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Alien Adventures: Museum tour

What it is: Alien Adventures is another site from Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery.  The premise of the site is that an alien king has sent two aliens, Borg and Zunk, on a mission to find out about Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery.  Students join the aliens to discover information and activities about the collections there.  Students will learn how to create a masterpiece, find hidden messages in portraits, learn about landscapes, and learn about signs and symbols.  Students can also play history games like the curator collection game or the extraordinary Earth game. How to integrate Alien Adventures into your curriculum: Alien Adventures is a fun way for students to explore a museum and learn more about art and history as they interact with fun activities and games.  I love how museums are creating such wonderful websites for students to explore and enjoy learning more about art and history. Can’t swing a visit to an art gallery or museum this year?  Don’t let your students be deprived of the experience, visit the online offerings for the next best thing.  Allow your students to explore the Birmingham collection online with the help of some aliens and then, come back as a class to talk about what they saw and learned on their “trip” to the museum.  If you don’t have enough computers for each student, use a projector or interactive whiteboard to explore with the aliens as a class. Tips: Alien Adventures was created for the Birmingham Museum and Art Collection.  They have several excellent websites that I will be reviewing. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Alien Adventures in your classroom!

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Picturing the Thirties

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, History, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 11-10-2009

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What it is: Picturing the Thirties is another great virtual web activity from the Smithsonian.  This virtual museum exhibit teaches students about the 1930’s through eight exhibitions.  Students will learn about the Great Depression, The New Deal, The Country, Industry, Labor, The City, Leisure, and American People in the 1930’s.  Art from the Smithsonian American Art Museum are supplemented with other primary sources such as photographs, newsreels, and artist memorabilia.  Students can explore the virtual exhibits complete with museum guides that explain each exhibit to students.  The feature presentation of the museum is a series of interviews of abstract artists describing the 1930’s.  User created documentaries can be viewed from the theater’s balcony.  Students can visit the theater’s projection booth where they can find primary access and a movie making tutorial.

How to integrate Picturing the Thirties into the classroom: I am always amazed by the virtual content that the Smithsonian has produced.  Picturing the Thirties is an incredible virtual field trip to museum exhibits that will put your students face to face with primary resources that will help them understand the events and culture of the 1930’s.  This is SO much better than learning from a textbook!  This interactive site is a great way for students to explore the 1930’s and learn at their own pace.  This site is perfect for the computer lab environment where every student has access to a computer.  You could also take a class virtual field trip to the museum using an interactive whiteboard or a projector.

Tips: Make sure that students have headphones or speakers for this website, there is quite a bit of audio content.

Related Resources: Smithsonian Virtual Museum, UPM Virtual Forest, efield Trips

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Picturing the Thirties in your classroom.

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