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Random Facts - Random History.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Random Facts offers exactly what it says, with one featured fact and several lists of "most popular facts" and "newest facts" in the sidebar. Since "popular facts" can include some...more
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Random Facts offers exactly what it says, with one featured fact and several lists of "most popular facts" and "newest facts" in the sidebar. Since "popular facts" can include some classroom-inappropriate topics (love-marriage, kissing, marijuana), you may want to limit your use of this site to the teacher, but you can find many facts to use as ideas for the day, tidbits for research, and more on this site. Familiarize yourself with fact lists that connect to your curriculum, such as health facts, fast food facts, human body, U.S. presidents, and various animal fact lists. The "next fact" button yields both interesting and surprising information, always displayed with a link to a further list of related facts. Advertisements are included on the home page and sidebars of fact lists. Each list includes a complete list of references and footnotes indicating the source from that list.

tag(s): animals (288), politics (99), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Share a current events or curriculum-related fact list or single fact on a projector or interactive whiteboard at the start of class to start the wheels turning. Or list three facts from a list along with a myth, asking students to use clickers or hands to indicate their vote for the bogus "fact." Have students create similar "fact lists" as a first step in researching a topic, before moving to presenting comparisons, connections, or explanations of WHY these facts are true. Use the reference lists as examples so students understand why sources matter. Have them try searching some of the facts and look for further, deeper information from the same sources. Use a class wiki to generate a 99 fact list on your current unit topic once students have seen a few examples.

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Shmoop US History, American History - Shmoop

Grades
9 to 12
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Useful for either teachers or students, Shmoop is a virtual cram session on a variety of topics. In this history section, choose a time period and you get a tabbed ...more
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Useful for either teachers or students, Shmoop is a virtual cram session on a variety of topics. In this history section, choose a time period and you get a tabbed overview of the era including a quick review, a more in-depth coverage, a timeline, important people, fun facts, web links, and a test review. There are featured stories, Hot Topics, and study guides. It's all written in a breezy, accessible style that students will appreciate, but it's not superficial.

tag(s): blues (18), civil war (144), constitution (87), fashion (10), gold rush (19), war of 1812 (15)

In the Classroom

Students will love this site for reviewing and preparing for exams. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Take advantage of the FREE study guides. Why not have cooperative learning groups investigate specific topics relative to your current unit of study and create multimedia presentation. Create podcasts, using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Have students create a Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report about the event or topic. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Teachers can also use this site to differentiate between the typical lectures used to teach a US history project. Use the images on this site to create a "picture walk" in your classroom, introducing any one of the topics offered. Select 10-15 of the more powerful and diverse images, hanging them up in different locations around your classroom. Have students rotate around the classroom every 30-45 seconds, jotting down what they observe and infer about each image until the entire class has completed the circuit. After the class is back in their seats, have a class discussion based on what they observed and what this says about the topic.

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Magazine Cover Maker - Big Huge Labs

Grades
3 to 12
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Create authentic-looking magazine covers sure to attract double-takes. Simply upload a photo to create your cover. If you do not need to SAVE the photo for online access later, you...more
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Create authentic-looking magazine covers sure to attract double-takes. Simply upload a photo to create your cover. If you do not need to SAVE the photo for online access later, you do not even need to join the site. Covers you create can be downloaded as completed images or sent via email and other sharing tools (Facebook, etc). Photos can be uploaded from your files, Flickr, your website, or other photosharing sites. Fill in your desired text for the titles and sub-titles and choose colors for them. It's that simple. Click 'Create' at the bottom and you have a magazine cover that will leave others in awe. For more creative ideas using Big Huge Labs, go to the top of the page and click on Big Huge Labs Blog or Forum. Big Huge Labs offers MANY similar tools, such as Mapmaker, reviewed here. Of course, this site offers advanced options for a fee or with free registration, but neither is necessary.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bulletin boards (17), collages (17), firstday (26), flickr (7), images (274)

In the Classroom

You need to know how to locate your photos on your computer or photo sharing site. Click the little white boxes to change text colors, etc. as you enter desired text. SAVE your completed cover when done. Be sure to give it a meaningful name if you are creating several covers on the same computer!

Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here. If you and your students simply use the tool without joining the site, there are no problems with email, profiles, etc. You do need to demonstrate the tool and specifically explain which links students should NOT use, including ads and links to social networking sites that are prohibited in your school. These may be blocked, anyway. Make sure you watch and teach copyright issues in snatching photos from the web.

