TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 21, 2020

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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Smithsonian Learning Lab - The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Discover, create, and share digital resources from the Smithsonian Museum, the National Zoo, and nine major research centers with this visually appealing site. Use the search feature...more
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Discover, create, and share digital resources from the Smithsonian Museum, the National Zoo, and nine major research centers with this visually appealing site. Use the search feature to find digital resources including photos, recordings, videos, and text. Sign up to create your own collections, including those found on the site and your own resources. Add annotations and develop quizzes. Easily share your creations or curated collections using social networking links provided. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): animals (321), architecture (79), art history (78), aviation (36), black history (75), civil war (149), dinosaurs (49), explorers (71), images (273), inventors and inventions (84), Learning Management Systems (24), oceans (167), scientists (69), Teacher Utilities (95)

In the Classroom

The Smithsonian Learning Lab is a must-add to your list of classroom bookmarks! Search for collections and information throughout the year on all topics. Add a link to classroom computers for the entire site or specific collections. Be sure to take advantage of the many features of this site to create customized collections, then have students add additional resources. Have students create quizzes for review of topics. Enhance student learning by Challenging them to create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easelly, reviewed here.

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Shutterbugs Wiggle and Stomp - Smithsonian Science Education Center

Grades
K to 1
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Grab your "virtual" camera and stroll through the zoo to learn how to use science words to describe movement and motion of various zoo animals. Each step of the way ...more
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Grab your "virtual" camera and stroll through the zoo to learn how to use science words to describe movement and motion of various zoo animals. Each step of the way shows three animals in action. Listen to each question then choose the correct response. Click the arrow to continue through the entire activity. This interactive is similar in format to an audio book. Key terms are in bold. Text is provided in addition to the audio. When finished, return to the main menu to find a printable certificate with a list of words learned.

tag(s): animals (321), DAT device agnostic tool (173), preK (287), vocabulary development (110)

In the Classroom

Create a link to this interactive on classroom computers for use as a learning center. Share a link to your class website or newsletter for students to play at home. Use this to learn basic sight words in addition to action verbs. Enhance learning by using and online flashcard maker like Flashcard Stash, reviewed here, to create flashcards to practice verbs.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Ocearch - Ocearch

Grades
4 to 12
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Want to know more about the efforts to save all the sharks in our oceans? Use this site to understand the efforts of research organizations to comprehend the many mysteries ...more
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Want to know more about the efforts to save all the sharks in our oceans? Use this site to understand the efforts of research organizations to comprehend the many mysteries of sharks: Where do they breed? Where do sharks live and roam? In order to protect these predators better, we need to understand more about their lives. Why save sharks? They are an important predator that keeps all the other predator/prey balances in check. Find research that has been documented in periodicals, papers, and the news. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find "Useful Links," then clickTracker to find the locations of tagged sharks. Clicking on the dot brings up information about the shark including its location when tagged. Click View More to bring up additional information including all the places the shark has been. View YouTube videos and photos of their expeditions and tagging of the sharks. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (321), marine biology (35), oceans (167)

In the Classroom

This site has information useful from elementary grades up, but you will need to partner weaker readers with stronger ones in middle grades or use the site as a whole class exploration for the informational text portions in elementary. The videos are great for all ages. When discussing ecosystems, be sure to mention sharks as a vital keystone species of the marine ecosystem. They are also an example of predator/prey balances, keeping the ocean ecosystem balanced as the top predator. Use clips of sharks in movies to discuss how sharks are portrayed and then use research to highlight how many human deaths are actually attributed to sharks vs. the number of sharks killed each year. Enhance learning by developing a food web of ocean ecosystems using Diagramo, reviewed here, or ChartGizmo, reviewed here. Research how other animals are tagged to learn more about their lives and how tagging sharks are different. Be sure to use the Tracking Activity drop down in the Global Shark Tracker to see the paths that the sharks have taken during the period of time you specify (one week or more has better data). Identify other animals in different ecosystems that carry a similar negative stigma and create a discussion around why they have that stigma.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Deep Sea Dive - Harvey Water Softeners

Grades
1 to 10
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What will you find at the various depths of the ocean? Harvey Water Softeners takes you on a deep-sea dive to find out. Simply scroll down through this page to ...more
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What will you find at the various depths of the ocean? Harvey Water Softeners takes you on a deep-sea dive to find out. Simply scroll down through this page to view facts in bubbles beginning at the surface level down to 36,000 feet below the surface at the ocean's deepest point.

tag(s): animal homes (68), animals (321), habitats (114), oceans (167), plants (173), Research (32)

In the Classroom

Use the interactive Deep Sea Dive as an interesting way to introduce an oceans unit. After viewing, have students research different ocean animals and plants, then modify classroom technology use and enhance learning by having students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Visme, reviewed here. Replace paper and pencil by using an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to explore ocean animal adaptations. Transform classroom technology use by having students use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map of locations used with the Deep Sea Dive (with audio stories and pictures included)!

