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Online Basic Skill Games - Jefferson County

Grades
K to 8
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This site provides links to basic skill games for math, language arts, science, and social studies. Although we don't typically review "hotlists" this one really has something to offer...more
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This site provides links to basic skill games for math, language arts, science, and social studies. Although we don't typically review "hotlists" this one really has something to offer anyone teaching elementary or middle school. Each subject area has several topics. Each topic has countless links for more information and/or activities. Language Arts topics include Letter Fun, Working with Words, Go Grammar, Spell It, and Read It. Science highlights Animals, Plants, Physics, Biology, Anatomy, Weather, and Space. Math includes everything from Money to Probability to Graphing to Patterns (and more). At the Social Studies link you will find Maps, 50 States, U.S. Presidents, History, The World, and Flags. The link to interactive websites includes activities for grades pre-K -12.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), fractions (239), integers (41), money (193), patterns (85)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on classroom computers and use it as a center. Students can focus on areas of strength or weakness on a math game day. Because this site offers multiple levels and activities for many topics, it is easy to differentiate for ability levels within your class. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access for home based skills practice. There is a LOT here to explore.
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Google for Education - Google

Grades
K to 12
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Not sure how to use Google's innovative tools for your classroom activities? Follow lessons which include step by step directions with screenshots and self-check quizzes for many tools...more
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Not sure how to use Google's innovative tools for your classroom activities? Follow lessons which include step by step directions with screenshots and self-check quizzes for many tools including Calendar, Classroom, Google Docs, Google Play, Forms, Maps, Sheets, and much more. Choose from one of the many tools along the left side. View all the lessons available to learn about using the tool. Some of the training videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): maps (287), organizational skills (122), spreadsheets (17)

In the Classroom

Even those familiar with the Google tools will find information and uses they did not know about. Consider posting a link to your class web page for students to access. Your students are also valuable resources. Be sure to point out students who are able to use tools in unique ways that other students can learn from.

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Explore.org - Annenberg

Grades
3 to 12
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"Never stop learning" with this wonderful, high quality, and easy to use site. View videos, documents, and photos about people around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary...more
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"Never stop learning" with this wonderful, high quality, and easy to use site. View videos, documents, and photos about people around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary causes. Search through a wide range of places or causes. View a range of topics from health, animal rights, spiritualism, and education. Explore a variety of global issues to bring cultures and issues into perspective. View videos in HD. Download and embed videos for reuse. Remixing videos is against the acceptable use policy of the site. Read descriptions which provide the necessary background information and view links of related content and materials. This site is a must see! Selected videos can be used with younger elementary classes, depending on the curriculum connections.

tag(s): heroes (24)

In the Classroom

Find photos that speak to students and use them as an activator at the start of class. After viewing the picture, provide time for writing questions about the picture These questions will lead to search terms to find more information about culture, pollution, and socioeconomic problems. Encourage students to create poster or blog campaigns outlining problems and possible solutions. Why not create multimedia posters using a site such as Padlet (reviewed here). Find other areas in the world where similar or related problems are occurring. Identify the historical, economic, or geographical reasons for the problems. Challenge students to create a thematic Mapskip (reviewed here) This tool allows you to create a map with audio! Students can use this site as inspiration for "I believe..." style essays, photos, or videos. Looking for a FREE video sharing tool? Check out TeacherTube reviewed here.
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Temperate Oceans - MBGnet

Grades
4 to 10
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This colorful and informative site provides information about oceans. Specific topics include "How the Ocean Refreshes Itself," "Ocean Animals," "Food from the Ocean," and several others....more
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This colorful and informative site provides information about oceans. Specific topics include "How the Ocean Refreshes Itself," "Ocean Animals," "Food from the Ocean," and several others. Many of the topics include interactive presentations. There is also a link to find more "Ocean Links."

tag(s): animals (276), oceans (148)

In the Classroom

If your class is learning about the oceans of the world, delve even "deeper" by sharing this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have cooperative learning groups explore specific areas of this site and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have students create a UtellStory, reviewed here. This tool allows for narrating and adding text to a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be uploaded), and then narrate the photo as if it were a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Or, bring even more geography skills into the project by having groups create a Mapskip, reviewed here, sharing exactly WHERE the oceans are located (with audio stories and pictures included)!

