TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Mar 19, 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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Felt - Interactive Map Creator - felt.com

Grades
K to 12
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Felt is a free map creator that makes it easy for anyone to create and work with maps. Under the Use Cases tab on the top right, you'll find Education ...more
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Felt is a free map creator that makes it easy for anyone to create and work with maps. Under the Use Cases tab on the top right, you'll find Education with ideas for teaching with Felt. Easily share your maps with others by sharing a link or embedding them in another tool. Felt's simple toolbar makes it easy to map data or routes and add notes, links, or images. Pinning locations, adding notes, coloring specific areas, clipping out any location to emphasize, and adding layers to your maps allows you to map just about anything you could imagine! You must be at least thirteen years old to create a free account to create maps. This site is currently in a public beta version.

tag(s): map skills (55), maps (206)

In the Classroom

Visualizing data and creating maps just became easier for teachers and students. Help your students understand current events worldwide by creating a map and embedding it on your classroom website or learning management system. For example, use maps in science to track migration patterns, explore climates, or map weather events. Teachers of students aged 13+ years can have students create and edit maps in real-time from anywhere. Build upon your student's knowledge by adding layers to your maps to show new information. Teachers of younger students can create maps for student viewing to map a story or show animal habitats.

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BouncyMaps - Mapping Worlds

Grades
5 to 12
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BouncyMaps provides maps from a different perspective than physical size, showing how large the map would be based on other criteria. Choose from the provided topics to see maps change...more
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BouncyMaps provides maps from a different perspective than physical size, showing how large the map would be based on other criteria. Choose from the provided topics to see maps change size proportionally to population, economy, religion, and more. Use the button to toggle back and forth between the regular and bouncy maps. Scroll down past each map to view a list of countries and data used to create the map.

tag(s): agriculture (48), maps (206), minerals (14), population (45), religions (71), visualizations (11)

In the Classroom

BouncyMaps is an excellent way to help students visualize large numbers and provide perspective to data. Use the embed code found on the site to share on your webpage or download images and data using the provided links. Start a discussion using one of the regular maps and hover over countries to show details. After reviewing a standard map, switch to the BouncyMap to show how it changes based on data. This site is an excellent one to share with students to explore during computer centers or at home. After allowing students time to look on their own, ask them to choose one map that surprised them and discuss their findings. Ask them to research the information further with the goal of trying to learn why there are such differences between countries. When finished, ask students to share their findings by creating an infographic using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here. When teaching world history, these maps provide context when teaching about major conflicts. For example, when teaching about tensions in the Middle East, refer students to the religious maps to help them understand how different populations of Jewish people and Muslims within that area are key to the conflicts.

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Google My Maps - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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You may already be familiar with Google Maps, reviewed here, but Google My Maps takes working with maps a step further. Use Google My Maps to create...more
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You may already be familiar with Google Maps, reviewed here, but Google My Maps takes working with maps a step further. Use Google My Maps to create custom maps with features you add. Add points or shapes to any location, use the embedded search to find places then save to your map, import information from spreadsheets, and customize your map with colored icons and your uploaded images and videos. Collaborate on your project just like you would with Google Documents, then embed maps into your website or blog.

tag(s): maps (206), virtual field trips (78)

In the Classroom

Share Google My Maps on an interactive whiteboard or projector to create virtual trips for many situations. Create a trip to biomes around the world, visit places mentioned within books, map out battlefield locations for different wars, or find and save different kinds of landforms on your map. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. Embed completed maps onto your class webpage or blog for students to view when reviewing for tests or quizzes. Have older students complete their own Google My Map project to create their own virtual field trips. This site is perfect to use in conjunction with TeachersFirst Reading Treks, to follow the adventures of characters in the featured stories. Not ready to create your own maps? Use the explore feature on the site to find many examples of maps made by others.

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Plants Map - Bill Blevins

Grades
4 to 12
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Plants Map is an online resource for plant enthusiasts that allows you to create communities, personal plant libraries, and map personal gardens. Explore the site using a keyword search...more
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Plants Map is an online resource for plant enthusiasts that allows you to create communities, personal plant libraries, and map personal gardens. Explore the site using a keyword search or by browsing through the home page to view different plants and information such as locations and type of growth. Be sure to click on the word "Help" on the very bottom menu to find "Getting Started Articles" and to view video tutorials with full details about using the site to create collections and your private maps. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): communities (34), maps (206), plants (140)

In the Classroom

Share Plants Map on your interactive whiteboard or projector to locate and discover different kinds of plants. Click the map to find species near you. If you are lucky enough to have a school garden, Plants Map is the perfect site for planning, documenting, and sharing your garden with your students and community.

