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Butterfly Conservatory - American Museum of Natural History

Grades
4 to 8
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This is the online companion to an exhibit currently running at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Download the Ipix plugin to take the virtual tour of the exhibit,...more
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This is the online companion to an exhibit currently running at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Download the Ipix plugin to take the virtual tour of the exhibit, check out the live butterfly webcam, or view quicktime movies of butterflies in action. This is a great online excursion for students who don't have their own butterflies to observe. This site requires Quicktime. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): butterflies (13), insects (69)

In the Classroom

Take your students on a virtual tour of the butterfly conservatory using an interactive whiteboard or projector.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Ocean Report - Kidsnet

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4 to 8
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This is a three-part study of ocean ecosystems that relies on audio clips for part of its presentation. Designed for grades 4-8, the unit helps students understand the diversity of...more
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This is a three-part study of ocean ecosystems that relies on audio clips for part of its presentation. Designed for grades 4-8, the unit helps students understand the diversity of marine environments and the importance of preserving these delicate ecosystems. The unit also offers practical steps that students can take to help participate in this process. There's lots to explore here, and a wealth of instructional possibilities.

tag(s): marine biology (33), oceans (148)

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Solid Waste and Energy - EPA

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6 to 12
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Power from garbage? It's not as silly as it sounds, and this EPA site offers lots of illustrations showing how solid waste and recycling programs can contribute to meeting growing ...more
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Power from garbage? It's not as silly as it sounds, and this EPA site offers lots of illustrations showing how solid waste and recycling programs can contribute to meeting growing energy needs. Try this one as part of an earth day event, or as the basis for a science project or demonstration.

tag(s): energy (198), recycling (57)

In the Classroom

Creative teachers will find lots of "raw material" in this one.

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Geology Time Scales - U.C. Berkeley

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6 to 12
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Here's a venerable site from U.C. Berkeley that offers a simple, graphic illustration of geological time scales and terminology. This one would be useful for an introductory geology...more
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Here's a venerable site from U.C. Berkeley that offers a simple, graphic illustration of geological time scales and terminology. This one would be useful for an introductory geology course, as part of a fossil study, or to help students understand just how old "old" can be.

tag(s): fossils (44), geology (81), paleontology (41)

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Prehistoric Life - Victoria Museum, Australia

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6 to 12
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This basic introduction to paleontology from Australia's Victoria Museum offers a look at fossils, dinosaurs, and prehistoric animals. Teachers may find it interesting to see how fossil...more
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This basic introduction to paleontology from Australia's Victoria Museum offers a look at fossils, dinosaurs, and prehistoric animals. Teachers may find it interesting to see how fossil records differ in Australia from those in the U.S. and Europe.

tag(s): dinosaurs (57), fossils (44), paleontology (41)

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From Jungle to Lab - The Exploratorium

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4 to 12
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Here's another great site from San Francisco's Exploratorium. Learn how researchers study the jungle, both on-site and in the laboratory. Users with high-speed connections will enjoy...more
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Here's another great site from San Francisco's Exploratorium. Learn how researchers study the jungle, both on-site and in the laboratory. Users with high-speed connections will enjoy the Quicktime movie interviews with the scientists - further proof that science can be engaging, interesting, even fun.

tag(s): forests (29), jungles (7)

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Insectclopedia

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6 to 12
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This large metasite offers a well-organized collection of scores of links relating to the study and categorization of insects. Like most sites of this nature, there are no explanations...more
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This large metasite offers a well-organized collection of scores of links relating to the study and categorization of insects. Like most sites of this nature, there are no explanations of the links, so you may have to hunt to find what you're after. We've included this one because of the number of resources the authors have found.

tag(s): insects (69)

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Earth2Class - Columbia University

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1 to 12
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This is a site for earth science teachers. It offers a collection of resources, professional development opportunities, and a huge archive of data sources for earth science activities....more
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This is a site for earth science teachers. It offers a collection of resources, professional development opportunities, and a huge archive of data sources for earth science activities. The site itself assumes significant technical capabilities on the part of the user, especially for the use and implementation of the data sets. This site could be a gold mine for teachers with the appropriate technical skills

tag(s): data (148), maps (287)

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Operation Migration

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6 to 12
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How do you teach whooping cranes to migrate? This naturalist did it by leading the way in his ultralight aircraft, and this site chronicles the multi-year effort to create an ...more
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How do you teach whooping cranes to migrate? This naturalist did it by leading the way in his ultralight aircraft, and this site chronicles the multi-year effort to create an entirely new crane flock with its own migration patterns. There are great maps and photos, the sort of stuff that can bring biology and earth science concepts to life.

tag(s): birds (50), migration (59)

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Learning About Rainforests

Grades
3 to 8
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Designed for elementary students, this introduction to rainforests is colorful, nicely designed, and easy to follow. There's plenty of good content, well illustrated, and assembled...more
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Designed for elementary students, this introduction to rainforests is colorful, nicely designed, and easy to follow. There's plenty of good content, well illustrated, and assembled for easy access by students or teachers. The artwork is particularly strong for a site of this nature.

tag(s): biomes (116), forests (29), jungles (7), rainforests (13)

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The Green Squad - National Resources Defense Council

Grades
3 to 8
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The National Resources Defense Council developed this site to urge students to survey their schools for environmental problems or concerns. The site offers a collection of "hands on"...more
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The National Resources Defense Council developed this site to urge students to survey their schools for environmental problems or concerns. The site offers a collection of "hands on" resources and reporting tools that students can use to research specific areas and topics.

tag(s): environment (317)

In the Classroom

Teachers will want to preview these materials before using them in class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Panda Central - San Diego Zoo

Grades
2 to 12
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The San Diego Zoo's panda pages offer a plethora of photos and other information about China's most reclusive citizens. Besides being undeniably cute, pandas make a great preservation...more
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The San Diego Zoo's panda pages offer a plethora of photos and other information about China's most reclusive citizens. Besides being undeniably cute, pandas make a great preservation study with some interesting international overtones. It now includes a live webcam stream of the pandas 24 hours a day

tag(s): animals (276), china (66), endangered species (38), species (29)

In the Classroom

Both elementary and secondary teachers will find this one useful.