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Hypercities Beta 2 - UCLA Academic Technology Svcs

Grades
4 to 12
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This beta site, created at UCLA and powered in part by Google, allows students, teachers, and parents to explore selected world cities. Users can also slide a timeline to view ...more
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This beta site, created at UCLA and powered in part by Google, allows students, teachers, and parents to explore selected world cities. Users can also slide a timeline to view images of that city in the past, compare its changes throughout the years, and study old and new maps. More cities will appear in the future. The site still has a few bugs, but it keeps improving. It sometimes loads slowly. Some web browsers do not work properly, so PREVIEW in your classroom. Internet Explorer 8 users will get a message: "HyperCities is optimized to work in Firefox or Safari. If you do not have Firefox installed, you can download it here" and will have to load an alternate browser to use this site.

tag(s): maps (287)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on the cities or on maps using on a projector. Have students create a map in the old style of a city they are studying today. ESL and ELL students and weaker readers can easily use this site since there are few words! Have your ESL students check to see if cities in their countries are available here; have them do an introduction to the city and comment on what is different about the cities now. Use the timeline views to explore the impacts of world trade, transportation, and changes in government on different parts of the world.

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International Kids Club - Planet Pals

Grades
2 to 10
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This International Kids Club site has activities, books, and crafts to help students understand each other around the world. Information links include lots of material on world clocks,...more
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This International Kids Club site has activities, books, and crafts to help students understand each other around the world. Information links include lots of material on world clocks, religions, customs, organizations, and art. Specific links include "I" Kids, "I" Share, "I" Shop, "I" Learn, "I" Craft, and "I" Play. One fun part is finding out how speakers of different languages think animals sound. What is "meow" in an Asian language, for example? Sound files give examples of the sounds of many languages, as well. Some of the links are slow to open at times, so you may want to open them before you are ready to use them in class.

tag(s): flags (21), maps (287), tolerance (10)

In the Classroom

Use parts of this site when doing units on prejudice, diversity, and discrimination. Refer students to do research in some of the books listed here on those subjects. Have students interview people from other cultures to check the information given here on aspects of their cultures. Do they agree with what is said here? Even younger students will enjoy learning about flags and peace symbols. Make the craft links available for students doing reports on different countries or preparing for an International Day. Have students copy flags or other country symbols. Ask them to create their own "country" from these models. Challenge cooperative learning groups to research a specific topic at this site and prepare a podcast to share with the class using PodOmatic (reviewed here).
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Tramline Virtual Field Trips - Tramline

Grades
1 to 12
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This website is dedicated to delivering a variety of virtual field trips. The trips are listed by content. Each trip contains objectives, concepts, and terms to know. There are lesson...more
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This website is dedicated to delivering a variety of virtual field trips. The trips are listed by content. Each trip contains objectives, concepts, and terms to know. There are lesson plans linked in the Teacher Resource section of the page, and extra information on the topic. The trips themselves are a lot like guided web quests. The websites that are used in the field trips show good variety. And standards are even provided! The trips include grade levels. Examples of topics include hurricanes, dinosaurs, deserts, natural wonders, dark ages, and American Presidency.

tag(s): field trips (12), investing (10), mars (41), oceans (148), shakespeare (131), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

Virtual field trips from this website could be used on the interactive whiteboard or projector as a whole class activity. A better use could be to create a question sheet that mirrors the trip and have students work through the field trip at their own pace in lab, either with partners or individually. Follow up by challenging student groups to create an interactive guidebook to their topic using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. With younger students, make a class book together.
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ScribbleMaps - Scribble Maps

Grades
2 to 12
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Use this tool to "draw" on and label any map available through Google Maps, including maps of the night sky! No registration or email required! Create a colorful, personalized map ...more
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Use this tool to "draw" on and label any map available through Google Maps, including maps of the night sky! No registration or email required! Create a colorful, personalized map with added scribbles and labels. Add your choice of placemarker labels for geology locations, people, etc. There are even little icons available to use. Your drawing or "Scribble Map" is then available to share by URL, email, or print. Slightly more savvy users can download, save as a kml file (readable in Google Maps or Google Earth), or embed the map in another site. The tools include sharing the map on Facebook and Twitter, as well. Add images by pasting in their urls. Drawing tools include lines, circles, place pointers, text labels, and color/size/transparency controls for all tools. Place pointers can be edited by selecting them (arrow tool), then clicking the small pencil. This site does include Google Ads and all the normal controls of Google maps, including satellite, map, terrain, hybrid views and Night Sky. See a sample Scribble Map created by the TeachersFirst editors (drag the map with your mouse!). Explore the tools and MENU options at the top left when you start out. Try the different Maps views (lower right) and zoom controls. Search for a starter location using the search at the top left, just below the tools. There is no help available, but it is easy to do basic maps. Share, save, etc. by clicking Menu (top left). When you first save a map, it will ask you to create a password for that map to use to edit it later. Note that if you SAVE a map and share it by URL, those accessing it will be able to use the tools and change the map. If you want them to see it without changing it, you will need to embed it in a blog, wiki, or other web site. The map ID can be changed and customized by simply typing in your own choice of ID when you are saving the map.
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tag(s): directions (20), geology (81), landforms (45), landmarks (26), map skills (79), maps (287), space (205)

