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How to Make a Comet - The Nuffield Foundation

Grades
4 to 10
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This page offers instructions on how to create your own comet at home or in class. This activity would integrate nicely into elementary or middle level classes as an introduction ...more
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This page offers instructions on how to create your own comet at home or in class. This activity would integrate nicely into elementary or middle level classes as an introduction to space science. It could also be used with secondary students who are studying astronomy. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. The page is printable as well.

tag(s): experiments (73), space (213)

In the Classroom

It is recommended to use this experiment as a demonstration rather than having students create their own comets. Read safety instructions and practice the demonstration at least once before using it with a class. Have students calculate mass and kinetic energy of their class comet. Then have them speculate on the size of a comet, such as Haley's comet, and research the actual size online.

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Department of Energy Lesson Plans - Department of energy

Grades
K to 12
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This site provides photos, project ideas, research information/articles, and information on age/grade and subject matter resources for "energy." Search from a vast collection of resources...more
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This site provides photos, project ideas, research information/articles, and information on age/grade and subject matter resources for "energy." Search from a vast collection of resources that can be used with students of all ages. Choose from simple activities taking minutes, to those that can be extended into projects for greater understanding and application.

tag(s): conservation (128), electricity (91), energy (203)

In the Classroom

Find great resources that help answer "What is energy?," the different energy sources, and using and saving energy. Have cooperative learning groups explore one of the articles of interest on this page and create a multimedia project using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary - University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Grades
4 to 12
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Find a vast array of lessons and resources on plant and growing technologies on this diverse site. Lessons include Case Studies that can be examined as an introduction to many ...more
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Find a vast array of lessons and resources on plant and growing technologies on this diverse site. Lessons include Case Studies that can be examined as an introduction to many Biology and Ecology topics.

tag(s): agriculture (56), ecology (135), erosion (17), plants (152)

In the Classroom

Find specific lessons on a topic such as Erosion. Use the simple and effective lesson plans and activities to learn about the processes and effects of erosion on the land. Research additional information such as losses attributed to erosion, natural events that disrupt human and other animal populations, and other related environmental problems. Use Google Maps or Google Earth (reviewed here) to map out the case studies presented in the resource. Create placemarks in either application that provide information about erosion, the causes, and the problems created. Research additional items to include in maps or Earth such as images, videos, or news articles that can be viewed to understand the problems. You might consider having students use a tool such as Middlespot, reviewed here, an innovative website for bookmarking in a unique, visual way. Add search material from anywhere on the web by dragging and dropping elements around the screen. Students would use this to help them keep track of their findings. Use with food and fiber activities that identify how many grown products are used not only as food but for building and other materials.

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Topmark Interactive Whiteboard Resources - Topmarks

Grades
K to 12
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This wonderful collection of interactive whiteboard activities is designed for students ages 3 to 18. Topics include Math, Literacy, Science, Physics, History, Art, Music, and Religion....more
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This wonderful collection of interactive whiteboard activities is designed for students ages 3 to 18. Topics include Math, Literacy, Science, Physics, History, Art, Music, and Religion. Within each topic are categories to help narrow down search results. Activities contain a short summary, a link to the resource, and some have objectives. Because this is a British site, be aware that some vocabulary and content may be unfamiliar to American students, so preview carefully before using.

tag(s): descriptive writing (42), energy (203), environment (319), forces (46), grammar (215), literacy (107), literature (275), map skills (80), maps (289), novels (24), persuasive writing (55), poetry (226), preK (286), religions (62), rhythm (20), rivers (22), seasons (38), shakespeare (131), speeches (17), spelling (169), water cycle (34), weather (194)

In the Classroom

Use activities offered on the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector either as a whole class activity or use your whiteboard as one of the learning centers in your class. Share with parents on your blog or classroom newsletter as a resource for practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Central Park Conservancy - Central Park Conservancy

