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Encyclopedia of Life: podcasts, videos, images, activities

What it is:  The Encyclopedia of Life (eol) is a beautiful website that celebrates the biodiversity of life.  On the eol website, find podcasts where students can discover the diversity of life five minutes and one species at a time.  Students can dig deeper into their learning with extra features like “Meet the Scientist”, “Educational Materials” or “Extras”.  The “Extras” include Google Earth tours, videos, audio out-takes, images and contributions from listeners.  Podcasts can be subscribed to via RSS or iTunes.  The Encyclopedia of Life even provides a podcast guide for educators to use! Teachers can create customized “Field Guides” on the eol website.  These guides are collections of text and images from the eol website to fit your classroom needs. Students can participate in their very own BioBlitz activities where they are led in observation of biodiversity in their own backyard. The Tools page has great extra interactives and tools for students to use as they learn about life on earth. Find tools such as a Cool Iris eol plugin, Google Earth Species quizzes and Life Desk where students can create and contribute to eol. How to integrate Encyclopedia of Life into the classroom:  The Encyclopedia of Life is a gorgeous site for students to explore biodiversity.  Students can engage with audio, video, images and activities to learn more about life on Earth. My favorite part of the site is the BioBlitz activities that lead students through discovering biodiversity in their own backyard.  These activities teach students to be careful observers, respectful of life and encourage curiosity and discovery.  Choose a BioBlitz activity to complete in the school yard with your students.  Use the eol site to learn about the different species you find.  Students will love the image and audio collections here! Are you studying a specific species in your class? Create your own classroom field guides.  Better yet, put students in charge of this job.  Split students into groups, each group can create a field guide to share with the rest of the class based on a species.  Tips: You have to login in order to create field guides on the Encyclopedia of Life.  All content can be viewed without a login. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Encyclopedia of Life in  your classroom!

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery for Kids

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Art, Evaluate, History, Knowledge (remember), Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 02-11-2010

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What it is: This is the last of the Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery sites, it is just as great as the others!  BM&AG for Kids is a fun site where students can learn more about Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, Victorians, World War 2, and the Art Gallery and Museum.  The site aims to give students a chronological understanding of these historical events, knowledge of the events, people, and changes in the past, organization and communication, and historical inquiry.  Each section has a collection of online related activities and printable activities.

Ancient Egypt- students can learn about ancient Egypt, explore a virtual Egyptian tomb, and explore real mummies.

Ancient Greece- students can learn about ancient Greece and design their own Greek pottery.

Roman Empire- students can learn about the Romans in Britain and dress a Roman soldier for battle.

Victorians- students can learn about the Victorians and explore a Victorian painting.

World War 2- students can learn about the war, assess a bomb damage report, and view pictures of Birmingham from World War 2.

Art Gallery- students can view paintings and learn about landscapes.

Museums- students can explore 6 museum activity zones where students can explore each museum.

How to integrate BM&AG for Kids into your curriculum: The BM&AG for Kids is a good site to incorporate into history lessons.  The site does an excellent job of helping students relate the different time periods above chronologically through an interactive timeline.  The online activities help students understand each time period, giving them activities that will help them make connections in their learning.  The BM&AG for Kids site is a good place to begin a study on a time period.  The site provides students with just enough information to whet their appetite for more.  Many of the activities offer basic information that could then be connected to primary sources.  For example, in the tomb exploration, students are asked to find items in a tomb.  In the activity, there is a basic explanation of each item.  A great extension would be to find primary sources and photographs of the actual items to share with students (or better yet, let them find the primary source!).  Students could then create their own “tomb” either online using online pictures and a creation platform like VoiceThread or Glogster, or an offline tomb with printed primary sources.

Tips: BM&AG for Kids was created for the Birmingham Museum and Art Collection.  They have several excellent websites that I will have reviewed.  To view all the Birmingham Museum sites, search “Museum” or “Birmingham Museum” in my search box above.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using BM&AG for Kids in your classroom!



Comments (4)

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Great series, Kelly!

What a great site! I can’t wait to go read more about the Birmingham Museum sites. I think I will share this with the new teacher group I am presenting for tomorrow! Thanks for finding and sharing so many great things!!

@Melissa- thank you!

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