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Map Stack - Stamen Design

Grades
3 to 12
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Create an image from any area on a map using Map Stack. Type a location to find it on the map, and then personalize from several options. Change the size ...more
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Create an image from any area on a map using Map Stack. Type a location to find it on the map, and then personalize from several options. Change the size of the covered area in the box by adjusting the arrows in or out. Click the map to move it around to fit in the box how you like, or set the image size in pixels. One interesting option is the drop-down box to change the look of the map. Use this box to view terrain, toner, and watercolor options. When finished, click "MAKE" to create your image, go to the URL provided to view the image and download to your computer.

tag(s): images (254), landforms (37), maps (206)

In the Classroom

Use Map Stack to focus on and compare resources found in various communities or geographic locations. Identify where natural resources are concentrated in the world. Compare street design in different communities, the concentration of population, and more. Have students use a Map Stack image with multimedia projects for many different topics such as communities, locations of battles, or historic events. Use these maps on your interactive whiteboard as you teach about any location, using the whiteboard pens and highlighters to have students indicate landforms, places, and more on the maps.

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Odyssey - CartoDB

Grades
6 to 12
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Build interactive, map-based stories without coding skills using the Odyssey open source library. Click Create Story to begin and follow the prompts to choose a template for slides,...more
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Build interactive, map-based stories without coding skills using the Odyssey open source library. Click Create Story to begin and follow the prompts to choose a template for slides, scrolling, or an animated story template. Add story content, images, links, and more within the "sandbox." When finished, publish directly to GetHub, download, or share as iFrame to embed directly into your blog or website.

tag(s): digital storytelling (141), gamification (75), images (254), interactive stories (20), maps (206)

In the Classroom

Most storytellers will find a bit of a learning curve to working with Odyssey, click on the three bars on the left top of the home page to find the Quick Start Guide tutorial for using the site. Share this site with tech-savvy students so they can be experts and help others become familiar with using the site. Use Odyssey for creating map-based stories based on works of literature, important events in history, or mapping scientific discoveries. Odyssey is perfect for use with gifted students when creating multimedia presentations.

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StoryMap JS - Northwest University Knight Lab

Grades
7 to 12
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Make your story-telling come to life in any content area with this free tool! Story Map uses a map or pictures to tell the story. The simple editor in this ...more
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Make your story-telling come to life in any content area with this free tool! Story Map uses a map or pictures to tell the story. The simple editor in this tool syncs to Google Drive editor to create a storymap. The created storymap is a sequence of slides for a map location or image that includes a heading, text, and even images and embedded video. The map or image and included information appear side by side. You can click between the slides connecting one location to another (or portions of an image to another). Your story is now interactive! To use: Follow the prompts to connect your Google Drive to the tool. Choose the type of story to create, Map or Gigapixel (image). Don't worry about the map image showing on the first page. When building a map, the front page will include the portion of the World Map based on map points throughout the project (ex. USA or Europe). Add a headline and detail to the appropriate areas. Include links and change font to bold and italic if desired. Add images to any page by uploading from your computer (through Google Drive) or by entering a link to an image. Enter the URL of the Vimeo or YouTube video you wish to use. Need help? Click on the Gigapixel tab along the top for help in uploading images and videos. The Media box not only has an area for the URL, but also an area to enter a caption and credit for the image. Add additional pages by clicking "Add Slide" in the left-hand menu. Add points to your map, one per slide, by typing the building, street, city, and country. Use the zoom bar in the top left to find the location. Customize the map style, background color, and font using the Options buttons. Click Share to send through social media or to use an embed code. The embed code can be used in any site, adjusting its width for different sites. If using Gigapixel, use a large image (as the image will literally be the "map" and your points move around the image). Save your image to Google Drive and copy the URL of the image as you will need it in the first step.

tag(s): maps (206), stories and storytelling (37), timelines (45)

In the Classroom

Be sure to stress Fair Use and Copyright with students when using online images and crediting sources. Find great resources and information on TeachersFirst. Of course, if possible use your own images. In Science, use this tool to upload a picture of a science experiment from class and retell the story of the "experiment" by connecting with each of the individual parts of the image. In a Technology class, use this tool to create a project of anything that could be considered "mappable." Some examples include a timeline tour of an event, tour routes of a favorite band, the movement of a character in a movie or novel, or various events in a War. Find various shapes in nature and buildings for a Geometry class, showing their locations in a map. This tool would be wonderful for gifted students to showcase an interest or extend learning from a concept learned in class. Use this tool to trace the history of various recipes or ingredients in a Family and Consumer Science class. Trace the history of people, religions, and events. In Science, create a tour of various animals found in specific areas of a given biome or locations of various types of rocks and their information around the world.