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, created by the Central Park Conservancy, provides some interesting features about the park which includes history and films and famous photographs taken in the park. There...more
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This site, created by the Central Park Conservancy, provides some interesting features about the park which includes history and films and famous photographs taken in the park. There is tour and event information, so whether you're planning a virtual field trip or an actual field trip to Central park, this site is worth your viewing.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (284), environment (319), national parks (17), plants (152), trees (30), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to plan a trip to the park. Or, create a virtual field trip by designating specific places on the website that students have to visit. Have students locate different buildings, art, and trees in the park. It could be a great way to do a virtual leaf collection (in this case - tree collection) with the site's tree database. Have students find at least ten different trees and then create a presentation providing different information about those trees, including their locations in the park. Assign small groups to explore one facet of this site and create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Use the site to help teach geography content such as latitude and longitude by having the students create a map to "escape the park."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Flu Trends - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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This site shows graphs of flu cases in the U.S., and with an easy click, allows students and teachers to check similar graphs in countries around the world. At the ...more
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This site shows graphs of flu cases in the U.S., and with an easy click, allows students and teachers to check similar graphs in countries around the world. At the time of this review, the graphs were updated through 2009. Google uses aggregated data to make the flu trend data into graphic form. In an accompanying narrative, Google suggests that people who search for flu trends are often suffering from flu themselves. The site also compares the data Google collects and the published data from each country's health services.

tag(s): graphic organizers (42), medicine (68)

In the Classroom

Use this site when teaching graph reading and also data collection presentation when students are doing research. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on graphic organizers on a projector or interactive whiteboard. The site includes an active graph that adds data by time period as students view it. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create a different type of online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. Discuss with your students other types of data that Google might be able to collect in a more up-to-date manner than public agencies.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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How To SMILE - National Science Digital Library

Grades
K to 12
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This site is a compilation of many math and science resources along with a social networking component. Currently there are almost 2000 activities, lessons, and videos and the site...more
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This site is a compilation of many math and science resources along with a social networking component. Currently there are almost 2000 activities, lessons, and videos and the site is constantly growing. There are several ways to use the site both as a registered user or without registration. Without registering for the site you can search and access lessons and information through the different search methods such as keywords, subjects, source institution, and more. Free registration allows the site to become much more personalized. After registering, you can make lists of resources for any different topic, share lists or searches with others, add comments, or add your own resources. Most activities on the site are free; however, there are some searches that deliver lessons that are paid - these are clearly indicated and not frequent enough to discourage use of this site. Searches can also filter out any paid activities and return only free items. Teachers may also want to subscribe to the site's blog and newsletter to receive updated information as it is added to the site.

In case you are wondering about the title, SMILE is the Science and Math Informal Learning Educators pathway of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL).

tag(s): resources (112), social networking (113), STEM (143), video (268)

In the Classroom

This is a perfect way to organize and sort lessons by topic or age range for future classroom use or to share with fellow teachers. Create a community list of lessons to use within your district. Share this site with other teachers in your building or district as a resource for STEM lessons. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Fall Science Lesson: Why Do Leaves Change Colors? - Melissa Matters

Grades
4 to 7
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Explore making a hypothesis and investigation methods with this fun fall lesson plan. The site includes step-by-step procedures for investigating why leaves change color along with...more
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Explore making a hypothesis and investigation methods with this fun fall lesson plan. The site includes step-by-step procedures for investigating why leaves change color along with links to suggested books to use with the lesson, PowerPoints, and student worksheets. Be sure to check out the links on the right side of the page to other resources with more information explaining leaf color change.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): scientific method (64), trees (30)

In the Classroom

Use this lesson plan in your classroom to explore local leaves changing color in your area. Create a bulletin board showing student investigations and results. Extend this activity for students to explore and label different types of leaves and the trees they came from. Meet another class online in a different part of the country (or world) and compare results from this investigation. Use a site such as Skype (reviewed here).

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Quizbox - Quizbox.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create a quiz for your blog, wiki, or site in 3 easy steps! Set up your quiz structure, including number of questions, number of choices for the question, and title. ...more
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Create a quiz for your blog, wiki, or site in 3 easy steps! Set up your quiz structure, including number of questions, number of choices for the question, and title. Edit the questions and choices. Complete the quiz and place on your blog. At the end of the quiz, students click submit and get their score. Use the result editor to provide a feedback message depending upon their score.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): quiz (87), quizzes (98), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Use as a pre-test at the start of a chapter or unit. Identify misconceptions or basic knowledge to help determine instruction. Identify interests of students at the start of the school year. Use to poll students on project ideas or to determine reactions to current events. Do the questions as a whole-class activity on a multimedia projector or interactive whiteboard with students contributing the portions of knowledge they do know toward solving the question. Using teamwork and thinking aloud can often help the group reach a conclusion that no single member could do on his/her own. They can each test different math answers to see which one is correct. This process will not only foster thinking aloud and group communication, but also model test-taking skills for multiple choice.
 