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Seaview - Underwater Earth

Grades
K to 12
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View unbelievable imagery of the sea with this interactive, undersea viewer. View life along Barrier Reefs and in the Sea. See the different fish and other organisms who call the ...more
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View unbelievable imagery of the sea with this interactive, undersea viewer. View life along Barrier Reefs and in the Sea. See the different fish and other organisms who call the reef their home. Discover the characteristics of the ecosystem that allows for such a varied amount of organisms to call it their home. This project is just getting started as it surveys the Great Barrier Reef and documents it visually. Read details by clicking "Science" to begin your exploration. Rotate your mouse to look at any direction under the sea. Use the map along the right to choose a different location to view. Several objects are available to click on and zoom to for a closer look.

tag(s): conservation (117), earth day (79), ecology (130), ecosystems (86), oceans (167), reefs (7), virtual field trips (78)

In the Classroom

Explore this site as a virtual field trip under the sea during a unit on animal habitats, biomes, or oceans. Create a poem, song, or artwork using the images from the viewer as inspiration. Enhance learning and classroom techology use by having students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. Transform classroom technology use by challenging students to create a multimedia poster using Adobe Spark for K-12, reviewed here, or Genial.ly, reviewed here, where students will have a choice to create impressive interactive posters, infographics, charts, presentations and easily insert maps, surveys, video, audio and more. Create a poster campaign (digital or traditional) to identify why conservation is important in these areas.
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Eco Zoo - Enjin, Inc.

Grades
K to 4
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Visit the Ecozoo: a colorful, content-rich website! Click on the critter icons along the top to learn how to live in the environment and have good habits. Each critter has ...more
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Visit the Ecozoo: a colorful, content-rich website! Click on the critter icons along the top to learn how to live in the environment and have good habits. Each critter has a pop up book to learn new habits. The site is in both English and Japanese, making it even more intriguing to younger readers!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (321), ecology (130), ecosystems (86), sustainability (16)

In the Classroom

Allow students to explore the site and share information with one another about what they have learned. Bring these ideas together into a class discussion. Students can research other methods to create a more sustainable society and create flyers, posters, or blog posts to share information with others. Enhance learning by having students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here, or make one together as a class, with each student contributing a portion. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Adobe Spark in K-12, Animatron, Sway, and Beautiful.AI.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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State of the Ocean - Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center

Grades
7 to 12
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Use this interactive website to show scientific data about the Oceans of the World. The site uses Google Earth. Don't have Google Earth? Launch it by clicking the title of ...more
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Use this interactive website to show scientific data about the Oceans of the World. The site uses Google Earth. Don't have Google Earth? Launch it by clicking the title of this TeachersFirst review, or request it from your school tech department--using this site as an example of why you need it! Manipulate the sea surface temperature, sea surface height, chlorophyll levels, and ocean wind speeds by clicking on the appropriate checkbox. (Be sure to click the box to show the legend bar as well.)

tag(s): climate (94), climate change (71), data (153), earth (206), oceans (167)

In the Classroom

Choose a parameter to display, such as wind speed. It is best to choose only one topic (data set) at a time and be sure to instruct students to uncheck previous boxes before choosing a new one. Use as an inquiry activity to look at various parameters around the globe and ask questions about what they see. For example, Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly shows areas of the oceans that are warming and some that are cooling more than others. Provide time for students to spin the globe and zoom in to look at where various changes are occurring and make observations. Enhance student learning by bringing these observations to light in class using Padlet, reviewed here, and brainstorm why the phenomenon exists. If you have an interactive whiteboard, display the Padlet so that students can see theirs and others ideas as they add their observations to the board as they make discoveries. Then, create columns in your Padlet to have students discuss and sort their statements into "proven" and "unproven" columns in the Padlet displayed on your IWB. Research what has already been demonstrated about warming and cooling as well as the potential impacts it may have. Compare these changes with other parameters such as chlorophyll to understand producers and their ocean environment.

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Polar Bear Plunge - San Diego Zoo

Grades
2 to 6
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Learn about the challenges facing polar bears due to climate change with this interactive site. Keep Walluk, the polar bear, moving by placing floating pieces of ice together to guide...more
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Learn about the challenges facing polar bears due to climate change with this interactive site. Keep Walluk, the polar bear, moving by placing floating pieces of ice together to guide him to the end of the path. The activity increases in difficulty throughout the levels. In Chinook's Beat the Heat game, block the heat to bring platforms together, too much heat and they will melt. Tatqiq's Keep it Cool game challenges players to keep the thermometer as cool as possible for the polar bears. Links are also included to San Diego Zoo's polar bear exhibit and polar blogs.

tag(s): animals (321), climate (94), conservation (117), polar (17)

In the Classroom

Use the site as a starting point for a conservation unit and explore the impact of climate change on polar bears. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Share this site on your classroom website or newsletter to be explored at home. Enhance learning by challenging small groups of students to create a multimedia presentation such as an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here, to share what they learned from this interactive.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Elephant Odyssey - San Diego Zoo