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Zeemaps - Zee Source

Grades
4 to 12
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Generate maps with unlimited markers easily with this tool! NO membership is required to create, save, or collaborate on maps, and you do not need to install software. Enter a ...more
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Generate maps with unlimited markers easily with this tool! NO membership is required to create, save, or collaborate on maps, and you do not need to install software. Enter a title, description (optional), an admin password for others to collaborate, and a starting location to create your map. Add simple or detailed markers to your map. Input data from multiple formats: KML, CSV, Excel, and more. Add video, audio, and information to each of the markers. Markers can also be customized icons. Be sure to check out the menu options available such as Additions, where areas of the map can be highlighted and Annotations can be added to the markers. Share your map by URL or publish on a webpage.

tag(s): directions (11), map skills (55), maps (206)

In the Classroom

If you teach geography, this one is a must. It is also helpful for showing students WHERE a story or news event takes place. Teach map skills by letting students explore and annotate their own community. This site is great on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Create multiple markers for various points within your community. Annotate the markers with specific information that students research. Remember to create an admin password (and save it somewhere safe!) for others to collaborate on the map. Research various places around the world, and create markers of must-see places, historical finds, and other locations of interest. Create a map of news hot spots around the world. In Biology, find places where environmental or biodiversity concerns are occurring. Collaborate on a map to include annotated information of student research about these problems. Create a map to introduce various cultures around the world. Enter video, audio, information, and links that students can use to "uncover" the content to be learned.

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Sound Around You - University of Salford

Grades
2 to 12
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Listen to soundscapes recorded all over the world. Find a place of interest on the map, listen to the recording, and read the information about the location. Some locations have ...more
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Listen to soundscapes recorded all over the world. Find a place of interest on the map, listen to the recording, and read the information about the location. Some locations have a link to a Google Map tour. Upload your own soundscapes using the site or through the iPhone/iPad app.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (149), listening (63), maps (206), senses (19), sound (74), sounds (44)

In the Classroom

Those who teach geography and world cultures will like this! Use this resource to get your students thinking about the sounds around them. Include it when studying sound or the human ear in science class. Connect with other subjects by envisioning smells that would be there or craft a story inspired by the sounds heard at a specific location. Play sounds for your younger students and ask what they hear. Create sound stories together -- or as a creative project --by playing a series of sounds to tell the tale! Use your imagination to add this resource to other location projects used throughout the year. World language teachers could assign students to create a sound and word story about a cultural location. Use these sounds as background and add the dialog!

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map a list - Innovation Geo, LLC

Grades
2 to 12
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Create a map from addresses collected in a Google spreadsheet. Create an account using your email or through a Twitter or Facebook account. Connect with your Google account or use ...more
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Create a map from addresses collected in a Google spreadsheet. Create an account using your email or through a Twitter or Facebook account. Connect with your Google account or use the friendly step by step help to create one on this site. Collect addresses using a Google Spreadsheet. Create a map by choosing one of your spreadsheets where data has been collected. Instantly map these addresses using the map a list tool. Make your maps public or private and share with others by downloading the KML file for opening in Google Earth. Use the tutorials on the bottom menu for help with map a list.

tag(s): earth (180), maps (206)

In the Classroom

You must be familiar with using a Google form for collecting data and finding the spreadsheet in your list of documents. You must have a Google account and an email address to register for map a list. Create a class account for students to use. Publish your Google form on a blog, site, or wiki to collect entries to be used to make a map.

Use a Google form to collect addresses of various locations such as historic places students know, my most memorable vacation, where I live, or where my grandparents were born. Use to teach some basic map skills to younger students. Map locations of government services for a civics class, local locations of healthy activities or farmers markets in a health class, locations where students can find certain trees, insects, or other wildlife to name a few. Map the locations of anything collected in a Google Spreadsheet. Be sure that information collected is in address format so it can be mapped by this amazing tool.

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Tripline - Byron Dumbrill

Grades
4 to 12
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Tripline is a great visual for putting stories on a map. It was built to work with Google Maps, then be enhanced by each individual to fit their needs. What ...more
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Tripline is a great visual for putting stories on a map. It was built to work with Google Maps, then be enhanced by each individual to fit their needs. What a fabulous way to integrate literature and geography, history and geography, or many other subject areas. To create a trip, type in a starting point and select it from a suggested list of matching places. Add places to your trip in the same way, places can be rearranged in any order. From this list, a map will be created showing the itinerary. Push play and the map comes to life, stopping at each creation point. To further enhance the experience, pictures can be uploaded that will show as icons as each stop is reached. Maps can be shared with others via email, web link, or Facebook.