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Online Conversion - Robert Fogt

Grades
3 to 12
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This site is the ultimate resource for any measurement or conversion need. Calculators are included for Math, Science, Cooking, Time, and much more. Categories are listed in alphabetical...more
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This site is the ultimate resource for any measurement or conversion need. Calculators are included for Math, Science, Cooking, Time, and much more. Categories are listed in alphabetical order from Acceleration to Weight/Mass. Within each category are the different converters/calculators. For example, after choosing volume, choices include acres, barrels (dry, federal, liquid, and wine), cubic units, gallons, quarts teaspoons, yards, and more. Other interesting conversions include your weight on other planets, your age in dog years, and translations to and from Pig Latin. You are sure to find exactly the conversion for any need within this site along with others to use just for fun!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): conversions (24), measurement (160), temperature (31), time (142)

In the Classroom

Following a lesson on conversions, allow students to access the site to check answers. Mark this site in your favorites and share it on your TeachersFirst public age for quick access. Use as a handy resource on your interactive whiteboard or projector anytime that conversions come up in your classroom. Share this site with students through your class web page or TeachersFirst public page as a resource to use outside of class-- even when cooking with mom or dad!

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Student Produced Video Field Trips - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 12
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What is a student created video field trip? Simply put, it is an experience where a group of students goes to a site to shoot video, interviews, etc. and streams ...more
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What is a student created video field trip? Simply put, it is an experience where a group of students goes to a site to shoot video, interviews, etc. and streams the video (live and archived) to students, parents, and others unable to attend in person. TeachersFirst shares this how-to and why-to so you and your students will try it. Expand each point within these pages to learn what to do in detail---and skip the steps you already know or that don't apply!

tag(s): video (268)

In the Classroom

Read through the step by step and get started! TeachersFirst offers all the practical advice you need to try this 21st century approach to real world learning.

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Virtual Visit to a School Garden - TeachersFirst/Meriwether Lewis Elementary

Grades
3 to 8
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Watch the archived version of a live webcast from Meriwether Lewis Elementary School garden on Earth Day 2009, a cooperative project with TeachersFirst. See students explain concepts...more
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Watch the archived version of a live webcast from Meriwether Lewis Elementary School garden on Earth Day 2009, a cooperative project with TeachersFirst. See students explain concepts of organic vegetable gardening, natural building with cob, composting, rainwater collection, planting their new bioswale, Pacific Northwest native plants, and more. TeachersFirst's complete how-to information for making your own video field trips is linked from this page, as well.

tag(s): earth day (111), environment (319)

In the Classroom

Scroll down to a list of suggestions for using this archived webcast in your classroom. Talk about local sites where you might be able to take a team of students to create a local student created "video field trip" to share with other classes both in and outside of your school. See TeachersFirst's complete how-to information to try one of your own.

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TeachersFirst Brain Twister - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 9
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These ten question quizzes, written by Thinking Teachers, change each Friday and are ready to go with one edition for middle school students and one for elementary students. The quiz...more
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These ten question quizzes, written by Thinking Teachers, change each Friday and are ready to go with one edition for middle school students and one for elementary students. The quiz presents ten questions, one at a time. You have only ONE try to pick the correct answer, so think carefully. You get points for each correct answer, totaling up to a possible 100. When you finish, you see your score and how long you spent. Questions are intended to stretch your thinking. Printable versions are available along with answers to the previous week's Twister. A new version of the Twister is mobile-friendly and adjusts to any screen size. Take the Twister with you wherever you go!

In the Classroom

Since elementary and middle school curriculum content varies from location to location, it is unlikely that every question will fall within the scope of your school's curriculum. High point questions may fall outside standard classroom fare. Five point questions tend to be at the knowledge/comprehension/application level of Bloom's taxonomy and closer to "normal" content. Ten pointers are more likely cross-curricular application/analysis, and twenty pointers require analytical thinking and a wider experience level, such as knowledge of current events or information beyond normal curricula. Twenty pointers may require more than one student's input.

