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100 Years of Flight Grades 6 to 12 Time, Inc.

Time Magazine created this site to commemorate the centennial of powered flight in fall, 2003. Predictably, the site relies heavily on the rich archive of Time-Life photos from the early twentieth century. There are also articles and commentary on many aspects of the growth of commercial and military aviation.

Teachers will find both history and science connections at this site.

Cool Antarctica Grades 4 to 12

This Antarctica site includes lots of images, one of the more complete histories of the continent that we’ve found, and a section on the continent’s surprisingly abundant flora and fauna. While some images will be useful for elementary students, other sections will be better suited for secondary grades. The travel information doesn’t really get in the way of the educational content.

Gene Scene Grades 3 to 7 National Museum of American History

Here’s an introduction to genetics – complete with simple, but relevant examples and quizzes – that will keep upper elementary students engaged in the material. The design encourages students to explore topics in whatever order they choose, and various components all encourage student input and response. This unit is part of the American Museum of Natural History’s “Ology” series that explores different aspects of the life sciences.

Mississippi River Adventure Grades 4 to 8 Army Corps of Engineers

The Army Corps of Engineers created this Flash-intensive site about the Mississippi River and its watershed. Suitable for elementary students, those with the patience to endure an overly long introduction will find a really engaging presentation wrapped in a treasure hunt motif. You’ll need a fast connection and enough time for students to work through the entire site in order to make this one effective.

Mostly Medieval Grades 4 to 12

Those studying castles, knights, and the feudal system will find a surprisingly rich collection of information and lifestyle trivia at this site. The emphasis is on life in the medieval era, from medicine and food to religion, music, heraldry, and folklore. Lots of tidbits and interesting ideas here. Elementary students will need lots of help with this one.

NewsIsFree Grades 6 to 12

Here’s a British site that does a nice job of sucking up news items from thousands of sources and offering them up in organized, manageable pages. While its resources are mostly English language, this site relies on reporting from a number of nations, so students will sometimes notice a very different “spin” on events from that given by domestic news organizations. Try this one for another view of what’s going on in the world.

Science Projects – A Kids’ Guide Grades 4 to 8 Tucson schools

Created by a faculty member in the Tucson schools, this is a great guide for elementary science projects and activities, with lots of pointers, tips, and research suggestions. Try the “perfect project” section for a step-by-step example of using scientific method to conduct an experiment. There’s lots of great advice here, but the site doesn’t do the project for the user.

Who is Leading Our Schools? Grades 1 to 12 Rand Corp.

The Rand Corporation recently released this report on school administrations. There is concern that schools and districts will be unable to attract and retain enough qualified school administrators. The authors analyze data on school administrators’ careers and the factors influencing decisions to enter these careers. They find no national crisis but do find three primary areas of concern: state and local variation in financial rewards, barriers to entry into the field, and the number of administrators nearing retirement.

4H Virtual Farm Grades 2 to 6 Virginia Tech

If your students can’t get out to the country, here’s a way to experience farm life – actually six different types of farms. Suitable for elementary students, there are images, simple text, and a few animations and other illustrations of aspects of each type of farm – everything from fish to cattle and chickens. Primary students could use this one with some teacher assistance. Created by Virginia Tech University.

Art and Architecture Thesaurus Grades 6 to 12 Getty Museum

The Getty museum has compiled a very complete, easily used thesaurus of art and architecture terms. Art teachers and students will find this one a valuable research and study tool for understanding art terminology and vocabulary.

Astronomy Grades 4 to 8 American Museum of Natural History

From cosmic connections to gravity and the planets, this unit presents an engaging, animated introduction to astronomy and the study of the stars. Students can try a Flash-based planets game, take an interplanetary quiz, and do several other activities. This unit is part of the American Museum of Natural History’s “Ology” series that explores different aspects of the life sciences.

Biodiversity Grades 4 to 7 American Museum of Natural History

Everything Counts is the theme of this elementary unit on how ecosystems, resources, and cultures all relate to one another. The unit’s text and illustrations make their points in simple terms. This unit is part of the American Museum of Natural History’s “Ology” series that explores different aspects of the life sciences.

Chinese Exclusion Act – Separate Lives; Broken Dreams Grades 6 to 12

From the 1880s to the 1940s, the Chinese Exclusion act prevented immigrants of Chinese descent from gaining full citizenship. The site includes background information on how the act came to be, as well as a discussion of its repercussions.

Consider using this one as part of a study of immigration in the late 19th century.

Crisis of the Union Grades 6 to 12 Univ. of Pennsylvania

The department of history at the University of Pennsylvania developed this searchable collection of primary source materials dealing with the Civil War. The collection includes editorial cartoons, images, and manuscripts, all grouped by subject and time period. While some of the material will require interpretation, this would be a useful site for secondary research that requires the use of primary sources.

Debates in the Federal Convention Grades 9 to 12

Cmprising the period from May through October, 1787, this site contains the daily journals of James Madison in which he discusses the progress of the Constitutional Convention. Students interested in first-hand accounts of the forming of the American Government will find these journals great reading. High ideals notwithstanding, they show that the art of compromise was alive and well at the birth of the federal government.

EarthWatch Grades 4 to 8

Try this site if you’re looking for a just-the-basics set of current weather graphics. The images are similar to those found on the commercial weather sites, but without all the advertising. The drawback: you need to draw your own conclusions from the images; there are no printed forecasts or commentary. It’s good for what it does, but what it does is limited.

Eat Smart. Play Hard Grades 3 to 8 Federal Food & Nutrition Service

While this federally developed site deals with the importance of exercise and good nutrition, most of its content is materials designed to support on-site activities and programs. These may be useful in some schools, but the site itself has little to offer either teachers or students.

EEK! Environmental Education for Kids Grades 4 to 8 Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources

The state of Wisconsin developed this environmental education site for students there. While some of the content is a bit “Wisconsin-centric” there is a nice collection of interesting elementary content in an easy to navigate structure.

Teachers will also find a collection of lesson materials and activities.

Egyptians Grades 4 to 12 BBC

The BBC offers this elegant, detailed treatment of ancient Egypt. The site includes audio recordings of Egyptian texts, lots of images, and a collection of instructional games based on Egyptian history and facts. Students could explore this one for days.

This site could also serve as an excellent “tool kit” for teachers developing Egypt units.

Einstein Grades 4 to 8 American Museum of Natural History

How (and why) do you introduce Einstein to an elementary student? Here’s a presentation that does it effectively, drawing on Einstein’s love of trying something new and his willingness to “think outside the box.” While it’s mostly text, this site would be a great introduction for a student who is already curious about inventors, scientists, or the universe. This unit is part of the American Museum of Natural History’s “Ology” series that explores different aspects of the life sciences.


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