Tag Archives: lesson

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


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Free Resources… Integrate The Arts In Every K12 Subject Area

Welcome to the seventh 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

What could all teachers find on a site devoted to integrating the fine arts? The answer, new lessons to engage students while facilitating Project Based Learning, STEM activities, and 21st Century skill acquisition. ArtsEdge is an amazing site that contains science activities such as, How Many Cells are Born in a Day? and Acoustical Science, plus Language Arts activities with titles like Comparing and Contrasting Fables and Characterization in Literature. Physical Education teachers may want to try Street Games while math teachers have their students discover Melodies & Math: Telephone Improvisations.   With ArtsEdge you won’t forget to put the A in STEM in order to STEAM it in to full power! Language Arts teachers will bring out student creativity through amazing projects, while social studies teachers can make history come alive.  This is an all encompassing resource from the Kennedy Art Center! ArtsEdge, the National Arts and Education Network, has a mission to place the Arts  at the center of the curriculum and further, advocates creative use of technology to enhance the K-12 educational experience. Artsedge claims that it “empowers educators to teach in, through, and about the arts by providing the tools to develop interdisciplinary curricula that fully integrate the arts with other academic subjects.” These are the neccessary ingredients to qualify as an outstanding resource for any 21st Century Classroom intent on student centered learning.

Artsedge offers free, standards-based teaching materials for use in and out of the classroom, as well as professional development resources, student materials, and guidelines for arts-based instruction and assessment.Check out a powerful searchable data base of lessonsstandardsweblinks , and how-to’s. All of  this content is searchable by art curriculum, other core curricular content, and grade bands. The lessons under the Art Curriculum include Dance, Music, Theater, and Visual Arts. The Other Subjects include Foreign Language, Language Arts, Math, Physical Education, Science,  Social Studies, and Technology. I invite you to click on your content area in the preceding sentence and guarantee you will be amazed at the creativity found in the lessons. Lessons are also searchable under grade bands that  include elementary, middle, and high school. All lessons are linked to the Arts Standards. Educators must also investigate the over 200 web links of resources divided into the categories of Instructional, Multi-media, and Research. There is also an amazing collection of Teacher How-To’s including such content as Classical Music across the Curriculum, Coaching Youth Storytellers, The Language of Photography, and Filmmaking: Creating and Organizing the Story.

There is an area of Artsedge that allows educators to Connect with Articles/Reports that give valuable information about Arts Education. The Contacts Section can put teachers in contact and provide resources covering over 60 Art related organizations. Advocacy Essentials gives talking points articles on Art promotion for education. A third area allows educators to Explore Artsedge. From here close to fifty activies are available including such titles as, Abraham Lincoln and Music, Corridos, Art/Space, and Art of the Explosion. You may want your students to check out Art Days in history, meet the Artist,  or discover over 250 Art Quotes from various people. There is a small, but growing collection of podcast also available. Be sure to take a look at the Spotlight area and the section entitled Looking Back. Here you will find a collection of their most requested lessons, resources, and activities. Artsedge  is truly a site devoted to Art appreciation and integration and will make all curricular areas  rich in purpose, meaning, and ready to engage your 21st century students.

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as ARTSedge 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

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Free STEM & PBL Resources… eGFI Is Dreaming Up The Future!

Welcome the third 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

If you have been trying to dream up some great STEM and PBL related material then eGFI, brought to you by the the American Society For Engineering Education (ASEE), is a great place for you to visit! This first class organization who’s mission is to dream up the future, is committed to promoting and enhancing efforts to improve K-12 STEM and engineering education. At first glance it is apparent that this web site is a dream of student centered and actively engaging resources. It now time to go beyond that first glance. You will be amazed at the number of videos, resources, lessons, and activities that are ready for you to integrate.