Do the questions as a whole-class activity on a multimedia projector or interactive whiteboard with students contributing the portions of knowledge they do know toward solving the question. Using teamwork and thinking aloud can often help the group reach a conclusion that no single member could do on his/her own. They can each test different math answers to see which one is correct. This process will not only foster thinking aloud and group communication, but also model test-taking skills for multiple choice.

Alternatively, do the Twister in small groups, with one student an answer entry but others as researchers on neighboring computers to find out what the group does not know. It may be helpful to assign roles: moderator (assigns what to find out and helps the group reach consensus), keyboarder (enters responses, may conduct research in a new window), or researchers (find information as assigned). Use the Twisters to model ad teach information literacy skills in a high-motivation activity. Or offer the Twisters as an enrichment challenge or extra credit option for students to do at home. Ask parents to be on the honor system to sign a note indicating the score their child achieved. Since parents may be overly interested in helping, you may want to simply give extra credit for anyone completing the quiz, no matter the score. Be sure to mark this ready to go exclusive in your favorites and share it on your teacher class web page.

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Interactive Whiteboard Resources - Woodland Grange Primary School

Grades
K to 8
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This site offers a growing bank of resources for elementary teachers to use with interactive whiteboards or projectors. If you don't have a whiteboard, files can be opened on computers...more
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This site offers a growing bank of resources for elementary teachers to use with interactive whiteboards or projectors. If you don't have a whiteboard, files can be opened on computers for individual use. Files include Excel, Flash, PowerPoint, Word and other formats to download. Use the links at the top of the page to find the appropriate grade range beginning with preschool (foundation) through KS3 (roughly equivalent to middle school). Within each grade level are resources divided by topic such as mathematics, literacy or science. Be sure to check out the "Amusements" section as it isn't just for fun; this category includes activities such as jumbled words and memory games. Sign up for the free mailing list to be notified when new activities are added. You can also add your own resources to the site for others to use. While testing this site, the editor noticed a few of the links either take extremely long to open or don't work at all. However, we still felt this was a great find, since nearly everything else worked perfectly.

tag(s): fluency (23), iwb (32), literacy (107), number sense (96), numbers (203)

In the Classroom

Introduce activities to your classroom then use this site as a learning center (use on computer if you don't have an interactive whiteboard.) These activities are perfect for at-home practice so share the site with parents through your classroom newsletter or blog and include practice for homework.
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Biomes of the World - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 8
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Introduce the earth's different biomes with this unit, created by TeachersFirst. Biomes include coniferous forest, deciduous forest, tropical rainforest, tundra, ocean, fresh...more
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Introduce the earth's different biomes with this unit, created by TeachersFirst. Biomes include coniferous forest, deciduous forest, tropical rainforest, tundra, ocean, fresh water, desert, and the savannah. Each link includes information and pictures. Students can complete an on-line research project on a biome of their choice, using selected web resources, or they can learn the basics of biomes with the information provided in the unit. There are links to the introduction, to learn more about the project, and even a teachers link (with a TON of class activity ideas).

tag(s): biomes (115), earth (231), earth day (111), ecosystems (89)

In the Classroom

Have students work in cooperative learning groups to explore this site. Challenge students to create multimedia presentations about the biomes. How about a Powerpoint? Or have students narrate a photo of the biome using a site such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Other options include creating a wiki, blog, or video.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TeachersFirst's Earthquake Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand how earthquakes happen and learn about famous earthquakes in history. Also...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand how earthquakes happen and learn about famous earthquakes in history. Also included are sites and tools well suited for projects about earthquakes.

tag(s): earthquakes (49), plate tectonics (25)

In the Classroom

Share this collection as a Favorite on your TeachersFirst public page so students can use the resources as part of a project during your unit on plate tectonics or natural disasters. Use the collection as a starting point, noting the resources that are more challenging for your more able students.