Grades
2 to 6
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Learn about elephants through this engaging interactive that takes you back to the time of mammoths. Keep your elephant alive by finding food and avoiding dangers such as saber tooth...more
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Learn about elephants through this engaging interactive that takes you back to the time of mammoths. Keep your elephant alive by finding food and avoiding dangers such as saber tooth tigers. In addition, there are links to explore the elephant exhibit at the San Diego Zoo, meet the elephants and watch videos of the elephants in action.

tag(s): animals (321), conservation (117), ecology (130), environment (298), habitats (114)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center during your animal unit. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Use this site as a starting point for individual or group projects on animals and their habitats.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Zoo Games - Minnesota Zoo

Grades
3 to 8
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Several familiar "games" are offered with an animal twist: Penguin Quest, Zoodoku, Super Trivia, Crossword, Bedazzled, and Matching. This site, created by Minnesota Zoo, also has links...more
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Several familiar "games" are offered with an animal twist: Penguin Quest, Zoodoku, Super Trivia, Crossword, Bedazzled, and Matching. This site, created by Minnesota Zoo, also has links for teachers under "Education."

tag(s): animals (321), logic (238), puzzles (200)

In the Classroom

Try the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a classroom introduction to an animal-themed unit or research project. Use the trivia questions as a pretest to determine student knowledge. Choose animals used in the activities to research and compare/contrast. Try these interactives to increase student interest before a field trip to the zoo. Be sure to provide this link on your website for students to use both in and out of the class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Florida Aquarium - The Florida Aquarium, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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This site, brought to you by Florida Aquarium Incorporated, offers teaching materials that can be printed and kids activities. Find teaching materials in PDF format, videos, and kids...more
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This site, brought to you by Florida Aquarium Incorporated, offers teaching materials that can be printed and kids activities. Find teaching materials in PDF format, videos, and kids activities such as build a hydrometer, press seaweed, or create a mangrove tree (click the heading Education from the top menu and slide to Digital Resources). The activities are simple enough that they could be used in lower grades or at home.

tag(s): conservation (117), field trips (11), virtual field trips (78)

In the Classroom

Use these activities to help teach environmental and biological topics in a hands-on and engaging way. Print materials and make copies for your students or put links to the PDF files on your class website or wiki to allow students 24/7 access to the materials paper-free! Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ZooBorns

Grades
K to 3
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Adorable is the only way to describe this educational site filled with amazing photos of newborn animals born in various zoos around the world. Students have the opportunity to see...more
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Adorable is the only way to describe this educational site filled with amazing photos of newborn animals born in various zoos around the world. Students have the opportunity to see baby animals and read snippets of information that they may not have had the opportunity to experience outside the classroom. Sort through the photos by specific animal or by zoo name. Some animals are also shown on video!

tag(s): animals (321)

In the Classroom

Use this site during animal-based theme units. Project the video clips and pictures on your interactive whiteboard or projector. These photos would make great story-starters for writing activities during Writer's Workshop. Have students include a variety of adjectives to describe these little creatures and their surroundings. Enhance learning by having students use their stories to create online books using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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SwitchZoo - Tubehead, Inc.

Grades
K to 9
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Use this free realistic virtual zoo to create hybrid and unique organisms, play sliding and jigsaw puzzles, or watch and listen to critters. Click on "Make and Play" to find ...more
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Use this free realistic virtual zoo to create hybrid and unique organisms, play sliding and jigsaw puzzles, or watch and listen to critters. Click on "Make and Play" to find engaging activities, games, and puzzles including building your own unique animal. In this section it is encouraged to "Please DO feed the animals," care for and learn what various animals eat. Build an online habitat by adding animals and taking clues from a compatibility meter and thermometer to determine whether they are a fit with the environment. (The animals will also complain if they do not fit.) Watch for clever animations when the environment is 100% compatible. "Watch and Listen" offers songs and sounds of nature and more. Visit the "Teach and Learn" section to find the profiles of different animals, lessons plans, and other resources.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (321), conservation (117), environment (298), habitats (114)

In the Classroom

Use this site to teach habitats and animals. Create a short story or poem about a fictitious animal that you create using SwitchZoo. Use the characteristics and the environment of the animal to effectively communicate the information through writing. What would the environment for this organism look like? What would you call this animal? Compare adaptations and requirements of various animal creations and defend the reasoning for these adaptations. Find similarities and differences in animals through engagement in the many activities on the site. Have groups of students build online habitats and collaborate to make it completely compatible for all animals. Have the students share their new animals and stories on an interactive whiteboard. Or enhance learning by creating a class book exhibiting all of the animals at "Mr. Smith's Zoo." Remember that PowerPoint, reviewed here, slides make an easy way to write and incorporate clip art, then combine and print into a big book.
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