TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jan 8, 2023

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 (57), aircraft (17), inventors and inventions (69), virtual field trips (71), wright brothers (17)

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 Blendspace, reviewed here.
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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 (21), ebooks (34), space (206)

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 Flip, 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.See the menu on the left to see them all. 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 (9), computers (96), engineering (112), gifted (63), inventors and inventions (69), makerspace (43), oceans (134), problem solving (216), robotics (24), STEM (225)

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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Earliest Voices - Michigan State University

Grades
6 to 12
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We are accustomed to hearing the voices of celebrities and important leaders today, but it has been less than 150 years since the invention of sound recording technology. Earliest Voices...more
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We are accustomed to hearing the voices of celebrities and important leaders today, but it has been less than 150 years since the invention of sound recording technology. Earliest Voices is an archive of recordings from the earliest years between 1877 and 1927. Hear Booker T. Washington speak about race relations or William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech. Listen to Thomas Edison (who was the inventor of the technology) speak about advances in technology and electricity. Find a short biography and images along with the recordings.

tag(s): biographies (96), inventors and inventions (69), oral history (15), politics (106), sound (66)

In the Classroom

Bringing early voices to life in the classroom can help connect students with these important figures from history. Do their voices sound as you expected? Along with the audio records, you'll find important contextual information about early audio recordings, and about the circumstances surrounding each speech or recording.

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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 on the site are activities 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 (69), italy (14), leonardo davinci (2), renaissance (32)

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 SimpleNote, 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, Microsoft PowerPoint Online, Animatron, Renderforest, and Canva Inforgraphic Maker.

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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 designing an all-terrain wheelchair, 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 (96), collaboration (87), creativity (91), inventors and inventions (69), problem solving (216)

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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Great Inventions, Great Inventors - edinformatics.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Find an extensive list of great inventions on this straightforward site. The "look" is simple, but the information useful. Click each invention to view information on its invention,...more
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Find an extensive list of great inventions on this straightforward site. The "look" is simple, but the information useful. Click each invention to view information on its invention, the inventor, and other related information including links to other topics. Note that ads do appear on these pages. Caution students to avoid them.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (69)

In the Classroom

Find information for science and technology reports on this site. Allow students to view the dates of many of the inventions to determine what scientific principle was just known to push technological thinking. For younger students, create a timeline of inventions to enhance learning and determine the impact of science, economy, and society on inventions. Use a site such as Sutori, reviewed here, that can include images, text, and collaboration. Ask older students to choose an invention and research other forms of that model, alternatives before and after, and what we are using today. Discuss environmental impacts, how the invention changed society, and other impacts.

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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 (69)

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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Kikki's Workshop - Komatsu, Ltd.

Grades
K to 5
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Calling all builders - this site has it all! View interactives, videos, the "Great Picture Book of Construction Equipment," "Everything about Construction Equipment," Q and A, printables,...more
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Calling all builders - this site has it all! View interactives, videos, the "Great Picture Book of Construction Equipment," "Everything about Construction Equipment," Q and A, printables, and more. This site is full of great information about construction equipment, perfect for invention units, physics of simple machines, engineering, and more. There is also a link to learn more about anti-mine equipment, sure to spark some serious class discussion with older students.

tag(s): engineering (112), inventors and inventions (69), machines (14), simple machines (17)

In the Classroom

During a physics unit on simple machines, have students look at the various components of the heavy equipment and analyze which simple machines they see as PART of these huge machines. Doing a unit on inventions? Discuss how the inventions of these machines were designed specifically to meet a need. Use this site during a unit on engineering as you learn about how these machines are designed to accomplish a specific task. With older students, discuss the uses of the anti-mine equipment. Create a class "Construction Wiki" where all students contribute after researching specific equipment. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. A wiki tool suggestion is PBWorks, reviewed here.
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Design Squad Global - PBS Kids GO!

Grades
4 to 9
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Are you looking for a new way to get your students excited about science? This neat site is based on the PBS show, Design Squad, but you can easily incorporate ...more
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Are you looking for a new way to get your students excited about science? This neat site is based on the PBS show, Design Squad, but you can easily incorporate the activities and clips from the site without watching the show. There is a full educators guide available (see the Parents and Educator link) with ten engineering and inventive activities. The site also includes video clips, building activities, and interactive (educational) "games." Some of the building activities include "Watercraft," "Hidden Alarm," "Dance Pad Mania," and others. This resource also features "real life" challenges that students (or classes) are able to get involved with.

tag(s): engineering (112), inventors and inventions (69), sound (66)

In the Classroom

The possibilities at this site are "inventive." Visit the games site to learn about sound and play an interactive "string thing." Have students work in cooperative learning groups to recreate the building activities. Share the video clips (or interactives) on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have your class complete one of the "real life" challenges together. If you can't do it during the competition months, go back and try one of the past competitions. Document it on a class wiki, then invite next year's class to do it even better by learning from "experience." Before you know it, kids will walk in the first day of school and ask when they get to try the challenge.
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Inventor of the Week - MIT Lemelson Center

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6 to 12
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The Lemelson Center at MIT once offered a weekly profile of an inventor - some famous, many less so. Here you will find an archive of those scientists. If you're ...more
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The Lemelson Center at MIT once offered a weekly profile of an inventor - some famous, many less so. Here you will find an archive of those scientists. If you're doing a unit on scientists, creativity, or economic/industrial growth, this site can help students understand how many advances are the result of small, incremental improvements rather than revolutionary breakthroughs.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (69), scientists (62)

In the Classroom

Use the Inventor Archive as an activator at the beginning of every week in a science or Physics classroom. This could be used as an activator over the interactive whiteboard, a projector, or as a learning center or station. This could be used every week or before inventive projects, serving as a motivator!

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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 about the paticulars of patents, trademarks, and more. In another video section are videos with age appropriate appeal, and 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 (50), digital citizenship (79), inventors and inventions (69), sound (66), sports (77), STEM (225), video (245)

In the Classroom

Whether an elementary, middle, or high school teacher you'll find ideas for building model rockets 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 in the search, 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. 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 (105), questioning (30), 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 Binumi, 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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