To create a new trip, you must register at the site. Registration requires a username, password, and valid email address.

tag(s): maps (206)

In the Classroom

Suggested uses on the Tripline site are to use along with moments in history such as Paul Revere's ride and Lewis and Clark's expedition to demonstrate stops along their path. Other classrooms uses would be for students to create a Tripline map of their summer vacation to use as an enhancement to a regular report, map out your favorite sports team's schedule, historic state sites, map out where characters in a novel travel around a city, state, country. and world using images to enhance the setting, and much more.

Registration does require an email address. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

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ScribbleMaps - Scribble Maps

Grades
2 to 12
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Use this tool to "draw" on and label any map available through Google Maps, including maps of the night sky! No registration or email required! Create a colorful, personalized map ...more
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Use this tool to "draw" on and label any map available through Google Maps, including maps of the night sky! No registration or email required! Create a colorful, personalized map with added scribbles and labels. Add your choice of placemarker labels for geology locations, people, etc. There are even little icons available to use. Your drawing or "Scribble Map" is then available to share by URL, email, or print. Slightly more savvy users can download, save as a KML file (readable in Google Maps or Google Earth), or embed the map in another site. The tools include sharing the map on Facebook and Twitter, as well. Add images by pasting in their URLs. Drawing tools include lines, circles, place pointers, text labels, and color/size/transparency controls for all tools. Place pointers can be edited by selecting them (arrow tool), then clicking the small pencil. This site does include Ads and all the normal controls of Google maps, including satellite, map, terrain, hybrid views and Night Sky. See a sample Scribble Map created by the TeachersFirst editors (drag the map with your mouse!). Explore the tools and MENU options at the top left when you start out. Try the different Maps views (lower right) and zoom controls. Search for a starter location using the search at the top left, just below the tools. There is no help available, but it is easy to do basic maps. Share, save, etc. by clicking Menu (top left). When you first save a map, it will ask you to create a password for that map to use to edit it later. Note that if you SAVE a map and share it by URL, those accessing it will be able to use the tools and change the map. If you want them to see it without changing it, you will need to embed it in a blog, wiki, or other web site. The map ID can be changed and customized by simply typing in your own choice of ID when you are saving the map.
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tag(s): directions (11), geology (64), landforms (37), landmarks (18), map skills (55), maps (206), space (211)

In the Classroom

Students and teachers will want to keep a written record or map URLS and passwords for future reference. Model this for students so they do not lose hours of work! Teachers can prepare partially-made maps or maps for students to make corrections and changes by giving the students the URL, then having them SAVE the map with a NEW ID. To SAVE the map with a new name and URL, click "Save map" in the menu, then enter your OWN map ID. Students could use a code including their initials, such as SJ12-3-09 for a map made by Sally Jones on Dec 3, 2009. Teachers should PASSWORD protect their originals so changes can only be saved under a new name. Similarly, if a student saves the map with a map password, they don't have to worry about other students vandalizing their work. But they DO need to remember the password! Wise teachers will keep a class list of maps and passwords for forgetful students! In primary grades, make maps of your local community together on your interactive whiteboard as you teach basic map skills. Create your own "key" with symbols you choose for playgrounds, etc. Have students help map locations of favorite playgrounds, grandparents' houses, stores, etc. as they gain basic understanding of map skills. Make sure you allow students to operate the tools! Save the map and share it as a link from your class web site (or embed it there). Keep names generic so it is "safe." Other ideas to challenge gifted student beyond the curriculum or elevate challenge for small groups include: natural resource maps, immigration maps, maps of civil war battles day by day, maps of key sites in the life of a famous person, artist, or author, maps of the settings in a novel, landform maps of a continent or state, "My life" maps of places important to an elementary student's family, annotated watershed maps of pollution sources, maps of the water cycle, maps of constellations in the night sky created by students to demonstrate understanding, maps of a dream community to be built in a vacant area (desert), including the water sources, etc. that will be needed, maps of a redesigned city/town on top of its current map. Teachers can provide map challenges or templates to be completed or corrected, including maps where students must label distances and cardinal directions between points (using map scale and skills). Or provide a teacher-created map with labels in the wrong places for students to correct the landforms, resources, etc. What will YOU do with Scribble Maps?

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