Once you are done moving  the different pictures of resources around on the entry site, a great place to start is at What’s New.  In What’s New, you will beintroduced to some of the most amazing cutting edge inventions, or perhaps you will want to visit E-Tube filled with video titles like Engineers Are Cool, Stanford Researchers Make Paper Battery,  The Great Space Elevator, and Robot Football! In fact E-Tube contains over one hundred engaging videos covering the major topics of competitions, cool stuff, TV shows, in the field, and in the classroom. Perhaps you want to connect instruction with careers. Then dream on with Trailblazers, a place to connect studies with people in the field. Here you will find interesting people and the interesting things they do related to STEM careers.  If that doesn’t get you dreaming then be sure to check out the lower right hand corner of the page that will take you to 15 different STEM related industries through a funky, yet fun interface. Dream on with eGFI’s amazing Student Blog! This highly engaging blog assists upper elementary, middle and high school students as they explore the various fields of engineering and STEM related fields, plan their own projects, and get the information they need to decide whether an engineering or STEM related career is right for them.

Engineer Your Path provides a great place for students to dream about a possible STEM related future. Here you can meet a student, discover 10 essential steps toward getting in a STEM field, discover what it is like to be on the job, and just get great advice. Great information for schools interested in exploring career pathways! Be sure to read the magazine, filled with cool topics and linked to great videos. You may wish to join the thousands of teachers receiving fresh lesson plans and activities, news, feature articles and web resources every week by email. Check out this archive of teacher newsletters and then sign up here. Do your students want to learn more about The Making of Avatar, 3D Printing, and the The Kepler telescope. Each week, the eGFI student newsletter presents fun and interesting engineering innovations, STEM related topics, and great discussion topics for class. Sign up for the student newsletter and encourage your students to do so, as well. You can check out past newsletters here.

If I have you are dreaming of future possibilities for your classroom then be sure to check out the for teachers link!  This will turn your dreams into a reality! This hard to spot link in the upper right corner of the What’s New Page is one you do not want to miss. You will find close to 100 amazing lesson plans for K12, another large selection of activities that will put your students at the center of project based learning,  over 300 outreach organizations and events, close to 300 web resources devoted to STEM,  special feature articles that feature STEM related education, and some great K12 education news. eGFI is an amazing teacher resource area that could keep you dreaming all season long! If you or teachers you facilitate have an interest in STEM and PBL, then eGFI is a great place to get both you and your students dreaming up the future!

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as eGI 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 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

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Free EDSITEment : Core Curricula, 21 Century Ed, And The Arts

Welcome to another of 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

If there is such thing as a free goldmine of resources, then EDSITEment qualifies for hitting the mother lode.  Looking for Art and Culture? How about Literature and Language Arts? Perhaps you need some Foreign Language! Let’s not forget Social Studies and History! Click on EDSITEment and you will enter a site that indexes nearly three hundred other websites at the current time!  Every one of these websites covers at least one, if not all four, of the curriculum areas stated above.  This wealth of material is provided by a partnership consisting of the National Endowment for the Humanities,Verizon Foundation, and the National Trust for the Humanities.

EDSITEment offers a treasure trove for teachers, students, and parents searching for high-quality material on the Internet. This site is loaded with cross-curricular information, 21st century skills, and project, problem, and inquiry based learning activities. Check out these main headings including  Art and CultureLiterature and Language ArtsForeign Language, and History and Social Studies. In each one of these categories you can search by subcategories and grade levels. Perhaps your students want to take a virtual excursion “On The Road To Santa Fe“. Possibly they want to to learn that the Alphabet Is Historic. How about an activity in Mythology involving a  Podcast with Rick Riordan, author of the best-selling series Percy Jackson & the Olympians series ? You could get  involved with a Picturing Americas Conference. These conferences provide opportunities to teach history, and culture through American Art. Explore these lessons from Picturing America and see how they emphasize the value of visual literacy for subjects in the core curricula.

But wait, there is so much more! Take a moment to see what the ASA said about EDSITEment’s Advanced Placement US History Lessons. Explore EDSITEment’s cooperative effort with NCTE involving The National Gallery of Writing. This collection of student interactives and contributions are short essays that are thoughtful, analytical, and well-researched  based on history as seen through art. Be sure to also explore these NEH funded PBS resources for education. One example is the  NEH-funded five-part television series on PBS entitled American Experience: We Shall Remain.This is a provocative multimedia project which spans four centuries and gives Native American voice to the national experience from the Mayflower to the Wounded Knee occupation of 1973. There are some great lessons based on 19th century American Literature you may wish to explore and incorporate.  Not to be forgotten is this outstanding literary glossary.  You will also be rewarded as you browse the engaging monthly features that are provided.  The monthly calendar and calendar archive help integrate important events in history with lessons that can be found in the archive. There is also a great NEH Magazine that will fascinate you and your students, and a wonderful newsletter to keep you up-to-date in all the new resources and programs at EDSITEment.  I really could go on and on… but it is time for you to discover the goldmine of free resources found in EDSITEment!  Explore and be amazed as you search through the entire database by subject, subcategory, and grade level. I am sure you will create EDSITEment in your classroom.