In the Classroom

Students and teachers will want to keep a written record or map URLS and passwords for future reference. Model this for students so they do not lose hours of work! Teachers can prepare partially-made maps or maps for students to make corrections and changes by giving the students the URL, then having them SAVE the map with a NEW ID. To SAVE the map with a new name and URL, click "Save map" in the menu, then enter your OWN map ID. Students could use a code including their initials, such as SJ12-3-09 for a map made by Sally Jones on Dec 3, 2009. Teachers should PASSWORD protect their originals so changes can only be saved under a new name. Similarly, if a student saves the map with a map password, they don't have to worry about other students vandalizing their work. But they DO need to remember the password! Wise teachers will keep a class list of maps and passwords for forgetful students! In primary grades, make maps of your local community together on your interactive whiteboard as you teach basic map skills. Create your own "key" with symbols you choose for playgrounds, etc. Have students help map locations of favorite playgrounds, grandparents' houses, stores, etc. as they gain basic understanding of map skills. Make sure you allow students to operate the tools! Save the map and share it as a link from your class web site (or embed it there). Keep names generic so it is "safe." Other ideas to challenge gifted student beyond the curriculum or elevate challenge for small groups include: natural resource maps, immigration maps, maps of civil war battles day by day, maps of key sites in the life of a famous person, artist, or author, maps of the settings in a novel, landform maps of a continent or state, "My life" maps of places important to an elementary student's family, annotated watershed maps of pollution sources, maps of the water cycle, maps of constellations in the night sky created by students to demonstrate understanding, maps of a dream community to be built in a vacant area (desert), including the water sources, etc. that will be needed, maps of a redesigned city/town on top of its current map. Teachers can provide map challenges or templates to be completed or corrected, including maps where students must label distances and cardinal directions between points (using map scale and skills). Or provide a teacher-created map with labels in the wrong places for students to correct the landforms, resources, etc. What will YOU do with Scribble Maps?
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One minute wonders - BBC

Grades
K to 8
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View one minute wonders to learn great facts about a variety of science and social studies topics. There were 13 topics at the time of this review. Learn about a ...more
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View one minute wonders to learn great facts about a variety of science and social studies topics. There were 13 topics at the time of this review. Learn about a Northern Oriole that can eat 17 caterpillars in a minute, music in the 16th century, or vehicles in the world. Videos are entertaining and sure to capture student attention. After viewing videos, click on quizzes to check understanding.

tag(s): animals (276), engineering (125), inventors and inventions (99)

In the Classroom

Use these minute-length videos to introduce a topic on your interactive whiteboard or projector. These would also make a great introduction to writing prompts or blog posts. Consider using these as examples for one minute projects for students to demonstrate understanding for any topic or content area (and make accompanying quizzes for their peers to try). Have cooperative learning groups view videos of their choice and add their findings to your class "One Minute Wonder Wiki." Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. In lower grades, have students plan and act out their own one minute wonder plays to explain something they have learned or simply share the videos as humorous but accurate portrayals of science topics. American students will need to grow accustomed to the British accents.
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WordSearchFun.com - WordSearchFun.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Use this site to find some GREAT word searches that are ready to go! Whatever topic you are looking for, you just might find a word search here. If you ...more
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Use this site to find some GREAT word searches that are ready to go! Whatever topic you are looking for, you just might find a word search here. If you can't find one, make your OWN ONLINE word search. What a fantastic tool to use and/or create in any subject!

tag(s): photography (160), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Share the relevant word searches on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups practice spelling or vocabulary words by creating their own word search. List this site on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom. This is a great one for those word search lovers in your class. Why not have students use a whole-class account to make their own word searches to challenge each other with new vocabulary and terms?