Have students create magazine covers of themselves as a getting to know you activity and classroom bulletin board. Print and laminate magazine covers to make them appear even more authentic. Or share the images (WITHOUT student names) on your class wiki or web page. When doing reports for any subject, have students create magazine covers that mimic the real thing instead of boring plain covers. Make covers about famous Americans, scientists, or historic figures. Make covers about objects, as well. Assign students to research a vegetable and create a cover about its nutrients, recipes, and more as part of your nutrition unit! Guidance teachers or principals can feature exemplary students using this tool. Bulletin board creativity will skyrocket using Big Huge Labs Magazine Cover. Why not offer a rotating PowerPoint slide show of student-made magazine covers for parents to view as they wait in the hallway for conferences?

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World AIDS Day - National AIDS Trust

Grades
9 to 12
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World AIDS Day is December 1. This site features stories and stats about HIV/AIDS from around the world. Read stories of individuals, find facts, explore things you can do to ...more
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World AIDS Day is December 1. This site features stories and stats about HIV/AIDS from around the world. Read stories of individuals, find facts, explore things you can do to raise funds or sponsor an awareness event, and more.

tag(s): hiv/aids (18)

In the Classroom

Include this site as one of several resources as student research HIV/AIDS in health class or as part of lessons in awareness of the global economic and personal impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa and elsewhere. Invite your students to "tell an AIDS story" visually using ThingLink, reviewed here, or to plan a community HIV/AIDS event for World AIDS Day.

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TeachersFirst HIV and AIDS Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn more about HIV and AIDS and to plan curriculum-related projects and classroom...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn more about HIV and AIDS and to plan curriculum-related projects and classroom activities related to this sensitive but important topic. Whether you are teaching about the global economic impact of HIV and AIDS or simply helping students understand HIV and AIDS as a health topic, this list of reviewed resources and classroom ideas will provide a solid foundation.

In the Classroom

Find ideas and more as you plan for upcoming lessons on this powerful topic.

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Free Documentaries - freedocumentaries.org

Grades
8 to 12
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This website is a source of free, downloadable documentaries. It is a nonprofit site. The site explains, "you can stream interesting and provocative documentary films for free!" Teachers...more
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This website is a source of free, downloadable documentaries. It is a nonprofit site. The site explains, "you can stream interesting and provocative documentary films for free!" Teachers will want to preview before you share with your class simply because of what "provocative" could mean. Most films are full length, but some are short. There is a helpful menu of topics on the right hand side of the computer screen. This menu makes it easy to navigate and find the type of documentary that is needed. Documentaries range from 9/11 and the London Bombing to The Road to Guantanamo to The Panama Deception to many others.

tag(s): movies (72), politics (99), sept11 (17)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. View clips relevant to your topics of study. Use this website to contrast a documentary with the facts that are being taught. Use this site as a point-counterpoint to other perspectives available on the web as part of a discussion of bias. Compare and contrast analysis of the materials versus the known facts is one good use for this website. A short documentary could be shown during class as a launch point for students to create their own documentary style video projects. Share the videos using a site such as Teachers.TV (explained here). Teachers of gifted and high achievers will great possibilities for challenging critical thinking using this site.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Do2Learn - Do2Learn

Grades
K to 8
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"This web site is dedicated to those individuals who see the world in different ways." Find activities, printables, and interactive games to help students with exceptionalities learn...more
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"This web site is dedicated to those individuals who see the world in different ways." Find activities, printables, and interactive games to help students with exceptionalities learn about basics, master organization, and deal with interpersonal challenges on this site. Many of the resources are useful for "regular ed" as well as special ed. Although the site includes items for sale, there are many lesson plans and interactives offered for free. See the Disabilities menu for quick explanations of various disabilities: OCD, Asperger's, Autism, PDD, Learning disabilities, and more. The Games menu offers interactives to help students learn position words (in/out/left/right, etc), facial expressions, emotions, time, first-then-next sequencing, synonyms/antonyms, and more. Check out the safety songs with animated illustrations (turn up your speakers!). The Get Organized menu has some terrific offerings, including an interactive Emotions Color Wheel.

tag(s): autism (21), emotions (35), safety (91)

In the Classroom

Although intended for students with special needs, this site would also be helpful for teaching basic English vocabulary (emotions, facial expressions, positions), for safety lessons during bus safety week, and for ESL/ELL learners. The many printables in the free areas will also help you teach basics of any primary classroom. Speech/Language teachers, emotional support teachers, and autistic support teachers will appreciate the many ways to share emotion words, including an interactive facial expression tool and the emotions color wheel. Many activities are well-suited for interactive whiteboard with the student navigating using his/her finger or touch tool. Others would make ideal learning centers at a classroom computer with headphones. Share this site with parents, as well, via a link on your class web page, since many of the activities bear repeating over and over.

