TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jul 16, 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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Geography Games - Crazy Games

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K to 6
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Try these geography games that test your knowledge of country locations, flags, and locations found in the Old and New Testaments. Choose any of the games to view the directions ...more
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Try these geography games that test your knowledge of country locations, flags, and locations found in the Old and New Testaments. Choose any of the games to view the directions and begin playing.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): countries (73), flags (17), game based learning (174), states (122)

In the Classroom

Before sharing with students, consider demonstrating how to play and avoid ads on your interactive whiteboard. Then, add a link to student computers to use during computer centers to become familiar with the locations of states and countries and learn how to identify nations' flags. After learning about geographic areas, ask students to choose a country or state to research. As students learn about their selected country, use Google Jamboard, reviewed here, to create a template for students to add facts and information by creating a frame for each country or state. Finally, extend learning using Google My Maps, reviewed here, to create an interactive map with links to each location that includes images, videos, and descriptions of the site written by students.

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Geo-fs Flight Simulator - GeoFS

Grades
6 to 12
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Teachers can take a trip around the world without leaving their classrooms! Geo-fs.com is a free online flight simulator with an open-source platform to render the global landscape...more
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Teachers can take a trip around the world without leaving their classrooms! Geo-fs.com is a free online flight simulator with an open-source platform to render the global landscape you can fly over. This free site will work on any modern web browser, including Chromebooks! You can choose to control your plane with keyboard controls, a mouse, or a joystick. A large ad on the center of the home screen looks like it will run the game. Read the screen carefully to ensure you are not clicking on an ad. A chat feature on the site may cause the site to be blocked at your school. Always test resources before using them in the classroom to be sure they function and are appropriate for your students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): aviation (38), virtual field trips (80)

In the Classroom

There are various uses for this flight simulator, from a simple flight for exploring the land below to learning more advanced aviation skills. Your students can experience different parts of the world using the Geo-fs flight simulator. Use this site to learn the geography of a region or study various landscapes. Teachers can create a virtual field or lit trips by making a flight plan for their students to follow. Create a challenge or virtual race for your students to complete; the possibilities are endless!

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Africa in the K-16 Classroom Online Resources - Boston University African Studies Center

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K to 12
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Boston University's Pardee School of Global Studies shares many free resources for teaching about Africa in all grade-level classrooms. Follow the links to access featured resources,...more
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Boston University's Pardee School of Global Studies shares many free resources for teaching about Africa in all grade-level classrooms. Follow the links to access featured resources, podcasts, teaching tips, and more. In addition, there is an extensive library for educators divided into grade-level categories. Each category includes resources for pedagogy, children's literature, lesson plans and activities, and additional classroom resources. Also, this website provides links to teaching about Africa divided into topics that include climate change, geography, literature and language, and others.

tag(s): africa (139), continents (32), countries (73)

In the Classroom

Add this excellent site to your other resources for teaching about the continent of Africa. Consider using a curation tool such as Milanote, reviewed here, to organize your ideas and projects into one location. Add links, notes, images, and more onto one Milanote vision board to make it easy to find and view your resources and ideas. As you implement and teach lessons found on the site, ask students to share their learning using multimedia presentation tools such as Sway, reviewed here, and Adobe Express for Education, reviewed here. Find culturally appropriate images for student use at Fresh Folk, reviewed here, and Unsplash, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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City Guesser - virtualvacations.us

Grades
4 to 12
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How well can you guess the name of a city based on audio and street scenes within a video? Play City Guesser as an individual or in a multi-player scenario ...more
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How well can you guess the name of a city based on audio and street scenes within a video? Play City Guesser as an individual or in a multi-player scenario to see how well you know your geography. Start by selecting from different world areas, or try your hand anywhere in the world as your starting point. When you think you know where it is, click the link to start guessing. Drop a pin on the map's location of your guess, then click to see how close you are! Once you become a pro, try the advanced challenges that test your radius streak and ability to find locations without audio clues or within a predetermined time limit. Compete with friends using the multi-player option to create a private room, join a random room (not recommended), or use a code provided by a friend.

