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Animalia

  What it is: The Animalia website is based on the popular book and television series written and illustrated by Graeme Base. The website is just as impressive as the book with amazing illustrations and activities for students.  On the Animalia website, students are introduced to the characters of Animalia, the goal of the Animalia site, Animalia news, and games and activities.  The Animalia site brings students on a wonderful adventure where their goal is to collect all of the “core spores” to restore the Core of Animalia.  Students collect the core spores by going on several adventures where they will play learning games, discover, and follow directions.  Games and activities include logic puzzles, memory skills, code cracking, map reading, and listening skills.  The listening game is called Toucan Talk (which I learned about on Larry Ferrazlo’s blog) and  asks students to listen to a message in the wrong order, and change the order of words or sounds so that the message makes sense.  The site is extremely interactive.  Students will love becoming part of the adventure.   How to integrate Animalia into the classroom:   Animalia is like a giant online scavenger hunt where students solve problems to advance in the game.  This site would be a great one to use to teach following written and oral directions, logical thinking, and problem solving skills.  These aren’t skills that we generally focus on in isolation but the Animalia site does a wonderful job of weaving a story around a problem and inviting students along on an adventure to solve the problem.  Because students are problem solving, this would be an excellent site for students to work on collaboratively as a team.  Students can be split into teams to see who can collect all of the “core spores” first through problem solving.  What I love about watching my students interact with each other on this site, is the way that one team would solve a problem and then teach another team how they did it.  Nothing better than kids teaching kids!  For younger students, the game could be completed as a whole class with a projector or interactive whiteboard.  The clues and games will have to be more teacher directed but your students will quickly catch on and be ready to play!   Tips:   This site is highly interactive including video clips, highly interactive games, and sounds.  You will need a high speed connection for this site.  Bring on the bandwidth! Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Animalia 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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