Free Down To Earth Resources For Science And Social Studies


Welcome to the eighth in a series of summer posts dedicated to bringing you the biggest collections of national and international resources you will find anywhere. Summer is a  perfect time to examine what you just might want to include in next year’s lesson plans that will engage your students. I plan to share resources that will cover all the curricular areas. Each article will give an in-depth and informative visit to one of these sites. Make sure you bookmark, copy, RSS, subscribe by email and visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki! You will want to share! If it is not summer where you are, then you can jump right in and facilitate learning with some new material  tomorrow. I will announce each post on twitter at (mjgormans) so be sure to follow. – Mike

A visit to the US Department of Interior’s USGS Education Website , The U.S. Geological Survey, provides scientific information intended to help educators. Exploring this amazing site  is certainly a grand voyage in itself. Teachers of Social Studies, Geology, Geography, Biology, Statistics, and History will find themselves engaged in a a collection that literally covers the Earth! The mission of the USGS is to educate the public about natural resources, natural hazards, geospatial data, and issues that affect quality of life.

Your students can discover what a satellite can really see as it passes over our planet.  Unlike many popular satellite imaging programs,  students will see pictures in near-real time with the USGS EarthNow Landsat Image Viewer. This program incorporates mesmerizing, near-real time satellite imagery from the Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 satellites as they pass over North America. Discover how to make it happen by watching a high-resolution, 1-hour public lecture, Looking Down On Our Planet: New satellite imagery reveals a changing global surface. A teacher may also want to design a unit around Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change. This is an educational site focusing on before and after satellite images (emphasizing environmental change) with detailed information for the classroom. Perhaps you want to help your students Explore the Arctic.  They will discover the many new facts scientists are learning ever day about its changing landscape.  Don’t miss the countless other Featured Topics that contain exciting and engaging lessons ready for classroom use. It will be worth your time to take a moment to download this recently published PDF File citing over 22 major resources supplied to education from USGS.

Teachers will discover great  lessons for K-6 and 7-12 involving Ecosystems, Biology, Geography, Geology, and Water. Wish you could take more field trips? Perhaps you may want to check out  your own schoolyard filled with great geologic features! School Yard Geology is filled with activities and examples of what to look for to turn your schoolyard into a rich geologic experience. Supplement just about any lesson with over 130 engaging and downloadable Podcasts covering such topics as Twittering Earthquakes, Mt. St Helen, Arctic Ice Shelves,  and Global Warming. Most USGS videos and animations  are posted on the USGS Multimedia Gallery and even have captioning.  Browse through this database containing a collection of USGS videos and animations that are especially appropriate for classroom use. This list provides a broad representation of USGS research available through their own visual media. Remember, USGS is a Federal agency and cannot copyright its products. With one exception, all the products in this database are considered public domain and may be viewed, downloaded, and reproduced free of charge. What an opportunity for student remix and creativity! Be sure to visit Lessons & Activities for Exploring the Earth with Maps It will allow you to make maps and geography concepts come alive inyour classroom! Speaking of maps, why not Find A Map that fits the exact topic you are teaching? Using Find A Map educators will browse a site containing links to popular USGS map resources and map databases, including the: The National Map, and The National Atlas. You don’t have to stop at the USGS education site, find even more information at the main site for the USGS. It really is time for you to bring your curriculum down to earth while providing engaging opportunities for all students.  You will find that the USGS Education Website is filled with resources that will allow you to facilitate 21st Century Learning in your classroom today!

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as USGS this summer! Take some time to investigate and possibly implement in the school year,  or tomorrow! I will continue to bring thought, reflection, and amazing web apps along with this summer series. Please share with others, visit the21centuryedtech Wiki, follow on me twitter (mjgormans), and subscribe to this blog by RSS or email . If you have resources that you feel need to be included please leave a reply!  Enjoy, relax, play, and smile…. also take a moment to transform education toward 21st Century Learning! – Mike


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