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Go For The Gold - Scholastic

Grades
K to 10
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This website (originally created for the 2004 Olympics, and updated in 2008and 2010) offers a great deal of information on the Olympics. Specific highlights include "In my Backyard,"...more
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This website (originally created for the 2004 Olympics, and updated in 2008and 2010) offers a great deal of information on the Olympics. Specific highlights include "In my Backyard," "History of the Games," "More to Explore," and "Get in the Game." There are also links to a Teachers Guide (with lesson plans for grades K-10 and standards), related booklists, interactive activities, and more. Although this site is slightly dated, it does contain some excellent information on the origin and history of the Olympics. Also, the "In The News" section is no longer updated.

tag(s): china (66), olympics (47)

In the Classroom

If you are bringing the Olympics into your classroom, incorporate the many ideas at this website into your lessons. There are lesson plans ready to go (and divided by grade level). Try the interactive "It's All Greek To Me" together on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site for research about the history of the Olympics, politics and the Olympics, and other pertinent topics.
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Going for the Gold - 2009 United States Olympic Committee

Grades
2 to 12
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Follow the United States Olympic athletes at this interactive website. Find out current news about the athletes, read biographical information, read the athlete's blogs, watch video...more
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Follow the United States Olympic athletes at this interactive website. Find out current news about the athletes, read biographical information, read the athlete's blogs, watch video clips, explore the articles, and more. Click on "Resources" and then "U.S. Olympic Education" to find some lesson ideas to use in your classroom. There are some minor advertisements at this website.

tag(s): china (66), olympics (47)

In the Classroom

Use this site to research American athletes. Share the video clips, read the blogs, and view the pictures on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Don't miss the lesson ideas (in the "Resources" section). Share this site on your class website, so families can follow the U.S. Olympians.
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Olympic Sports - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 10
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for the Olympics. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Olympics-related...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for the Olympics. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Olympics-related vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): olympics (47), sports (97), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make them available as links on your teacher public page. Have students (or groups) create their own illustrated dictionaries of terms using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. As you add more vocabulary lists during the year, have them select their favorite 6-10 terms from each list to add to their "book."

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The Museum of Underwater Archaeology - The Museum of Underwater Archaeology

Grades
4 to 12
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Many museum sites are little more than a set of on-line directions to get to the brick-and-mortar museum and a few promotional photographs. This site, however, is designed to be ...more
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Many museum sites are little more than a set of on-line directions to get to the brick-and-mortar museum and a few promotional photographs. This site, however, is designed to be used as an online museum. You can start by searching the museum by geographic location or keyword. You can also search by time period from the "Teaching Kit" area. Or click on one of the featured exhibits which range from excavations of the CSS Alabama, the remains of an 18th century fleet sunk in New York's Lake George, to the HMS Serapis. A link to a "teachers' kit" gives information about ordering (free with the exception of shipping costs) a hands-on set of materials to keep and get free updates for as long as they would like to use it. For younger students, there is a slide show that introduces the concepts of underwater archaeology in an interactive whiteboard-friendly format (see featured exhibit: A Children's Introduction).

tag(s): oceans (148)

In the Classroom

Who isn't fascinated by treasure buried under the seas? This site will help you sneak in history lessons by engaging students in the process of underwater archaeology. The site also makes a strong effort to integrate various curriculum areas from art to biology along with the historical importance of various excavations. Students might also want to follow one of the underwater blogs with information about ongoing projects. Have cooperative learning groups create a multimedia project related to one of the blog stories. For visual students, use an online poster creator such as Padlet (reviewed here). Have students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.

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Equal Exchange's Fair Trade Curriculum & Educational Resources - Equal Exchange

Grades
4 to 10
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This collection of pdf lesson plans centers around 3 main topics: how we get our food, what the Fair Trade movement is doing for farmers and eaters, and what coops ...more
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This collection of pdf lesson plans centers around 3 main topics: how we get our food, what the Fair Trade movement is doing for farmers and eaters, and what coops are. The complete curriculum is downloadable and printable, and the daily lessons at this site offer support and extra activities. One lesson, translated for Spanish teachers, offers students an activity so they can understand "What's Fair?" One of the most exciting parts of the website is a collection of videos of Dominican children talking in Spanish about cocoa production! The lesson plans include a variety of activities for students and include projects in math, writing, civics, research, geography, art, music, and international culture.

tag(s): air (163)

