TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Apr 9, 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
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomSelect games from this site to include with Earth Day or environmental units. Include a link to games on classroom computers and your class website for students to access during learning centers or at home. Instead of using worksheets or short response quizzes, ask students to create an infographic sharing information learned during your science unit. Canva, reviewed here, offers easy to use templates for designing infographics. Collaborate with a classroom in a different state or country using Global Virtual Classroom, reviewed here, to compare and contrast environmental issues found in your different locations. Continue your collaboration using Flip, reviewed here, to create student video responses to essential questions raised during your ongoing discussions.
Grades3 to 6
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plans shared on this site for use with Earth Day activities, or recycling and conservation units. Share a link to the interactive on classroom computers or your class website. Ask students to create a concept/mind map to organize the information they are learning. This could be done conventionally or digiatally. Consider using a digital concept mapping tool to replace the paper/pencil version of a concept map with MindMup, reviewed here. Next ask students to create a simple infographic sharing information on recycling using Visme, reviewed here, or create an interactive poster using Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here.
GradesK to 6
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): back to school (62), chinese new year (5), christmas (38), cross cultural understanding (149), earth day (63), hanukkah (12), hispanic (28), holidays (151), italy (15), Juneteenth (18), mexico (29), native americans (87), ramadan (9), thanksgiving (24)
In the ClassroomBookmark this site for use throughout the year when teaching about countries, holidays, and for cross-cultural literature resources. Choose a country to explore each month using resources found on the site. Learn about your students' backgrounds to find countries and regions to explore using activities on the site. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast your culture with that of a different country.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): animals (271), climate change (84), commoncore (76), earth day (63), ecology (97), energy (129), food chains (16), map skills (55), maps (206), migration (45), multimedia (42), oceans (139), STEM (244), weather (159)
In the ClassroomBe sure to bookmark (or favorite) this site for use throughout the year to find real-world resources for classroom use. Don't forget to look for materials on National Geographic for use with Earth Day and Arbor Day activities! Differentiate easily using the multiple levels of materials found within National Geographic. Some text portions are challenging, so you should pair weaker readers with a partner as they research on this site. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Venngage, reviewed here. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as WordItOut, reviewed here. If you use Apple products in your classroom, be sure to download the interactive iBooks for use in classroom centers or independent reading.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomFirst, after viewing the main areas of this site, engage your students by having them play the game "Super Sorter." For Earth Day or everyday, use this site to raise awareness about the energy that is used to create items and how energy can be saved by using recycled materials. Students can research statistics about the various items used in the United States and abroad. Discover why recycling is an important endeavor to combat pollution and energy use. Create a public service announcement for your school or community to learn more about the benefits of recycling. Initiate a recycling campaign and create a center for recycling many items from the school including paper. Classes can tally the pounds of materials saved for recycling. Have students create informational commercials using a multimedia tool such as Genially, reviewed here. With Genially you can insert maps, surveys, video, audio and more.
Grades4 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomWith the Common Core State Standards push for nonfiction reading, this site is a natural for any time of the year. Recyclebank will appeal to students who are environmentally conscious, but its intrinsic value is in teaching all students to think about how they can recycle in their everyday life. The advertising comes along with the prizes, so be sure to discuss where to click (or not). If your students have access to email, have them register with the website and start a class competition to see how many points students can earn individually or as a class. Conclude the competition by having students discuss (no matter who won the competition) how acting in greener ways allows everyone to win. There will be future "Green Schools" program competitions. This is a yearly competition where school groups design a green plan for their school that wins up to $2500.00. Posted on the website are the accepted projects where members from all over the country can award points to your school. For every 250 points donated to your school initiative, you earn $1.00. Promote Recyclebank to get as many people involved as possible. Ask them to donate their points to your school. Use this as an opportunity to teach students about grassroots movements and the difference that one bright idea and a few motivated people can make in the world. Why not plan an Earth Day project using this site?
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomIdentify similarities and differences in water issues around the globe. Have cooperative learning groups create online Venn Diagrams comparing two distinct areas and their water issues. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here.
Students can choose an area or topic of interest either individually or as a group. Look at water issues that many students may not be aware of including water quality and distribution. Create a campaign to increase water awareness that may or may not coincide with world water week (or day.) Have students create a video or podcast sharing their campaigns. For podcasts, use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here. If creating videos, use a tool like FlexClip, reviewed here, where you can add music and the computer microphone to make comments, explain, etc. Share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.
Use these resources to determine how to help other countries in their need for clean water and how everyone can conserve.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThe most difficult aspect in learning about the environment is understanding how the "stuff we use" impacts more than students can imagine. Use this thought-provoking movie to stimulate class discussions, get students thinking, and create awareness. Students can take aspects of the video and do group research of additional information needed to understand. Students can also create awareness campaigns, poll friends and families, blog, or create other multimedia articles. Looking for some creative multimedia options? How about having students create public service message podcasts ("Stop! Where do you think that ___ came from?") using a tool such as podOmatic, reviewed here. Or create videos and share them using SchoolTube, reviewed here.
Students can research the origins of many popular items in their lives, tracing the materials used and the resources needed to create and transport the materials and the product. Students can create a Google My Maps, reviewed here, showing the movement of materials throughout the world from resource to send product to consumer.