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Watch Know Learn - Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi

Grades
K to 12
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What is Watch Know? Short for "You Watch, You Know," it provides explanations for students. Finding bits of information to help students can be frustrating as resources are disorganized...more
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What is Watch Know? Short for "You Watch, You Know," it provides explanations for students. Finding bits of information to help students can be frustrating as resources are disorganized on the web and may be hard to find." Watch Know" is a free site that organizes small video clips to help with the understanding of a variety of topics in subject areas. Search by age (3-18+). You can click and drag the age filter to the youngest and oldest ages to include. Videos are also organized by sequence of topics taught. The site is an ongoing project with input from educators and organizations interested in education of children. Registration is not required to view the videos. Creating and saving videos to the site, as well as commenting, require registration. You can monitor site recent changes and additions using the "Change Log."

tag(s): computers (92), crafts (43), decimals (131), environment (318), ethics (18), fractions (234), holidays (151), scientific method (67), vocabulary development (124), writing (369)

In the Classroom

Search for videos relevant to your upcoming units or share the link with older students to search on their own. Use clips as engaging openings to units or as a review at the end. Have students identify the main points in the video and relate it back to class information. Students can use the examples on the site to create their own videos about a topic they have studied that could be beneficial to others.

If you do join the site to submit videos (for more adventurous technology users), we recommend uploading, commenting, and participating in the project (the creation and growth of WatchKnow) as a whole-class collaborative activity. If your students create videos, critique them locally before submitting them to the site as the "bests" from your class.

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My Safe Home - Home Safety Council

Grades
3 to 12
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Learn about safety hazards throughout the home. View sections of the house such as Kitchen, Hallway, Pool and Spa, or Backyard. In each section, find safety concerns for Falls, Poisoning,...more
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Learn about safety hazards throughout the home. View sections of the house such as Kitchen, Hallway, Pool and Spa, or Backyard. In each section, find safety concerns for Falls, Poisoning, Burns, Fires, Suffocation, and Electric Shock. Each concern contains an audio file and/or written information to outline the danger.

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

In the Classroom

This site is a terrific find for your safety unit or safety week. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Or have cooperative learning groups investigate specific rooms together. Students can use this information to determine common household dangers. Students can use the information to create a visual or interactive online display of safety information. Use the information to create public service announcements, newsletters, or a mini lesson to present to the class, other classes, or parent groups. Have students create infomercials to share with the class using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Global Issues - Global Issues

Grades
9 to 12
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Global Issues are on the minds of students and are applicable in a variety of different classes. Use this site to find articles (frequently updated) on and related topics. Pages ...more
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Global Issues are on the minds of students and are applicable in a variety of different classes. Use this site to find articles (frequently updated) on and related topics. Pages can be printed or emailed/bookmarked to another who is interested. Use an RSS feed to stay up to date on changes to the site. Though many of the articles are written by the site owner, the articles have extensive facts, graphs, links, and charts.

tag(s): news (265)

In the Classroom

Use this site to raise awareness of global issues or as material to teach critical research or expository writing. Students can research other sources for information to verify or debunk the material in the article. Students can analyze information from various sources for bias and use of facts. Have students use this as one of several sources for support in persuasive essays or letters to the editor. Use the articles to practice important reading skills, such as main idea or summarizing, marking up the article on interactive whiteboard. Students can also post findings, viewpoints, and solutions onto a personal or class blog. Have cooperative learning groups choose a topic to research and become "experts" about. Have the groups create multimedia presentations to share with the rest of the class. Have students create a multimedia presentation using ThingLink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a related 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 Compfight, reviewed here. Have students use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map (with audio) where the global issues are taking place. Another option, have students create videos and share them on a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here.