In the Classroom

Use these lessons as part of a unit in social studies, Family and Consumer Science, or several other subjects. Take your students on a visit to a local food coop or invite one of their members to speak to your class live or via Skype (explained here.). Have students do a project comparing coop grocery sales with the more commercial establishments. Maybe even have student groups create an online Venn Diagram comparing the two using a site such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). If you have international students from the Dominican Republic or other cocoa producing countries, share this site with them and allow them to compare what the students say on the video to their own experiences. Create your own videotaped interviews with food growers or their families. Share the videos using a tool such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.
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Google Earth in the Classroom - Joe Wood

Grades
K to 12
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Google Earth, reviewed here, is a fabulous teaching tool. This teacher-created wiki supplements it with Google Earth Resources galore. Find links...more
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Google Earth, reviewed here, is a fabulous teaching tool. This teacher-created wiki supplements it with Google Earth Resources galore. Find links to lesson plans and files for using Google Earth in your classroom for many subjects. See a tutorial video on Google Earth, find directions for making files, and more. Ideas for using Google Earth by subject even include links to ready-made files so you need not start out by creating from scratch. See what other teachers have done and let it inspire you and your students to do more. Learn how to make kmz (placemarker) files.

tag(s): globe (14), landforms (45), landmarks (26), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Make this site part of your personal professional development or pair up with a teaching buddy to learn more about Google Earth (GE) and plan activities for your classrooms. Share the link with your students, as well, so your class can become GE experts together. Even if your access to GE is limited to a single class computer, work together with a small team of student "GEniuses" to prepare class placemarker files, then have the team teach other students, as well. If your school has personal professional development plans or allows teacher to suggest topics for professional workshops, include this link, along with other GE resources from TeachersFirst, as your inservice day agenda.
 
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Google Earth 101 for Educators - Quentin D'Souza, Teaching Hacks.com

Grades
K to 12
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Google Earth, reviewed here, is a fabulous teaching tool. This participatory wiki (part of the larger "Teaching Hacks" wiki) walks educators step...more
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Google Earth, reviewed here, is a fabulous teaching tool. This participatory wiki (part of the larger "Teaching Hacks" wiki) walks educators step by step through the how-to and why-to of Google Earth (GE). Start with the two minute video, then click through the steps at the right. You are also invited to ADD to the wiki so other teachers can learn from you! The wiki includes curriculum ideas grade by grade (listed in text form). Since the wiki originated in the Toronto area, some topics are Canadian-only, but the wiki is open to all global learners and teachers.

tag(s): globe (14), landforms (45), landmarks (26), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Plan your personal professional development on your own or with a teaching buddy to learn more about Google Earth (GE) and plan activities for your classrooms. Even if your access to GE is limited to a single class computer, work together with a small team of student "GEniuses" to prepare class placemarker files, then have the team teach other students, as well. If your school has personal professional development plans or allows teachers to suggest topics for professional workshops, include this link, along with other GE resources from TeachersFirst, as your inservice day agenda.
 

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Google Earth - Google

Grades
K to 12
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Bring the world into your classroom with Google Earth. This interactive view of the Earth (and more) is free for download. Find landforms, geographic locations features, pictures, and...more
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Bring the world into your classroom with Google Earth. This interactive view of the Earth (and more) is free for download. Find landforms, geographic locations features, pictures, and more from around the world using this satellite-powered software. As you spin the globe, you can tilt to view locations at an angle to show elevation, click to play a "tour" or "fly" from one location to another, or simply open tours and placemarker files created by others. Once you are comfortable, try making tours and placemarkers of your own. Note: this software uses more than the usual "bandwidth" to stay connected to the Internet while you are using it, so dial-up and slow connections will not work. Some schools block this tool because of the bandwidth needed, but teachers should not let this stop you from requesting this software to use in whole-class or group settings.

tag(s): climate (92), earth (228), landforms (45), landmarks (26), news (261), oceans (148)

In the Classroom

Use tutorials from this site to learn more, or try some Google Earth files from TeachersFirst's Globetracker's Mission to get a taste of what the program can do. Get started by exploring the different LAYERS available in the left side and searching a location you know. Locate and try the tools to drag, tilt, zoom, and even measure distance. Extensive user forums are available through the help menus.

Placemarker files created by you "live" on the computer where you make or save them and are not shared on the web. Note that your computer will ask whether you wish to save your "temporary places" (any places you have marked during a session) each time you close Google Earth. If many students use that computer, you may find you have a disorganized mess of saved places. Be sure to direct students to either name their saved places logically and file them into folders or NOT to save them to My Places! Students and teachers can create placemarker (.kmz or .kml) files and share them as email attachments, files on a USB "stick," or any other means you would use to share a file, just like a Word document.