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Silent Invaders

Grades
6 to 12
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Here's an online presentation, complete with Quicktime narration, about invasive plant and animal species and the damage they can cause to native species and ecosystems. Try this one...more
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Here's an online presentation, complete with Quicktime narration, about invasive plant and animal species and the damage they can cause to native species and ecosystems. Try this one as a backgrounder for ecological management issues, or as a research source for assignments on managing ecosystems. Users will need a reasonably fast connection to use the Quicktime movies effectively.

tag(s): ecosystems (88)

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Reclaiming the Everglades - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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This unit from the Library of Congress could be interesting to secondary students examining the history of Florida in the early twentieth century. It would also provide an interesting...more
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This unit from the Library of Congress could be interesting to secondary students examining the history of Florida in the early twentieth century. It would also provide an interesting assignment in working with primary source materials. In this case, these might be part of an assignment on ecology, history, or management of natural areas. Even secondary students will likely need some guidance at using this one, however.

tag(s): florida (11), states (162)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a point of reference when covering the everglades or a unit on evolving ecosystems. The information offered is text heavy, but the site allows one to search through the collection where teachers can find primary documents and timelines that could be used to compliment lesson plans. Save this site as a favorite on your desktop and refer to it when in need of ideas and material.

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Blue Planet Challenge - BBC

Grades
6 to 12
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BBC Online offers this oceanography self-study, comprised of a series of interactive Flash animations. Each area includes "fact files" on particular marine species or ecosystems, and...more
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BBC Online offers this oceanography self-study, comprised of a series of interactive Flash animations. Each area includes "fact files" on particular marine species or ecosystems, and the activities require users to understand each environment to the through the simulation successfully. Students could use this one individually or in groups. A free, online registration enables an online scoring feature. Lots of possibilities here.

tag(s): marine biology (33), oceans (148), whales (16)

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Backyard Conservation - USDA

Grades
4 to 12
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The US Department of Agriculture offers this section with ten different backyard activities that can help teach conservation principles. Most of these could also be easily adapted to...more
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The US Department of Agriculture offers this section with ten different backyard activities that can help teach conservation principles. Most of these could also be easily adapted to the environment around a school. The site includes printable PDF files for each activity. Try this one if you need a "take home" resource for a conservation or earth day activity.

tag(s): conservation (127), environment (317)

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NTTI Science Lessons - NTTI/WNET

Grades
7 to 12
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Here's a collection of science lesson plans covering disciplines from geology to earth science, chemistry, and general science. Each includes complete procedures, standards references,...more
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Here's a collection of science lesson plans covering disciplines from geology to earth science, chemistry, and general science. Each includes complete procedures, standards references, and discussion. Some of these lessons use video clips as an integral component, so teachers will want to plan accordingly.

tag(s): dna (69), evolution (100), genetics (90)

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Rock Cycle Experiments - BBC

Grades
4 to 12
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The BBC's education site, intended for Keystage 3 (midddle school in the U.S.), has done a nice job of capturing the essential elements of the rock cycle from igneous creation ...more
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The BBC's education site, intended for Keystage 3 (midddle school in the U.S.), has done a nice job of capturing the essential elements of the rock cycle from igneous creation on through the other stages. There are plenty of graphics and explanation, along with links to related experiments and activities. This one could work at a number of different grade levels.

tag(s): erosion (17), geology (81), minerals (17), rocks (49), volcanoes (61)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector or assume it as one of several rock cycle resources for students to navigate on their own before creating their own explanation of the rock cycle as a graphic organizer with Bubbl.us, reviewed here, timeline using Dipity, reviewed here, or narrated series of images try UtellStory, reviewed here.

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Discover Chimpanzees

Grades
4 to 12
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This interactive look at Jane Goodall's Gombe preserve will probably require some introduction, but there's much to do in this site that invites all sorts of exploration. There are...more
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This interactive look at Jane Goodall's Gombe preserve will probably require some introduction, but there's much to do in this site that invites all sorts of exploration. There are bios of both people and chimps, as well as an appealing "become a chimpanzee" section that allows students to follow a chimp's day. Lots of uses for this one in studying Africa, habitats, ecosystems, and the like

tag(s): behavior (46)

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Air Travelers

Grades
4 to 8
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Try this elementary science page if your curriculum includes the study of air, air pressure, and the effects of temperature on air, buoyancy, and the like. Much of the content ...more
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Try this elementary science page if your curriculum includes the study of air, air pressure, and the effects of temperature on air, buoyancy, and the like. Much of the content is devoted to hot air and helium balloons, but there's plenty of science for the younger set here.

tag(s): air (163), temperature (29)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to the study of air, gas, and phases of matter. The site has some short video clips that would be an excellent addition to any lesson on the fore-mentioned. Open the clips for viewing, and show students their lesson in action. This is a great example of a real world use of the knowledge they just attained! Share the site on the class wiki or web page to allow students to review it both in and out of the classroom.

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