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Learning to Give - Points of Light Institute

Grades
K to 12
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The goal of this site is to educate youth about philanthropy and giving their time and knowledge for the global good. To do this, they offer over 1400 free lesson ...more
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The goal of this site is to educate youth about philanthropy and giving their time and knowledge for the global good. To do this, they offer over 1400 free lesson plans for teachers, parents, and community leaders. Lessons are coded to state standards and can be searched by grade level, keyword, subject, or academic or philanthropy standard. Some lessons are geared toward private or religious schools and are clearly labeled as such. Lessons include subject, key concepts, vocabulary, objectives, materials needed, approximate time, procedures, extensions, handouts, and much more. An example of a grade 3-5 lesson would be Cool Kids Compost which explores responsible use of resources by gathering data about lunchroom waste. Don't let the concept of philanthropy keep you from exploring the site, there are many great classroom lessons available for all subjects.

tag(s): african american (114), animal homes (42), animals (284), charts and graphs (195), colonial america (107), communities (35), data (148), diversity (36), ecology (135), environment (319), heroes (24), money (191), recycling (57)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for all subject matters, search for subject and browse resources. Share with other teachers in your building or district including teachers of the arts. Get your students involved! Challenge cooperative learning groups to create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here discussing one of the topics at this site.

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Earth Science Teaching Lessons - Compiled by Christy Pratt

Grades
4 to 12
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This site contains links to many lesson plans and resources for teaching Earth Science. The top of the page links to different topics of Earth Science such as Astronomy, Earthquakes,...more
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This site contains links to many lesson plans and resources for teaching Earth Science. The top of the page links to different topics of Earth Science such as Astronomy, Earthquakes, Rocks and Minerals, and others. Within each category are links to information, webquests, and videos, as well as lesson plans. One excellent portion of the site may be easy to overlook so be sure to look on the left side of the page for Categories. Here you will find a wealth of information on diverse topics such as historical geography, tsunamis, world records, careers, and more. Within these links are news, videos, and popular items. Note: many of the links will take you to different websites so you will want to review before using with students.
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tag(s): earthquakes (49), erosion (17), fossils (46), hurricanes (38), maps (289), rocks (51), tsunamis (18), volcanoes (64), water (131), weather (194)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to view videos and images from the site with your class. Use lesson plans provided as additional resources within Earth Science units. Assign students different portions of the site to review and prepare multimedia projects to share with the class. Have cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Or challenge students to narrate an image using a site such as Thinklink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Little Bird Tales - Little Wings

Grades
K to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
It's as easy as one, two, three to create an online story book that uses your own artwork, photographs, text, and voice. Little Bird also has an "art pad" so ...more
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It's as easy as one, two, three to create an online story book that uses your own artwork, photographs, text, and voice. Little Bird also has an "art pad" so you don't have to scan and upload drawings; you can create the drawings in the program. Little Bird Tales has a short video explaining each step on the home page. Once the stories are complete, you can place a link to the story on a web page or wiki, or email it to parents, students, etc. This is a great way to publish student writing. This program is free and was created specifically for ages 3 to 14 as a safe, advertisement free web environment.

tag(s): creative writing (168), descriptive writing (42), digital storytelling (152), expository writing (45), narrative (23), persuasive writing (55), preK (286), stories and storytelling (33), writing (363)

In the Classroom

The possibilities for using this program are limitless. Choose a story from the public section of the program, or create your own. Use your interactive whiteboard and projector to show students the story and how easy it is to put their story on this program. Little Bird can be used in science and math for students to demonstrate their knowledge of a unit learned, by explaining it in three ways: verbally, drawing, and using text. Create myths and stories in language arts classes, or students can review a book they've read. In social studies, students can create reports on a country, time period, or famous person. Students can work individually, in pairs, or in small groups. You might want to have this program open on a computer in your classroom for students to use when they are finished with other work. Share the urls of student reports and stories on your web page or wiki.

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iNudge - Hobnox

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Create music simply! Use this tool to create your own music and embed it in your class blog or site. Choose from 8 instruments, and click the squares to hear ...more
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Create music simply! Use this tool to create your own music and embed it in your class blog or site. Choose from 8 instruments, and click the squares to hear sound patterns. Add more instruments to get the mix you want. Combine them, change the tempo, and add other effects. Share by URL or using the embed code.

tag(s): musical notation (37), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Use the songs in a writing class as a story prompt. In a language class, list the adjectives and adverbs come to mind while listening to the music prompt. Create music to describe a biome or an animal or plant. Use music to represent culture or reactions to an event in history. Use music to add pizazz to a blog or site. Identify various sounds and the mood they create. View the most listened and newest iNudges found on the site.

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