Another practical tip: if students are using Google Earth on several machines at the same time, you may put a heavy load on your school network. Plan accordingly, perhaps having groups alternate their Google Earth time if it becomes sluggish.

Use Google Earth to teach geography or simply give location context to class readings or current events, especially on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Ex. you can tilt to show the peaks scaled by Lewis and Clark or volcanoes that rise in the Aleutians. Have students show the locations of historic events or literary settings and create placemarkers with links to learn more. Placemarker text is editable by going to the placemarker's "properties" or "info," so students can enter the text description, place title, and any inks they want to include, such as a link to a certain passage of text, an image of a character, or news image/article for a current events map. Students who know html code can get even more sophisticated in what they include in placemarkers. Have students/groups create and play a "tour" of critical locations for global warming, a comparison of volcanoes, or a family history of immigration. Navigate the important locations in a work of literature using Google Lit Trips or search the web for placemarker files connected to civil war battles, natural resources, and more. Turn layers on and off to look at population centers and transportation systems. Teach the concept of scale/proportion using a tactile experience on an interactive whiteboard and the scale and measurement tools. See more ideas at the teacher-created Google Earth 101 wiki reviewed here. Even if you do not venture into creating your own placemarker files, there are many already made and available for use by teachers and students. TeachersFirst's Globetracker's Mission includes a weekly file to follow the Mission.

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Ancient Civilizations - The British Museum

Grades
4 to 12
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Browse the themes of the interactive history map by the British Museum to learn about ancient civilizations. Choose "Cities," "Religions," "Technology," "Trade," "Writing," or "Buildings."...more
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Browse the themes of the interactive history map by the British Museum to learn about ancient civilizations. Choose "Cities," "Religions," "Technology," "Trade," "Writing," or "Buildings." Click on the map to see places for more information. Click on the clock along the bottom to open a timeline. Open a list of ancient civilizations by clicking on the globe. Access the main menu of themes by clicking on the museum picture. Additional links are found by clicking on "Other related sites." Teachers can find other resources and information by clicking on "Staff Room."

tag(s): china (66), egypt (67), mesopotamia (6)

In the Classroom

Divide students into groups to peruse a given theme or an ancient civilization. Student groups can ask additional questions to begin a search for even more information and present their findings to the class. Discuss parallels among ancient civilizations through the discussion of these themes as well as comparisons and contrasts with present society. Create a visual display of life in these societies or share food and traditions that might have existed. Try some multimedia projects like a Venn Diagram comparing a certain theme of ancient civilization to present society using an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the themes. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
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When Weather Changed History - The Weather Channel

Grades
4 to 12
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Weather's impact on the course of history sometimes goes unnoticed. A heat wave brings about public policy change; a hurricane alerts the public to the need for better planning and...more
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Weather's impact on the course of history sometimes goes unnoticed. A heat wave brings about public policy change; a hurricane alerts the public to the need for better planning and an improved safety net; a father of our country dies due to extreme weather. This collection of full episodes and a few with shorter "preview" clips from the Weather Channel's regular series is ideal for use in the classroom to help students make connections between climate, geography, and history. The collection includes more obvious events such as Hurricane Katrina as well as numerous others: heat waves, George Washington, the Hindenburg, American colonial times, Nagasaki, D-Day, the Dust Bowl, smog, the Titanic, the Nome Serum Run and the green movement in the wake of tornado devastation. The video makes the events more real while the narration places then in context.

tag(s): climate (92), disasters (39), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Share one or more clips (selected from a full episode) on a projector or interactive whiteboard as part of your study of a time period in history or assign students to research different events, asking them to answer big questions such as, "What role does climate play in a community's growth and government?" or "What might have happened if the weather had been different on this day?" Have students write a blog post as an eyewitness to the events or create a class wiki on the impact of geography, climate, and other "earthly" factors on the decisions that humans make. Create one wiki page per event and assign small groups to write the pages as newspaper articles at the time and another page using historical perspective. Don't forget to add mock news pages about what might have happened if the weather had been different! Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. The same assignment could also be done on video as a series of podcast "news" stories. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).

Use these videos as part of your science study of weather so students relate the hard data to human events. Have students use a multi-angle approach using both scientific data and human data about the event to create a weather wiki or multimedia project such as mock interviews at the time of the event and ten years later.
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