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Picturing America

What it is: Picturing America takes hold of the notion that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and applies it to teaching American history. The National Endowment for the Humanities is providing American art masterpieces into classrooms and libraries. The idea behind Picturing America is that bringing our nation’s artistic heritage into the classroom gives students unique insights into the character, ideals, and aspirations of our country. The Picturing America program is completely free for schools and libraries and provides them with 40 high-quality masterpieces, a teacher resources book, and the program website. How to integrate Picturing America into your curriculum: What better way to teach your students American history than actually bringing history into the classroom and providing students with real ties to the past? I wish that I had the opportunity to learn history this way! Picturing America is going to bring authentic conversation into your classroom about American history. It would be the perfect use of web 2.0 collaborative tools where students can discuss the history and the art in Picturing America. Picturing America masterpieces would also be easily integrated into the art classroom or in literacy as writing inspiration. The teacher resource book is going to provide you with wonderful tie ins to your current curriculum. This is an amazing program, I encourage you to take part in it! Tips: Apply for the Picturing America program today. A big thank you to my friend Jill who shared this site with me! Please leave a comment and share how you are using Picturing America in your classroom.

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ESA Kids

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 02-04-2010

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What it is: The European Space Agency (ESA) has a great website for kids.  ESA Kids has fabulous, kid friendly information about the Universe (the story of the Universe, the sun, the planets and moons, the galaxies, comets and meteors), Life in Space (astronauts, space stations, life in space, exploration, are we alone?), Lift Off (launchers, orbits, mission control, spacecraft, new ways to space), Useful Space (TV and phone, know where you are, space spin-offs, weather, health), and Earth (climate change, natural disasters, protecting nature, water world).  This site is absolutely packed full of information and awesome images.  Students can “work in a lab” where they can build papercraft globes and spacecraft, try reading space maps, and learn fun space facts.  Students will also enjoy the space themed games and puzzles, online coloring book, quizzes, and downloads.  Each month, a new story about space is added to the News section, keeping students up to date about what is happening in space exploration.  

How to integrate ESA Kids into the classroom: When I am hunting for space related websites, I usually begin with NASA.  ESA Kids is being added to my must visit places for all things space.  The site is organized well, very kid friendly, and has fun activities that students can take part in.  Use ESA Kids for space research, when learning about the weather, climate change, and natural disasters.  After students have some background knowledge about space and space exploration, have them visit the Lab and choose a papercraft spacecraft to print and build.  Students can write a story about their spacecraft, including facts that they learned on the ESA Kids website.  They may even write a fictional story about their visit to space that includes factual elements that they learned in the Life in Space section.    Be sure to visit the Useful Space tab, I think students will be surprised at how many common items are linked to space and space exploration.

Tips: Be sure to visit this site often, the news is updated every month with current space events.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using ESA Kids in your classroom.

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