Challenge website to investigate energy-related topics. Choose from "Wow, Windmills," "How Big Is Your Footprint," "Ponder This," "Everyday...more
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Use the virtual lab activities on the Siemens Challenge website to investigate energy-related topics. Choose from "Wow, Windmills," "How Big Is Your Footprint," "Ponder This," "Everyday Fossil Fuels," "The Ever-changing River," and more. Each activity begins with an introduction, investigation where factors are changed, and results. Registration and login is not required for the virtual labs. A teacher section contains great lesson plans dealing with fuels and biodiversity as well as many others. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): biodiversity (35), conservation (128), diversity (33), ecology (134), energy (203), fossil fuels (18), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Introduce units with the virtual lab to build background information. Assign each group a different factor to manipulate, and have them report back to the class with their results. Students can then identify factors needed to understand the concept as well as questions. Have students research or provide them the information to answer their questions. Use the lesson plan and extension activities for understanding. Students can join in the Siemens Challenge or create a proposal in their community or school to improve use of natural resources and biodiversity.
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Saving electricity - Michael Bluejay

Grades
7 to 12
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Learn the basics of electricity: the meaning of kilowatt hour, reading bills, and identifying how different appliances use electricity. Students can browse a wealth of resources written...more
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Learn the basics of electricity: the meaning of kilowatt hour, reading bills, and identifying how different appliances use electricity. Students can browse a wealth of resources written in easy-to-understand terms on energy saving devices, carbon footprints, and alternate forms of energy.

tag(s): climate (91), climate change (64), conservation (128), electricity (90), energy (203)

In the Classroom

Students can work in groups to research various issues regarding electricity use. Students can create powerpoints, multimedia presentations, or wiki pages to demonstrate what they have learned. Have your students present to members of the class and follow up with a town hall debate concerning household, local, and other decisions concerning electricity use and production.

Have students learn to read their electricity bill and create an action plan to save electricity. Have students journal or blog the changes that were made and the savings in money and pollution. Identify energy wasters at school and formulate a plan to save money and resources. an to save money and resources.

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Moon Olympics - Scholastic

Grades
3 to 8
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This intriguing website shows you various cartoon video clips of sports (such as weight lifting, diving, golfing, and others) being played on Earth. Then you try the same sport on ...more
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This intriguing website shows you various cartoon video clips of sports (such as weight lifting, diving, golfing, and others) being played on Earth. Then you try the same sport on the moon. You are given multiple choice answers to choose from to determine the outcome of the same sport on the moon. Learn about the atmosphere, air, water, gravity, and more.

tag(s): air (150), atmosphere (29), moon (72), sports (98), water (131)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. This is a perfect addition to a physics unit or while teaching about the atmosphere. Take your students to the moon to play a different sport each day and then discuss the science behind that sport on both Earth and the moon. Ask students to predict what will happen before you start the game.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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StarDate Online - McDonald Observatory

Grades
K to 12
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Use this comprehensive site to learn about the planets of the solar system as well as other objects. Use the "Stargazing" tab to view "Weekly Tips," "Sky Almanac," "Constellation Guide,"...more
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Use this comprehensive site to learn about the planets of the solar system as well as other objects. Use the "Stargazing" tab to view "Weekly Tips," "Sky Almanac," "Constellation Guide," "Moon Phases," "Beginner's Guide," and more. Under the "Teacher's" tab use resources such as "Lesson Plans," "Classroom Activities," "StarDate in the Classroom," or "Teacher Workshops." Materials in the teacher section provide activity directions, materials needed, as well. as documents in Adobe pdf format. There are lessons from K-12. In the "Resources" section, you will find a wealth of information and pictures about the Sun, inner planets, outer planets, and minor bodies. View past and future planned space missions. Links to keywords allow for a greater understanding of the material. Activities in the "Resources" section are listed along the side with appropriate ages. Ask Merlin provides questions and their answers. A tab to the "Gift Shop" is available, so students should be cautioned. Some of the classroom activities require Adobe Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): planets (128), solar system (121), space (216)

In the Classroom

Use the activities in the Teacher's resource section to provide background material for understanding Astronomy. Many activities may already be known to the teacher, but these are thoroughly explained. Students could even teach the concepts to their classmates and use these activities as a demonstration.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Hurricane Hunters Association - Hurricane Hunter Association

Grades
4 to 12
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Hurricane Hunters is a resource to find photos and data from past hurricanes. Hurricanes and data are archived by year. Find photos from above a hurricane with logs and information...more
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Hurricane Hunters is a resource to find photos and data from past hurricanes. Hurricanes and data are archived by year. Find photos from above a hurricane with logs and information from the planes that follow the storms. Research more information about science and meteorology by using the multitude of links provided. Real time data of current storm conditions in the world are available on the website. View spectacular photos in the "Photos" section or click on "Questions" to read the most often asked questions and their answers. In the "Questions" is a link to a cyberflight that walks through the before, during, and after of a Hurricane Hunter flight. This site is mostly text and pictures.