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as EDSITEMENT 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 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

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Explore GPS and GIS In Engaging STEM Related PBL Activities : Free Resources And Site License

 


Give a kid a GPS and allow them to enthusiastically explore the world outdoors, introduce them to GIS and engage them with a world of relevant data, maps and information. We are all aware of of Google Maps, but are you aware of ESRI and Arcview? It is time to introduce your students to one of the fastest growing  job sectors in the world. This mid week post offers you an opportunity to discover free resources, inspire students using awesome activities,  and do a PBL project on your community while getting a free site license in return. As always fee free to visit me at my 21ceturyedtech Wiki and follow me on twitter @mjgormans. I will do the same and we can learn from each other. – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

Even before  there was Google Earth, there was a company called ESRI (Environment Systems Research Institute) based in Redlands, California. This company still exists and is not only a leader in GIS application but is also dedicated to K12 education. GIS (Geopgraphic Information Systems) can be integrated in science and social studies, as well as in mathematics and art/design. It also connects with GPS (Global Positioning Systems) to provide engaging adventures for students. GIS provides a foundation for interdisciplinary projects that allow for connections to the real world. Working with GIS also allows today’s students to develop 21st Century skills relating to computer literacy, problem solving, communication, collaboration, and presentation. Using GIS opens the doors to occupational fields that are growing and in demand for students upon completion of their schooling. Most resources from ESRI are either free, very low cost, or available through an ESRI grant for K12 educators and students.

You will find  abundant resources of materials at the ESRI Main K12 Page  in education This web page provides a format that educators can use to collaborate and share lessons with techniques that are successful. Check out this listing of over 300 lessons available for download using ESRI software. Be sure to download  a copy of Arc View for use in education

Most recently I came across four books (Our World GIS Education ) that were developed for K12 education. These books are available through ESRI at a retail price of about $50.00 each.These same books can be found at Amazon about $10.00 cheaper. The books do an excellent job of providing teachers with lessons and units that are based on twenty-first century skills and project based learning. They also include two CD in each book. One CD gives free access to necessary ESRI software for 365 days on up to 50 machines. After the 365 days schools can buy a site license for the entire school (about $500.00) or, better yet, engage students in an activity that provides the license for free. The other CD provides all lessons and support files for the book in a digital format. Our World GIS Education Books is the place to find these four books that were winners of the 2008 Geography Excellence in Media (GEM) Awards by The National Council for Geographic Education. Books are presented as levels going from level 1-4. This site provides a look at each book including a description along with links to Workbook Support, Teacher Resources, and Podcast with Authors. Also you must scan Taking a Look Inside which includes the  Table of Contents and the First Three Chapters, and, of course, a link to buy the book. Information links for each book follows along with descriptions from website.
Thinking Spatially Using GIS – provides geographic tools–maps, geographic data, and GIS–to teach young students a basic understanding of spatial concepts, pattern recognition, and map trends analysis.
Mapping Our World Using GIS – encourages students to acquire and continue building broad-based problem-solving skills using geospatial technology.
Analyzing Our World Using GIS – helps educators use GIS technology and geographic data to promote inquiry-based learning among students studying world geography and other disciplines. This book combines open-ended geospatial exploration opportunities with the structure of nationally standardized course content, classroom activities, teacher notes, student handouts, and assessments.
Making Spatial Decisions Using GIS – encourage the use of GIS in solving problems and making decisions. The lessons in this textbook build on the rich array of GIS tools available, enabling students to perform sophisticated analyses in a variety of content areas. This book encourages readers to make decisions and ultimately create their own analysis to investigate and answer based on real-world concerns.

How about a free site license from ESRI? Visit the ESRI Community Mapping Page and get your students involved. On this page you will learn more about Community Atlas and the grant program, have an opportunity to visit winning Model Projects from each year, download the Community Atlas instruction pages and model projects, explore all student projects, and submit or edit your project.