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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 (161), puzzles (207)

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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How the Body Works - Nemours Foundation

Grades
4 to 6
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This site features a very engaging interactive tour through the organs and functions of the human body - complete with disgusting sound effects that students will love! This site includes...more
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This site features a very engaging interactive tour through the organs and functions of the human body - complete with disgusting sound effects that students will love! This site includes videos, reference information, quizzes, word searches, and other activities all related to the heart, lungs, bones, cells, bladder, brain, and numerous other body parts and organs.

tag(s): body systems (58), brain (72), heart (43), human body (127), olympics (49)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share this website with your students. This site is an ideal anticipatory set for a lesson on the heart, lungs, cells, brain, bones, and other body parts and/or organs. Use this site during a unit on the Olympics to learn how various parts of the body work together in sports. Create a learning station using this website. Provide this link on your class website so students can explore this site at home or use it to review for the quiz.
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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 (49), sports (98), vocabulary (324)

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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HeartPower! Online - American Heart Association

Grades
K to 8
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HeartPower! Online is a curriculum-based program about heart health. The site provides educational information about nutrition, physical activity, living tobacco-free, and how the heart...more
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HeartPower! Online is a curriculum-based program about heart health. The site provides educational information about nutrition, physical activity, living tobacco-free, and how the heart works. The curriculum guide is loaded with printables, lesson plans, stories, songs, games and other science-based resources organized according to grade level. There is no fee or registration for this site. Just click and go!

tag(s): heart (43), nutrition (159)

In the Classroom

The site is so simple, you can utilize the entire pre-prepared curriculum and lesson plans or just add pieces of it to your current curriculum. Integrate the lessons into your language arts component as cross-curricular activities. The pre-K to 1st grade activities and curriculum are available in Spanish. Choose the Spanish version for ESL/ELL lessons or enrichment activities. The Spanish version would be a great supplement for secondary Spanish teachers. Have your science or health class create a Heart Health wiki or use Click2Map, reviewed here, to map out walking landmarks for your community.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Goosebumps: The Science of Fear - California Science Center

Grades
3 to 10
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Explore the science of fear with this fun and interesting site. Click on "Explore Fear Online." View "Fear and the Brain" to understand how the brain responds to fear. Learn ...more
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Explore the science of fear with this fun and interesting site. Click on "Explore Fear Online." View "Fear and the Brain" to understand how the brain responds to fear. Learn animal responses in "Fear in the Wild." Other links include "Fear and the Media," "The Fun Side of Fear," and "Dealing with Fear." Each link includes several more specific topics. There is also a Parent's Guide with some of the topics.

tag(s): brain (72), emotions (35), psychology (66), stress (15)

In the Classroom

Brainstorm situations that cause fear and identify how the brain processes this information. Explore the similarities of fear responses with the feelings when riding thrill rides. Identify as a class how people respond to fear and ways fear can help you. Creative writing students can explore different ways that people show fear so their writing can describe what fear LOOKS like instead of simply saying, "he was afraid." Why not include this site when studying Poe's tales of terror or as a curriculum-related activity during Halloween season? Check out the "Dealing with Fear" section to help students struggling with anxieties and worry. Emotional or autistic support teachers and school counselors may also find this site helpful in allowing students to understand their body's reactions to fear. Health and psychology classes can use this site to explore the physiology of fear.
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Dole Superkids - Dole

Grades
K to 6
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Dole has provided an all-encompassing website that teaches nutrition in a cross-curriculum manner through lesson plans, music, activities, and more, integrating health-conscious eating...more
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Dole has provided an all-encompassing website that teaches nutrition in a cross-curriculum manner through lesson plans, music, activities, and more, integrating health-conscious eating habits into the curriculum is a snap. The website is filled with facts and information to make preparing and teaching these topics much easier. Take the time to thoroughly review the Teachers tab to begin planning the unit and to tie the unit to cross-curricular subjects.

tag(s): counting (120), fitness (51), measurement (159), myplate (28), nutrition (159)

In the Classroom

Use the activities, videos, songs, and puzzles to reinforce the lessons during center time. Have students create their own superkids character using their favorite fruit or vegetable. Students can compile their own fact sheets using the information provided on the website. Have students report to the class all of the pertinent information they located about their assigned fruit or vegetable and the overall affects it has on their diet and within their body. Conduct a taste-testing for students to try new fruits and vegetables on the list. Check out Mia Mango's Recipe Maker by allowing students to create and name their own recipes and proceed to make them in class or at home. Be sure to catch some of the activities on video (if district policy allows) and share the video using a site such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Consider having students video their own cooking show or short commercial.

