Great Educational and Fun Web Sites to Explore during the Summer

Article excerpt

WEB SITES

ALLEN EARTHS

http://free.ed.gov/resource.cfm?resource_id=1852

Examine the formation of stars and planets and the quest for a habitable planet. Create a virtual community of microorganisms. Build the perfect solar system. See how planets react with one another and how some planets help keep our solar system stable. Look at images. Can you recognize life? Do all this and more at this site.

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: A MIDWIFE'S TALE

www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/mwt/index.html

In 1785, Martha Ballard began the diary that she would keep for the next 27 years, until her death. At a time when fewer than half the women in America were literate, Ballard faithfully recorded the weather, her daily household tasks, her midwifery duties, and countless incidents that reveal the turmoil of a new nation. Historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich discusses the importance of Martha Ballard's diary and what it reveals about 18th-century America and women's roles at that time. In the absence of the for-fee film, teaching activities may be adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A Midwife's Tale.

AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY ONLINE SCIENCE COURSE

http://learn.amnh.org

Seminars on Science, a member of the National Science Teachers Association Institute for professional development, offers award-winning online graduate courses in the life, earth, and physical sciences. Designed by the American Museum of Natural History for K-12 educators, each 6-week course immerses the learner in an area of contemporary research. Come away from your class with a deeper understanding of both the science and the tools of scientific inquiry. Courses are led by educators and museum scientists and include rich web-based discussions. Graduate credit is available from several leading institutions. Courses may be used to meet your professional development needs, including degree, certification, No Child Left Behind, and salary gradation requirements. Free sample resources for each course, including essays, videos, and interactive simulations, are available online.

BACK TO THE SOURCE

www.bestlibrary.org/primary/

Learn how to effectively use primary sources in your classroom and encourage your students to break away from textbooks to become active participants in their own learning. Primary sources on this site include documents, images, and audio and video clips from museums, universities, libraries, and governments.

CANADA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS

www.50.canadacouncil.ca

The Canadian Council for the Arts launched its special 50th-anniversary web site in 2007. For five decades, the council has given Canadians access to their own stories through the imagination of artists in every corner of the country. Check out the artists' stories and historical timeline. The site also features up-to-date information on arts events, including over 100 events across Canada dedicated to the council's 50th anniversary.

CBC ARCHIVES

http://archives.cbc.ca/index.asp?IDLan=1

CBC Archives is a comprehensive web site of video and audio clips dating back to the 1930s, covering Canadian and international news in a variety of areas. There is both a topic index and a clip index, as well as a section for teachers that provides activities and lesson plans. The site also features a special pilot project designed for English-as-a-second-language students. Every Friday, the site developers produce a newsletter with information about what is new at the site, a pick from the past, a question of the week, and contest news. The site is also available in a French version.

CENTER FOR ADVANCED RESEARCH ON LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

www.carla.umn.edu/

CARLA offers lessons and classroom tasks for teachers of French, German, and Spanish. A virtual assessment center helps teachers develop proficiency-oriented instruction and performance measures. …