This was an enjoyable post for me to write. In fact I recieved some of my first training using GIS and GPS from Bob Kolvoord at James Madison University in the Project Vism (Visualization in Science and Math) through a grant with the NSF. Bob is one of the authors in Book Four, Making Spatial Decisions Using GIS. It was Project Vism, almost ten years ago, that engaged me in finding ways to use technology as a tool. Thanks for this visit and as always feel free to reply and comment. Check out my 21centuryedtech Wiki and feel free to follow me on twitter at @mjgormans, I will return the favor! – Mike (mgormans@sacs.k12.in.us)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Xpeditions:Free Cross-Curricular Project And Inquiry Based Learning: Based On National Standards

Welcome to another post. On weekdays I try to keep the postings short, but fill them with some rich web resources. In researching Xpeditions is was easy to find the rich resources, it will be a challenge to keep it short. Thanks for the visit and let me know via a reply, email, or twitter any feedback or comments. You always have an open invitation to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki and please follow me at @mjgormans on Twitter.  I will return the favor and we can learn from each other! – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

The resources in Xpeditions  provide an opportunity to cross the curriculums of  science, social studies, math, and language arts  using National Geography Standards. At the same time students are engaged in unique and well planned  inquiry, project, and problem based activities.  Upon examination, it is amazing the job that Xpeditions  has done in providing a great mix of lessons, activities, videos, simulations,  for all students in K-12. Of course, you can always expect a superior product when the organization behind the project is National Geographic. Upon entering the sight, choices will abound and any click will bring possibilities of engaged learning.

The first thing I always like to highlight are the Standards. A quote on the site states  states “The National Geography Standards contain what is most important and enduring in geography. They help teachers to decide what to teach, at what grades to teach it, and what to expect of students as a result. They give students rigorous but realistic benchmarks for which to strive.” I also noted that the included standards really do merge all core curricular areas!

My next click included visiting the Xpedition Hall which is an amazing interactive museum allowing students to explore archeology digs, map cartology, games, travel, adventure, and unique experiences. Be sure to read through the teacher guide , as it supplies an overview and a way to incorporate the hall in lessons and activities. The hall is built on a virtual premise and is worth the visit to the Xpedition Site in itself, but there is so much more!

Another important link is the  Lesson Plans. They were written by teachers and have been tested in the classrooms across the nation. These lesson plans together, address all of the U.S. National Geography Standards, the five geography skills, and the main geographic perspectives. Resources from this site include the AtlasBlue Ribbon Links,   Xpedition Hall, and Activities and are incorporated into the lessons. Take a look at the lesson index and note how it follows grade levels and standards. Not only are the lesson titles numerous, they are impressive, linking to outstanding resources.

The next major link is one that connects to Activities,  offering students opportunities to use geography to complete a variety of missions. Included  are  “X-tras”—maps, games, stories, web sites, and interactive features. These  allow students to complete the tasks and to even visit related annexes in Xpedition Hall once their mission is through. Take a look at this amazing list of activities and note the  included standards and grade level targets. It is  evident that thought has been put toward multiple learning styles with an emphasis on Inquiry Based Learning.

Don’t miss the Atlas link. It allows students to make and then print their own maps. Students have the opportunity to customize these maps by making desired selections. It can also be used as a teacher tool in preparing maps for classroom use.  I believe that the Atlas may be one of the areas that both teachers and students will use most. In conclusion the Xpeditions Web Site from National Geographic offers many opportunities. The choices for a teacher can be overwhelming and I recommend choosing one lesson or activty that can incoporate the standards that need to be addressed by a teacher or multi-disciplinary team.  I am sure all students will enjoy this inquiry and problem based approach to learning. National Geographic has even more to offer and I will be sure to highlight those resources in future posts. I am certain you will find that Xpeditions is a valuable resource  as you continue your own journey into 21st Century Education. Have great and rewarding Xpeditions!

Thanks for the visit and let me know via a reply, email, or twitter any feedback or comments. You always have an open invitation to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki and please follow me at @mjgormans on Twitter.  I will return the favor and we can learn from each other! – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized