TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jan 17, 2021

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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Reading Treks: My Brother's Flying Machine, Wilbur, Orville, and Me - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 4
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TeachersFirst Reading Treks create a virtual field trip of resources about a piece of literature or text using the My Maps feature of Google Maps. This Reading Trek provides inspiration...more
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TeachersFirst Reading Treks create a virtual field trip of resources about a piece of literature or text using the My Maps feature of Google Maps. This Reading Trek provides inspiration and suggestions for using the trade book My Brother's Flying Machine, Wilbur, Orville, and Me. This picture book written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Jim Burke highlights through the story and images the contributions of Katherine Wright to the work and inventions of her brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright. Use our robust Instructional Guide with students in grades K-4. Content correlates to Common Core Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, ISTE Student Standards, and National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies. Find the entire selection of Reading Treks here.

tag(s): 1900s (48), aircraft (18), inventors and inventions (76), virtual field trips (69), wright brothers (19)

In the Classroom

You and your students will benefit from the many suggested classroom uses for this resource found on the Instructional Guide (PDF). Consider using the historical information and primary sources from the book to have students create timelines of the important events during the early 1900s. Find a variety of free online timeline creation tools located here. Make learning interactive by creating digital lessons that incorporate information about the book, the 1900s, and Dayton using a learning management system such as TES Teach Blendspace, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ada Lace, Take Me to Your Leader - StoryTime from Space

Grades
1 to 5
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Embark on an incredible literature adventure as Astronaut Anne McClain reads a book on video. Ada Lace, Take Me to Your Leader by Emily Calandrelli is a story about a ...more
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Embark on an incredible literature adventure as Astronaut Anne McClain reads a book on video. Ada Lace, Take Me to Your Leader by Emily Calandrelli is a story about a third-grader and "inventor extraordinaire." Listen to this three-part story as you learn about Ada Lace's latest invention, a ham radio used to contact people on this planet...and beyond. Strange noises are heard over the ham radio leading Ada Lace to believe that aliens are planning to invade Earth. Listen to the story to find out what happens next on this journey! The story is divided into three short videos ranging from 13 minutes to 22 minutes in length.

tag(s): audio books (23), ebooks (34), space (221)

In the Classroom

This ebook could be used as a whole-group activity by sharing the video on your projector. Students could also view the video on individual devices (don't forget the earbuds). This is a great book to use to connect science and language arts. After each part of the story, extend the learning, and have students answer a teacher-directed question or summarize the main events. After parts one or two, you could have students write predictions about what they think will happen next. Challenge your students to create simple blog posts using Edublog, reviewed here. If students are too young for writing, have them create video responses using a tool such as Flipgrid reviewed here.

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MetKids - The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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2 to 12
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Explore over 5,000 years of art in three exciting ways at this vibrant, interactive site from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Along the menu at the top find Explore the ...more
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Explore over 5,000 years of art in three exciting ways at this vibrant, interactive site from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Along the menu at the top find Explore the Map, where you choose and double click red or yellow markers to explore fun facts and videos about art from all over the world. Next, hop into the Time Machine to learn more about specific time periods, geography, and big ideas such as inventions or creatures. Also find, Watch Videos that teach about celebrations, share art made by kids, or provide detailed directions for creating your art.

tag(s): art history (77), artists (75), inventors and inventions (76), myths and legends (26)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use on classroom computers or for a blended class for students to explore on their own. Streghthen student learning by asking them to find information for a specific period of time or country and label what they find important using Webnote, reviewed here; tell students to be sure to save the URL to share their notes and questions with you and their peers. Next, transform classroom technology and extend learning by showing students how to embed media into an interactive time line using Sutori, reviewed here. With Sutorie you can include images, text, and collaboration, or Preceden, reviewed here, for creating multi-layer timelines for over lapping events.

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

Grades
4 to 12
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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...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 (299), architecture (73), art history (77), aviation (32), black history (78), civil war (132), dinosaurs (45), explorers (64), images (265), inventors and inventions (76), Learning Management Systems (24), oceans (157), scientists (66), Teacher Utilities (100)

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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Technovation Families - Iridescent

Grades
4 to 12
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Technovation Families: Curiosity Machine connects scientists and engineers with young people to help design and create projects together. Create an account to begin using features on...more
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Technovation Families: Curiosity Machine connects scientists and engineers with young people to help design and create projects together. Create an account to begin using features on the site. Discover challenges to build on your own, including categories such as aerospace, robotics, engineering, and more. Find inspiration by watching videos of scientists and engineers sharing their inventions. Share your finished projects as inspiration for other aspiring engineers and scientists.

tag(s): aeronautics (10), computers (102), engineering (110), gifted (70), makerspace (33), oceans (157), problem solving (261), robotics (22), STEM (206)

In the Classroom

Be sure to take advantage of the free educator units offered with membership. Share project ideas with students as ideas for a school science or engineering fair. Share this site with students interested in exploring careers in science or engineering. Encourage students to enhance their technology use and learning by using a visual blogging tool such as Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links (no registration required), to document their progress while completing projects. Have gifted students choose projects from the site to complete as enrichment within different learning units.
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Da Vinci - The Genius - The Museum of Science

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore an Inventor's Workshop through the eyes of Leonardo da Vinci. Click the word Menu in the upper right corner to choose different areas of this site like the Inventor, ...more
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Explore an Inventor's Workshop through the eyes of Leonardo da Vinci. Click the word Menu in the upper right corner to choose different areas of this site like the Inventor, the Scientist, the Artist, and more. Discover elements of machines, gadget anatomy, linear perspective, and the golden ratio. Also included in the site are lesson plans for having students sketch and build their own inventions. Other portions of this resource take viewers deeper into the world of Leonardo by providing perspective on Renaissance times, exploring his special way of writing, and discovering Leonardo's activities in different Italian cities.

tag(s): artists (75), inventors and inventions (76), italy (14), leonardo davinci (2), renaissance (31)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Explore the different portions together during your studies of the Renaissance, inventors, or artists such as Leonardo da Vinci. Share a link to this site on your class webpage for students to explore at home, or to use in your blended class activities. Add a link on classroom computers for use during computer centers. Have students replace paper and pen notes and take digital notes about what they are learnng using a tool like SuperNotecard, reviewed here. Enhance students' learning by using Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about Leonardo da Vinci or other Renaissance artists. Extend student learning by challenging individuals and small groups to take one of the concepts they learned from Leonardo and apply it to something from today's world. Use a bulletin board tool like Lino, reviewed here, to record and save student ideas. With Lino you can create stickies with images, commenting, videos, and more. After individuals and small groups have devoloped their art, invention, etc., have them present their learning and their invention, art, etc. to peers using one of these multimedia tools: Click the tool name to access the review: Genially, Zeetings, Animatron, Renderforest, and Canva Inforgraphic Maker.

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CurriConnects Book List - Inventors and Inventions - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Use this CurriConnects list to find books related to Inventions. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels...more
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Use this CurriConnects list to find books related to Inventions. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles''® to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly.

tag(s): book lists (120), inventors and inventions (76), reading lists (69)

In the Classroom

Build student literacy skills, reinforce what students are learning about Inventions, and help students build the important reading strategy of connecting what they read to prior (classroom!) knowledge. Share this link on your class web page or wiki so students can select independent reading books to accompany your unit on Inventions. Don't forget to share the list with the school and local libraries so they can bring in some of the books on interlibrary loan. CurriConnects are a great help for teachers who have lost school library/media specialists due to budget cuts.

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Do Try This at Home: Invention at Play - Smithsonian Museum of National History

Grades
K to 6
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The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation offers this site as a way to explore and learn how to play. The site includes opportunities for play that ...more
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The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation offers this site as a way to explore and learn how to play. The site includes opportunities for play that develops visual thinking, problem solving, exploration, and collaboration. You can also create your own doodles to help develop creative thinking and invention. Find a multitude of ideas for student to investigate and create from inventing a toy, to redesigning the shopping cart or creating a solared-powered invention. Scroll down the page to find "Story Tags." There is a link to Women inventor's stories, which ncludes the stories of some male intventors, too! Read about little known and well known inventors such as Stephanie Kwolek (Kevlar) and Alexander Bell (telephone). Each story includes background on the inventor and information on how their idea developed. Several videos are included demonstrating play activities and skills developed through play and the use of common toys.

tag(s): biographies (89), inventors and inventions (76), problem solving (261)

In the Classroom

Create a link to the site on classroom computers for students to explore the games. Share the site with parents on your classroom website or blog as a resource for using play as a learning tool. Share the site at conferences or parent meetings as a resource for developing learning skills through play. Include the inventor biographies as a resource for students when researching inventors.
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Young Scientist Lab - Discovery Education & 3MYoung Scientist Lab

Grades
K to 8
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Explore science in everyday life to understand the impact of science and technology. Find information for students, educators, and families as well as lesson plans and activities. Lesson...more
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Explore science in everyday life to understand the impact of science and technology. Find information for students, educators, and families as well as lesson plans and activities. Lesson plans are standards based and divided into age groupings. View lessons and interactives to make science come alive. The videos even include the grade range! View the family section for great online labs and family activities. This site can make science accessible and interesting even to middle school girls who may begin to shy away from anything scientific.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (76)

In the Classroom

This is also a fabulous link to share on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Use the many great activities to bring home basic science concepts such as collisions and motion in the activity "Cushion It!" Help students make real world connections that may interest them in a science career. Use the innovation activities as part of a unit in inventors and inventions. This site has something for every age level. This is a fabulous site to save in your class favorites for students to explore on their own. Enhance learning by challenging cooperative learning groups to research a specific science topic and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class about their topic. Give students a choice of tools to use! Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Adobe Spark for Education, Zeetings, Animatron, Renderforest, and Canva Inforgraphic Maker. Alternatively, have students create a simple online posters using PicLits, reviewed here.

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Inventors and Inventions Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Invent and Innovate! This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers, parents, and students learn about inventors and inventions. Use these resources...more
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Invent and Innovate! This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers, parents, and students learn about inventors and inventions. Use these resources for science or social studies lessons and activities about innovation and invention, in observance of National Inventors' Day (celebrated on February 11, Thomas Edison's birthday), or at any time during the school year. Whether you are simply learning about the history of invention or planning a schoolwide Invention Convention, these resources will provide inspiration and project possibilities.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (76)

In the Classroom

This collection includes resources for all grades. Each review includes several classroom use ideas. These are excellent tools to use to study science, social studies, and more! Explore the activities suggested. Share sites on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Provide the link on your class website for students to access both in and out of class.

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Thomas Edison's Inventive Life - Smithsonian

Grades
3 to 8
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Learn about Thomas Edison and the impact of his inventions. While most students know about the light bulb and the phonograph, this site peers into the full repertoire of Edison's ...more
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Learn about Thomas Edison and the impact of his inventions. While most students know about the light bulb and the phonograph, this site peers into the full repertoire of Edison's invention inventory, giving the story of how one man became a sort of national invention hero. Scroll down the page a bit and click the tag on the right titled Legendary inventors to find information about Edison and tatoos, the phonograph, his places of invention, and Thomas Edidson letters and documents.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (76)

In the Classroom

Share this site at the beginning of a unit on inventors and inventions using your whiteboard or projector. Create a Padlet, reviewed here, with columns for students to list and describe Edison's inventions. Enhance learning by asking small groups of students students to look through the tag Legendary inventors to find another inventor to read about and research. Then challenge the groups to choose one of the following tools to create a presentation about what they learned to share with their peers: a multimedia presentation using Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here, a video using Typito, reviewed here, a podcast using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, or a blog post using Edublog, reviewed here.

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USPTO - United States Patent and Trademark Office - United States Patent and Trademark Office

Grades
3 to 12
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Visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to help kids of all ages learn about trademarks and patents, and the importance of intellectual property creation and protection....more
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Visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to help kids of all ages learn about trademarks and patents, and the importance of intellectual property creation and protection. USPTO features "collectible" cards of inventor profiles, activities at different levels - including videos with age appropriate appeal, and more. In another video section are videos with titles like Driverless Cars, Bionic Limbs, Biofuels, Electronic Tattoos, and more. The invention and design focus of most of the activities makes for perfect STEM and "maker space" lessons. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): crafts (42), digital citizenship (71), inventors and inventions (76), sound (86), sports (86), STEM (206), video (249)

In the Classroom

Whether an elementary, middle, or high school teacher you'll find ideas for building model rockets, a mechanical grasper, and more. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector and start by viewing the video on the home page titled Extraordinary Innovations. Or, in your blended or flipped class have students watch the video at home and enhance their learning by using playposit, reviewed here, to take notes, make comments, or ask questions to document what they learned from the video. Be sure to have a small or whole group discussion about what they learned from the video using their notes & comments the next day! At the end of your lesson or unit on patents and trademarks, transform learning by challenging students to create a timeline for the invention of the snowboard, or motorcycles, or another topic of interest. Why not modify classroom technology and make this an interactive timeline with music, photos, videos, and more using Timeline JS, reviewed here.
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How Stuff Works - Howstuffworks, Inc.

Grades
4 to 10
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Find answers to the most curious questions that students ask on this great site. Search the site for your topic of interest, such as how cars work, what makes a ...more
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Find answers to the most curious questions that students ask on this great site. Search the site for your topic of interest, such as how cars work, what makes a refrigerator cold, or how construction has changed and the materials that are used. Articles provide diagrams, text, videos, images, and a range of other resources to show a curious student what makes something tick. The site's explanations are a great resource for "kitchen science" projects, getting budding inventors started, or providing added explanations of how things work the way they do. Click the top menu topics for the various subjects such as Adventure, Animals, and Autos through Money, Science, and Tech. Can't find your answer? Ask under the "Keep Asking" section, and it may become the question of the week. Sign up for the monthly newsletter. Search the other areas of the site such as "Games," "Quizzes," and "Pics and Puzzles." Find great podcasts and blogs, and be sure to check out the "Random Zone." Find images, lists, and random facts here. Scroll to the bottom to find fun facts, trivia, and even a poll of the day! Ignore the advertising; the site content is worth it.

tag(s): independent reading (106), questioning (34), trivia (18)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an "activator" to introduce a new science unit or lesson on a projector. It could also be a great way to introduce informational speeches/videos and how to write them. The videos on earth and life science topics provide a great launchpad for further class discussions. Participate in the poll of the day. Use the trivia and facts section for interesting ways to get kids thinking in class. Use this site for students to "show and tell" something they have learned. Use the information presented here to understand better how science is applied in our everyday lives. This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Ask students to visit the site and give them a choice for how to share the information they learned by creating a multimedia presentation using Canva Edu, reviewed here, a video using Rocketium, reviewed here, a podcast using Podcast Generator, reviewed here, or a blog post using Edublog, reviewed here. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class.

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