A National Treasure Of Free And Engaging Resources For All: Podcasts, Simulations, Lessons!


Welcome to the tenth in a series of summer posts dedicated to bringing you the biggest collections of national and international resources you will find anywhere. This being the ninth post in the series, be ready for my super post that brings all the sites in this series together. Also, be on the lookout for my upcoming Advanced Google Post and an exciting Evaluation Of Web Sites Series!  Not only that, I f have found a few more tools over the summer that I am anxious to share. Please be sure you bookmark, copy, RSS, subscribe by email and visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki! You will want to share this site and its information with others !  I will announce each post on twitter at (mjgormans), so be sure to follow. Now lets learn about a fantastic site that is really to big to blog! – Mike

If you have been to the Smithsonian in Washington DC you may have been overwhelmed by its size! I guarantee you will be equally impressed with its Smithsonian Education website. In this review I will cover the area of the Smithsonian Website geared for educators. When first entering you will note that the Education Page has a rich host of options including Art and Design, Science and Technology, History and Culture, along with Language Arts. Take a moment and look at the unique lessons provided in each of the areas. Such interesting titles as Making Friends with Franklin , Every Picture Has a Story , How Size Shapes Animals, and What the Limits Are , and The Music in Poetry are just four selections in a large collection of lessons and projects. Easy to use data bases allow teachers to access more than 1,500 rich Smithsonian educational resources that align with grade, subject and specific state standards. The Smithsonian’s new student web links has a wide range of activities, web sites, puzzles, hand outs, and engaging facts. The Idea Lab is filled with interactive activities, videos, and simulations involving the massive Smithsonian collection.  In this area students are in engaged in activities such as  Sizing Up The Universe, they may take a Prehistoric Climate Challenge,  or relive an engaging Apollo 11 Mission of Walking On The Moon,  and they might just  race for answer on a web mission while Digging For Answers. Smithsonian in Your Classroom Magazine includes lesson plans based on primary sources you can view. In keeping with the spirit of Heritage Months, the Smithsonian offers these thematically arranged teaching resources from across the Smithsonian. The resources have been selected for their relevance to classroom curriculum and national education standards. They include Black History, Asian Pacific Americans, American Indian Heritage, Woman’s History, and Hispanic Heritage. In fact you might enjoy visiting the Top Ten Lessons of the month such as :

1.  The Music in Poetry
2.  Teaching with Collections
3.  Every Picture has a Story
4.  The Universe: An Introduction
5.  A Shape-Note Singing Lesson
6.  WWII on the Home Front: Civic Responsibility
7.  Introduction to the Nature Journal
8.  Abraham Lincoln: The Face of A War
9.  Tale of a Whale and Why It Can Be Told
10.  Tomorrow’s Forecast: Oceans and Weather

It should be evident that lessons do cross every grade level and subject. You will find amazing material as you search by subject , standard, and grade level.  There are even lessons about making and using podcasts in the classroom along with an amazing collection of unique podcasts. In the spirit of virtual field trips there are live and archived conferences that allows kids to interact, view sessions, watch a multi media event, and even ask a curator.  Here is an archived example titled, Problem Solving with Smithsonian Experts.  You may want to begin your first Smithsonian  lesson as small as a game about the  Cell, or  expand your classroom to the endless boundaries of the Universe. The Smithsonian  is a great resources, its yours, and its free.   It really is time to bring  national treasures, collections, and resources into your classroom, today!

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as the Smithsonian this summer! Take some time to investigate and possibly implement in the school year,  or tomorrow! Coming soon… my upcoming Advanced Google Post and an exciting Evaluation Of Web Sites Series! Please share with others, visit the 21centuryedtech 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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