A link to a "Hurricane Hunters Gift shop" is found on the main page and students should be advised to avoid such an advertisement. The site requires Flash for storm updates. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): hurricanes (40), weather (198)

In the Classroom

Compare numbers of hurricanes of various years. Plot locations, and storm paths on the same chart (or in Google Earth) to determine the origination point and landfall or end point of the hurricanes to draw conclusions. Use the information to determine the physical characteristics of the hurricanes (instead of looking them up in an encyclopedia). Determine the areas of the world where hurricanes occur in order to understand factors responsible for hurricane formation. Have students track a current hurricane and use information learned on this site to predict the spot where it will make landfall and provide reasoning for their choice.
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Extreme Weather Sourcebook - National Center for Atmospheric Research

Grades
7 to 12
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How many severe weather events occurred in 2001? How much did the damage and clean up cost? Use this site to obtain monetary damages and numbers of events for "Hurricanes," ...more
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How many severe weather events occurred in 2001? How much did the damage and clean up cost? Use this site to obtain monetary damages and numbers of events for "Hurricanes," "Floods," Tornadoes," "Lightning," and "others." Data is given both in table and chart form and is sorted by state.

tag(s): climate (91), disasters (40), natural disasters (19), weather (198)

In the Classroom

Use the data to determine where most severe weather events occur and to determine why they occur in those areas. Research the science behind the events and reasons for the devastation. Have students create an action plan in the event of severe weather or identify ways to lessen devastating effects of some of the events. Students can also research recent year's data and make comparisons of the numbers.

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The Nine Planets - William A. Arnett

Grades
4 to 12
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Here's a planet-by-planet introduction to the solar system which features stunning photographs and supporting content. If you are thinking that there are eight planets and not nine,...more
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Here's a planet-by-planet introduction to the solar system which features stunning photographs and supporting content. If you are thinking that there are eight planets and not nine, you are right, and the website points out that fact. This continually-updated site has much of the latest research on all planets, moons, and other bodies in our solar system. This site goes beyond the pictures that are courtesy of NASA as well as the information learned from countless missions. The site also provides insight into how to view planets with binoculars and other materials as well as information on mythology and history. View the movies provided and listen to the recorded sounds. Gain a renewed appreciation of the solar system using this informative site. This site does include some advertising. But it is not distracting from the great content.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): moon (72), planets (128), solar system (121)

In the Classroom

Want to find updated information about the objects in the solar system? Have your students use this site. Divide your students into groups and have them report on a particular object in the solar system. Have them present a report on one of the 8 planets, as though teaching their peers. Have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here.Consider making a class wiki about the solar system and including drawings or photos your students might create from their observations.
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Mars Today - Spaceref Interactive

Grades
6 to 12
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The Mars Rover is providing information continually. Use this site to keep track of recent findings, developments, and understandings from the Mars Rover. This site appears as a series...more
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The Mars Rover is providing information continually. Use this site to keep track of recent findings, developments, and understandings from the Mars Rover. This site appears as a series of news articles listed in reverse chronological order along with their abstracts. Click on each newsworthy item to learn more information. Additional links are provided in each article. A Spaceref directory can be found that links to additional Mars related topics on the Spacref.com website. There are some advertisements at this website.

tag(s): mars (42), planets (128), solar system (121)

In the Classroom

Students can use this site to challenge previous information or myths with new findings. Have students create a timeline showing the launch, travel, landing, and findings from the Mars rover mission.

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Earthquake - Virtual courseware for Earth and Environmental Sciences

Grades
6 to 12
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This site is an interactive computer program designed to introduce the concepts of how an earthquake epicenter is located and how the Richter magnitude of an earthquake is determined....more
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This site is an interactive computer program designed to introduce the concepts of how an earthquake epicenter is located and how the Richter magnitude of an earthquake is determined. Choose "Demonstration" for background information. View the demonstrations of "Travel Time" and "Epi and Mag" to learn more about earthquakes and how to use the tools. By using the demonstrations, students create data that is graphed and can be analyzed. Problems are presented to the students to determine the epicenter of a specific event. If you wish to not use the demonstration, click on the animations to learn about "SP lag time" and "Latitude and Longitude." Instructors can also register for free on the site and students can take an exam when completed with the activity. Exams will be graded and results reported to the teacher. Click "Instructions" to walk through the registration and use. This site requires Java and Flash. Click the "System Requirements" button to test these programs on your computer before proceeding. If you need Java or Flash, you can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page. NOTE: the site opens slowly. Please be patient, and be sure to check the technical requirements.

tag(s): earth (231), earthquakes (50), geology (81), weather (198)

In the Classroom

Use the data to determine epicenter as well as the magnitude of an event. Use data from other sources to determine the same. Use this demo on your interactive whiteboard or projector after discussing specific information about earthquakes and part of a final project. Use the simulations to learn more about how scientists determine where earthquakes start.
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Understanding Earthquakes - University of California Santa Barbara

Grades
3 to 12
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Want to find more information about Earthquakes? Use the Understanding Earthquakes site to take a small "Quiz," use the rotating "Globe" to view earthquake locations, and read...more
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Want to find more information about Earthquakes? Use the Understanding Earthquakes site to take a small "Quiz," use the rotating "Globe" to view earthquake locations, and read of first hand "Accounts" from a person's perspective. View how earthquakes occur by clicking on "Rebound," or the "History" of past earthquakes since 1910, as well as other informational sites linked in "Others." Site requires Java and Flash. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): earth (231), earthquakes (50), weather (198)

In the Classroom

Use the information as an introductory activity to disasters. Use the data to identify common places where earthquakes occur, research the different types of faults, provide information of the various earthquakes and locations affected, or as a springboard for individual or class projects. Note that much of the information is text-heavy, so younger readers will need assistance reading.
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Dive and Discover - Woods Hole Oceanographic Association

Grades
4 to 12
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What do we see and what can we learn from the Sea floor? Use the Interactive map or the drop down along the top to access past expeditions to the ...more
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What do we see and what can we learn from the Sea floor? Use the Interactive map or the drop down along the top to access past expeditions to the sea floor. Click on the "Dive Into Deeper Discovery" tab to learn more about Deep Ocean Circulation, History of the Earth, Ice Ages, Ships and Technology, among others. Click the "For Teachers" tab to access and view classroom activities to use. The site is updated daily with photos, videos, and research. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Use a single activity, have students collect information as homework, or a class project. Use these activities as an introduction to a science lesson or for application for information learned in class. Some activities have a hands-on component. Create a timeline of information, technology, or history from the dives. Have students use the scientific method to analyze work completed during the dives. Research background science and engineering topics for better understanding of information learned during the explorations. Topics for reports can be found throughout the information. The class can be divided into groups to report on specific aspects of the dive and their information can be reported to the class with the additional background information. Students can keep a journal of information learned and create a poster or model of the information.
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Green City Smackdown - TELUS World of Science

Grades
4 to 8
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The Smackdown is a challenge that pits two cities sustainable practices against each other. By choosing two cities, selected from a list of several in Canada, the goal of the ...more
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The Smackdown is a challenge that pits two cities sustainable practices against each other. By choosing two cities, selected from a list of several in Canada, the goal of the Smackdown is to compare and contrast them to each other using statistics taken from population, labor, housing, water and waste, community, environment, and green mobility to see which community is more sustainable. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): canada (31), earth (231), earth day (113), ecology (134), environment (319), statistics (126), sustainability (19)

In the Classroom

Incorporate these comparisons into lessons based on going green, sustainability, and environmental characteristics. Allow students to predict the Smackdown outcome(s) by selecting cities of their choice and predicting the sustainability success by using deductive reasoning about the characteristics of each city. Have students compile statistics from their own towns and surrounding areas, or "create" an imaginary class town with relevant statistics, in order to conduct their own personal Smackdown. Students can present their Smackdowns via Power Point presentations using various statistical graphs created in Excel.
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Greenraising: Eco-friendly Fundraising - Greenraising

Grades
K to 12
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Why raise funds on items that cause the Earth to frown? Your school fundraising becomes 'green' when you register at this site and start earning funds from eco-conscience shoppers....more
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Why raise funds on items that cause the Earth to frown? Your school fundraising becomes 'green' when you register at this site and start earning funds from eco-conscience shoppers. Your school earns 25% to 40% of all internet or catalog driven sales. (Read the site for details.) Greenraising supplies you with order forms and catalogs if you care to do a catalog drive. It sounds easy, and it definitely is green. TeachersFirst does not ordinarily mention fundraising sites, but the possibilities for a school service project looked interesting enough to list this one.

tag(s): earth (231), earth day (113), ecology (134), environment (319)

In the Classroom

This fundraising organization may be a prudent way to fund your school's wildlife or biology club. Why not kick-off this event near Earth Day? Also, teachers, you can coordinate your recycling and earth-loving lessons around this fundraiser.

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Sea Monsters Virtual Dig - National Geographic

Grades
3 to 12
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Students are always fascinated and intrigued about animals that are extinct. Follow the actual work of paleontologists in this interactive site. Choose a fossil dig site to start from...more
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Students are always fascinated and intrigued about animals that are extinct. Follow the actual work of paleontologists in this interactive site. Choose a fossil dig site to start from "Giant fish's last meal," "Deadly dinosaur duel," or "Dinosaur nest." Read introductions and background information about paleontology. Use the basic tools of paleontology to uncover fossil remains. Move the tools (hammer, pick, and brush) to areas you wish to use them. After clearing enough of the structures, the fossil will automatically be revealed. Move on to the view the steps for the preparation of the shipment of the fossil and the reporting of the findings .

Follow the links along the top to resources and lesson plans for all levels in pdf documents, pictures, movie trailers, and an interactive time line. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. Get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): fossils (44), paleontology (40)

In the Classroom

Use this site to share information about fossil digs. Students can fit these animals into time lines of other animals discussed in class. Use during a unit about ecosystems and food chains as well as how the remains of fossils have become the fuels of today.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Map Collections Home Page - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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The Library of Congress offers this searchable database of historical maps, which includes a large collection of city maps, maps of military battles and campaigns, maps related to transportation...more
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The Library of Congress offers this searchable database of historical maps, which includes a large collection of city maps, maps of military battles and campaigns, maps related to transportation and communication, and maps focused on exploration and discovery. Within each category, you can search geographically or by time period. Each map accessed can be navigated using a zoom feature for better viewing. Maps cover a wide range of national and international subjects.

tag(s): battles (19), environment (319), maps (293), transportation (41)

In the Classroom

Teachers with interactive whiteboards or projectors will find these maps a natural companion to lessons involving history, geography, and cultural changes. Sometimes seeing a map drawn at the same time as the event under discussion can lend a whole new understanding of the culture of the people being studied. It's far more dramatic to imagine sailing into the unknown on a voyage of discovery while you look at the only maps available to those aboard.

Be sure to have students use the whiteboard tools to draw in their own "corrections" or annotations showing the movement of people or strategies used in battles. Since thee resources are in the public domain, you are allowed to copy them into your whiteboard software and keep the student annotations atop the maps, as well. The maps also make good visuals for "mock" blog entries by historical figures!

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Footprints Science - Footprints Science

Grades
4 to 12
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Footprints Science consists of simulations and interactives on many key concepts that are difficult to visualize and understand in Science. The site offers purchase of different modules...more
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Footprints Science consists of simulations and interactives on many key concepts that are difficult to visualize and understand in Science. The site offers purchase of different modules or the complete collection. Samples, however, are free to use. Biology samples include "DNA drag and drop," "Kidney animation," "Fertilisation animation," and "Breathing animation." Chemistry samples include "Periodic Table interactive activity," "States of matter animation," and "Atomic structure activity."Physics samples include "Forces animation," "Power Station animation," and "Phases of Moon animation." Coursework includes "Variables," "Planning," "Graph," and "Line of best fit." More animations and interactives for each subject are available. The items are designed to be used with instruction to make the concepts more engaging. Interactives use drag and drop labeling with immediate feedback and allow pausing to stop the animation. Quizzes and games are also available. Graphics are very well done and easy to see, making difficult concepts much easier to understand. Interactives can be viewed as a large screen. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): charts and graphs (198), dna (68), forces (45), matter (59), moon (72), periodic table (52), variables (21)

In the Classroom

The resource is an exciting add-on to teacher lessons and exceptional when used on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The samples can be used as a pre-lesson for students to obtain the general gist of the concept and brainstorm key points that they recognize from the simulation or interactive. Teachers can then use the student insights to discuss the content being presented and piece together the information. Teachers can also use the samples after original discussion of the content to reinforce material that students should learn and offer a visual representation of the topic. The simulation can also be used as reinforcement. Students can watch the simulation and then "explain the experiment" by putting the concept into their own words to demonstrate understanding.
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The Wilderness Classroom - The Wilderness Classroom Organization

Grades
3 to 8
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The Wilderness Classroom Organization brings educational adventures into the classroom through on-line expeditions. Students can follow expeditions through the Amazon, Peru, Bahamas,...more
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The Wilderness Classroom Organization brings educational adventures into the classroom through on-line expeditions. Students can follow expeditions through the Amazon, Peru, Bahamas, and even dog sledding through Manitoba. The site provides archived experiences along with photos, expedition maps and notes from the trail. There are lesson plans, printable pages, standards, podcasts, video clips, and more. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): amazon (7), mississippi (6), peru (7)

In the Classroom

Use the downloadable lesson plans, printable pages, standards, and kid libraries to organize the unit in conjunction with the expedition. Follow upcoming expeditions in real time live in the classroom. Project the expeditions on an interactive whiteboard or screen. Allow students to participate in scheduled live chat sessions with the expedition members or e-mail them personally, using a class email account or student email within school policies.
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BBC NEWS - Volcanoes - BBC

Grades
2 to 8
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The BBC has created a short, detailed, and interactive slideshow about volcanoes. The ten slides include information about the layers of the Earth, molten rock, magma, eruption clouds,...more
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The BBC has created a short, detailed, and interactive slideshow about volcanoes. The ten slides include information about the layers of the Earth, molten rock, magma, eruption clouds, lava, lahar, active volcanoes, Earth's plates, Ring of Fire, and more. The final slide displays a clickable map to learn about some of the larger and most destructive volcanoes throughout the world. This slideshow requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): fire (27)

In the Classroom

This website is ideal for sharing on an interactive whiteboard or projection screen. Using the clickable map, divide your class into teams and have the teams take turns trying to figure out the continent, country, or body of water where the volcanoes are located. This makes the activity both a science and geography lesson.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Dynamic Earth - Annenberg Media

Grades
4 to 9
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Learn the powerful forces that shape and change the Earth. Dynamic Earth explores the Earth's Structures, Investigating Plate Tectonics, learning about Plates and Boundaries, and how...more
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Learn the powerful forces that shape and change the Earth. Dynamic Earth explores the Earth's Structures, Investigating Plate Tectonics, learning about Plates and Boundaries, and how the plates Slip, Slide, and Collide. Read the information provided, click on the Interactive pictures for more information, and test your knowledge in each section with interactive activities. In the end, test your skills using an online assessment. This website requires flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): earth (231), earthquakes (50), geology (81), mountains (15), plate tectonics (25), volcanoes (65)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introduction to Geology or Earth Science or as a review of concepts previously learned in class. Use the site as a springboard for additional activities such as mapping where most earthquakes occur. Follow up with ways to prepare for earthquakes, design buildings to withstand earthquakes, or other important topics. If you have a class wiki, have students work in teams to share various aspects of earthquake knowledge for an audience of people living in an earthquake zone.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Ocean Challenge Puzzle - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Grades
5 to 9
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This unusual website is set up like a tile puzzle. The unique aspect of this website is that students work as an online team to complete the tile puzzle together. ...more
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This unusual website is set up like a tile puzzle. The unique aspect of this website is that students work as an online team to complete the tile puzzle together. There could be 50 students from around the world working on the same puzzle, without ever communicating. Students click on any of the tiles to answer a question pertaining to the ocean, salt water, or freshwater. If they provide the correct answer, that tile is removed to reveal a piece of the picture. Hints are provided, and second changes are given. The goal of the activity is to move the tiles to reveal the "ocean" picture beneath the surface of the tiles. New puzzles appear frequently (as the puzzles are completed). This website also provides lesson plans relating to the ocean for grades 6-12. The lesson plans correlate with national science standards. You can find the lesson plans by clicking on the Education link. This activity requires FLASH. The lesson plans require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): animals (291), marine biology (33), oceans (154), water (131)

In the Classroom

Ideas abound for this motivating website! How about having your students work on individual computers and see how many tiles the class can "move" while working together. Or if individual computers aren't available, this website makes an excellent learning station or group activity using an interactive whiteboard (or projector). Use it as a thirty-second class starter during every day of your Oceans unit. Be aware - this activity is addicting! Your students may be begging to do this activity on a daily basis.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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