tag(s): cities (17), maps (208)

In the Classroom

City Guesser is an excellent resource to use together as a class on your whiteboard, at computer centers, or as a quick learning activity to teach students about using visual cues and critical thinking skills. Before placing a guess, ask students to share the clues they saw in the video that led to their suggestion. Use City Guesser as an ongoing estimation activity in math class. Create a chart to show the average distance between guesses and actual locations, then challenge students to become more accurate with their guesses. As students discover interesting places, encourage them to research and learn more about the location. Use Google My Maps, reviewed here to create virtual field trips around the world based on locations previewed in City Guesser.

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Native Land Digital - Victor Temprano

Grades
6 to 12
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Native Land Digital is an interactive map of indigenous territories around the world. Click an area on the map or type in an address to find relevant tribes from that ...more
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Native Land Digital is an interactive map of indigenous territories around the world. Click an area on the map or type in an address to find relevant tribes from that area. Each tribe name includes a link to a page that tells more about the tribe or treaties referenced. Use the dropdown boxes to search by specific tribes, treaties, or languages. Be sure to go to the Resources area of this site to find a comprehensive Teacher's Guide that includes complete instructions for using the site and several map-related lessons.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (155), DAT device agnostic tool (143), maps (208), native americans (91), Teacher Utilities (150)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for many purposes for geography lessons and lessons about indigenous people worldwide. Engage students in learning by finding indigenous people who lived in or near your location and then exploring the provided links to learn more about their way of life. Instead of using paper and pencil for suggested journal activities, use Telegra.ph, reviewed here to create simple websites that include student writing and images. Extend learning by asking students to create podcasts using Buzzsprout, reviewed here. Share podcasts that feature information about different indigenous tribes or focus on one tribe through a series of podcasts that discuss the land they lived on, their lifestyle, and the history of the tribe.

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Cities Quizzes - Ian Fisher

Grades
4 to 12
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Select from several geography-themed games created by a Google software engineer to see how many cities you can name worldwide. Choose from games that focus on different continents...more
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Select from several geography-themed games created by a Google software engineer to see how many cities you can name worldwide. Choose from games that focus on different continents or countries to begin playing. Type a city name in the box; if it is on the map, a red dot appears in its location. Click on the dot to view the city name and approximate location. As the game continues, the total number of cities and population appears under the map, along with additional population statistics based on your choices.

tag(s): cities (17), continents (32), countries (73), maps (208), population (48), quizzes (89)

In the Classroom

Share this game on your interactive whiteboard and play together as a class. It is an excellent way to practice and reinforce skills in locating cities around the world. Create different options for students to use as a challenge, such as find the largest or smallest population you can create with five different cities, using ten cities that come as close to a population total of 10 million (or some other number) or use only state capitals to come close to a target number of the total population. After playing the different games, ask students to select one location they identified on a map and further research it. Have them share their findings by creating a digital book using Book Creator, reviewed here.

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The Globe of Extremes - John and Raluca Nicola

Grades
6 to 12
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This interactive globe shares some of the most extreme locations on Earth. Find the highest mountain, discover the most distant point from land, and more by turning the globe and ...more
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This interactive globe shares some of the most extreme locations on Earth. Find the highest mountain, discover the most distant point from land, and more by turning the globe and clicking highlighted areas. Each highlighted area includes a short description cited within Wikipedia articles.

tag(s): globe (12), maps (208)

In the Classroom

Use this globe in your classroom as a conversation starter on geography around the world. Before opening up the linked area on this interactive globe, challenge students to identify the location or share their ideas on why that location is considered extreme. Enhance learning by using this site as a model for students to create their own maps that highlight areas of interest or "extreme" places within your state or country using Google My Maps, reviewed here. For more advanced students, share the blog linked in the "About this globe" portion. The blog shares the steps used to code and create this interactive globe. Extend learning by challenging students to create their own 3D globe using Sketchup, reviewed here, that highlights locations and features around the world that relate to your current lessons.