Send a list of the superkids characters home and have families choose 5 new fruits or vegetables from the list to try together. Encourage families to post their comments about the new fruits and vegetables to the class blog.
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H1N1 (Swine Flu) - What You and Your Family Need to Know - Children's National Medical Center

Grades
K to 12
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This informative site (also available in Spanish) is a great resource for families (or classrooms) all about the Swine Flu. Topics include: Can people catch swine flu from eating pork?...more
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This informative site (also available in Spanish) is a great resource for families (or classrooms) all about the Swine Flu. Topics include: Can people catch swine flu from eating pork? What about the current swine flu outbreak? Can people catch swine flu? What are the symptoms of swine flu in humans? There are several other topics. This is a simple questions/answer site with a lot of helpful information.

tag(s): h1n1 (12)

In the Classroom

Most of this site would be useful in Swine Flu research in the classroom. Make your class a healthier environment by sharing how the flu is spread. Share this link on your class website for parents to view.

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What It Is and What to Do: Primer - Jacob Goldstein

Grades
6 to 12
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Although this site is "plain vanilla," it offers a lot of information about the swine flu. The site is set-up in question/answer format. Examples of questions include, "What is swine...more
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Although this site is "plain vanilla," it offers a lot of information about the swine flu. The site is set-up in question/answer format. Examples of questions include, "What is swine flu," "Is the disease the same in Mexico and the U.S.," "What are the Symptoms," "Does my flu shot protect against the swine flu," and several others. Be aware this site has advertisements and students are able to comment on the article. You may want to preview the comments and advise students to stick with the content, not the comments.

tag(s): h1n1 (12)

In the Classroom

Take a few minutes and go through this site one question at a time. Possibly, address the class with the specific question and have them brainstorm possible answers with a partner. Share this site to encourage your class or school to maintain healthy habits, dispel incorrect information, and avoid spread of flu.

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Novel H1N1 flu (swine flu) - Children's Memorial Hospital

Grades
K to 12
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This frequently updating site, offers a simple (yet thorough) explanation of the H1N1 flu. This helpful information on the Swine Flu is useful for all levels of students. Help students...more
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This frequently updating site, offers a simple (yet thorough) explanation of the H1N1 flu. This helpful information on the Swine Flu is useful for all levels of students. Help students to better understand the virus and how to prevent its spread.

tag(s): h1n1 (12)

In the Classroom

Be sure to list this link on your class website for families to explore at home. If your students have any questions about the Swine Flu, send them to this explanatory website.

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TweenTribune - Alan Jacobson

Grades
K to 12
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TweenTribune has joined with Smithsonian and now offers the news in Lexile levels for k-4, 5-8, 9-12. That is not the only change. The Smithsonian TweenTribune now has several ...more
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TweenTribune has joined with Smithsonian and now offers the news in Lexile levels for k-4, 5-8, 9-12. That is not the only change. The Smithsonian TweenTribune now has several new features, including a Dashboard for assignments and classrooms, assigning a story to all with one click, and self-scoring quizzes for articles. There are now free apps for the iPad and iPhone. TweenTribune continues to include open-ended critical thinking questions and a daily quiz using multiple sources. This site is still jam packed with current news stories that are chosen by site coordinators for all reading levels. The articles are easy to read, relate to, and understand. The site is easy to navigate with a subject indexed toolbar, and it is searchable. All stories are current because the creators scour the internet weekly for age-appropriate material. It greatly reduces the pressure of searching by giving an article research tool that is much more specific than simply using a search engine.

tag(s): news (265), newspapers (97)

In the Classroom

The sky is the limit for potential and possibilities with this website. There are some minor warnings. If you want to allow your students to post to a blog, you will need to create a class and then have them enroll. The great news is that is free. As the teacher, you can moderate or delete posts before they are public. There are lessons available on the site as well as a "Teacher's Lounge" where lesson ideas can be exchanged. In a language arts classroom, students could be assigned to read and blog as a weekly writing assignment. The teacher can assign a specific article or have students choose. Have students read their articles on a podcast using podOmatic, reviewed here. In science, articles from this site could be used to supplement science textbook reading with current articles that better interest students. Articles are short and provide quick practice pieces for non-fiction reading comprehension. Project a story and ask students to write their own sentence for the main idea or to summarize. These quick pieces would fit well on your interactive whiteboard. SmithsonianTweenTribune Espanol allows students to read daily news articles in Spanish and post comments about the stories they read. Teachers moderate all comments before the comments are posted.

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