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Mapping the Nation - Susan Schulten

Grades
7 to 12
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Mapping the Nation is the companion site to the book of the same title. It provides images and context to the book's content that explores the rise of different mapmaking ...more
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Mapping the Nation is the companion site to the book of the same title. It provides images and context to the book's content that explores the rise of different mapmaking methods in the 19th Century. Browse the site by chapter, creator, or in chronological order to each map. In addition to the map images, each item includes extensive information including date of creation, type of map, notes, and much more. Many of the maps are available for download, use the notes included to find publishing rights.

tag(s): 1800s (73), maps (208), primary sources (117)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site to use in a variety of ways. Share maps with students that show information for different periods of time during the 19th Century. Because this site includes various types of maps, use these resources to provide a wider context of the time period. For example, choose the time from 1860-1870 to take a look at the Civil War era. Have students use the information found in the maps to research and understand population patterns in the United States, explore the slave population's distribution, and understand the geographic locations of the south's cotton regions. Help students understand the different content using Padlet, reviewed here, to organize and share information. Create columns within the Padlet to share maps, articles, and primary sources separated by content such as geography, weather, political information, or other important categories. Ask students to share their understanding using one of the many digital tools found at Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here. Have a group create posters that include downloadable maps found at this site to tell the story of the Civil War through a geographic lens, ask another group to create a web page sharing information from a journalist's point of view, and have others create social media graphics featuring headlines of the day appealing to different areas of the country.

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Google Arts and Culture - Google

Grades
6 to 12
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This unique collaboration between Google and many of the world's most respected art museums enables viewers to discover the museum's thousand of artworks in extraordinary detail. All...more
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This unique collaboration between Google and many of the world's most respected art museums enables viewers to discover the museum's thousand of artworks in extraordinary detail. All content pertaining to individual artworks was provided by the museums. Visit over 2,000 museums without leaving home through the lens of Google Arts & Culture's presentations. Explore the studios of famous artists, take tours of historical cities through virtual trips, or use the search bar to find the categories for "selfie" (then take a selfie to find a piece of art that looks like you). Use the menu (the three lines at the top-left of your screen) to choose from the different collections, themes, and experiments. Collections include resources to learn about art, music, and drama through many different options. Other choices include searches by artists, historical events, and art movements. You won't want to leave the profusion of engaging content at this site!

tag(s): art history (87), artists (78), museums (44), virtual field trips (80)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students and allow them time to explore on their own. Encourage students to find and share interesting art and activities with their peers. Use Padlet, reviewed here, as a collaborative tool for students to share items from this site. Ask them to include a link to a favorite portion, then add a comment on why they found it interesting. Include information from Arts & Culture when studying historical events to provide interest and perspective on that period. Have students use a map storytelling tool such as Google My Maps, reviewed here, to add information found on this site and others to tell the story of art around the world throughout history.

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Virtual Field Trip Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources includes our best virtual field trips. Peruse the list of websites and many suggestions for ways to use them in teaching almost any subject or...more
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This collection of reviewed resources includes our best virtual field trips. Peruse the list of websites and many suggestions for ways to use them in teaching almost any subject or grade. Be sure to read the "In the Classroom" suggestions for examples of ways to use virtual field trips as part of a lesson or unit.

tag(s): virtual field trips (80)

In the Classroom

This collection includes virtual field trips for all grades. Each review includes several classroom use ideas. Get out your projector (or interactive whiteboard) and take your students on an adventure. Have students go on a "field trip" with a partner or independently on laptops or other devices. Explore the activities suggested.

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Earth Voyager - Google Earth

Grades
5 to 12
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Discover the earth through visualization and storytelling brought together in a Google Earth collaboration with PBS, National Geographic, and others. Scroll through the site to find...more
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Discover the earth through visualization and storytelling brought together in a Google Earth collaboration with PBS, National Geographic, and others. Scroll through the site to find ideas to explore, including The 5 Big Beasts of Africa and Sesame Street Around the World. Other ways to explore the site include opening Voyager look down the page to find content to connect to math, ELA, geography, and social studies. Each of these tours includes a Google Earth activity and guiding questions for students.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), maps (208)

In the Classroom

Although this site is useful for many purposes, sometimes it is best just to let students explore and discover on their own. Share Voyager with students and allow them time to look around and select places that intrigue them. Encourage them to learn more about an area or subject of interest found on the site. Instead of writing down information, ask students to use Google Docs or Microsoft Word to begin research. Using these online documents affords many benefits, including the ability to add comments, highlight information, and add links to online information. Once research is underway, suggest that students use a bookmarking tool like Raindrop.io, reviewed here, to organize information. Raindrop.io includes the ability to add notes to bookmarks, making it easy for students to label and add information for later use. As a final project and to extend student learning, ask students to create their own virtual tour of a location using Odyssey, reviewed here, to create a story map that includes images, videos, and text.

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American Panorama - Digital Scholarship Lab, University of Richmond

Grades
6 to 12
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American Panorama includes interactive maps demonstrating changes in the United States since the 1800's. This ongoing project will be adding additional maps; explore the current ones...more
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American Panorama includes interactive maps demonstrating changes in the United States since the 1800's. This ongoing project will be adding additional maps; explore the current ones that provide information on The Forced Migration of Enslaved People, The Overland Trails, Canals, Foreign-Born Population, and many more topics. Click on any map to explore the many features including keyword searches and interactive timelines.

tag(s): african american (111), immigrants (33), immigration (63), maps (208), migration (44), slavery (76)

In the Classroom

Bookmark these interactive maps for use throughout the year to examine American issues in deeper detail. Share the locations using Google Earth, reviewed here, to get a first-hand look at the geography of the region. This tool is a great find for gifted students. Have them explore in-depth different changes to America over the past two centuries. Replace paper and pen and have them record what they learn using an online journal like Penzu, reviewed here. With Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. Take this idea a step further and modify classroom technology use by having students make a multimedia presentation using information found in their research. Use a tool like Vevox, reviewed here. Vevox offers interactive features such as real-time polls and comments to keep viewers interested and involved in the presentation. Vevox allows adding polls, videos, embeds, web links, and PowerPoint.

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National Geographic Kids - National Geographic

Grades
K to 7
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National Geographic offers this kid-centric site as a companion to National Geographic Kids magazines and Little Kids magazines. The focus is on information about animals, geography,...more
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National Geographic offers this kid-centric site as a companion to National Geographic Kids magazines and Little Kids magazines. The focus is on information about animals, geography, and the natural world presented in a fun and engaging format. Use this busy interactive site for free, register to gain access to more content. Buttons on the home page lead to short videos, images, stories, polls, news bites, games, and activities. The site includes heavy advertising for the magazine subscriptions. A search box at the top right allows for exploration of the extensive content.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (284), blended learning (36), countries (73), endangered species (27), environment (238), plants (147), reading comprehension (142)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for interactive whiteboards or projectors. Display the site on your whiteboard to use as a learning center for students. Select videos for lesson introductions for flipped or blended learning activities. For language arts, practice finding the main idea or summarizing stories using these interesting informational texts. ENL/ESL learners can also find accessible news stories here. Choose words from stories to include with weekly spelling tests or as vocabulary builders. Assign different stories to groups of students to summarize and present to the class. Enhance learning by challenging cooperative learning groups to create videos about any article on the site. Upload images (use Creative Commons or other copyright-safe pictures) and use moovly, reviewed here, for this project. Then share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Use the site for learning games that will appeal more to younger students. Preview all video since some feature animals hunting which may upset some students.

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