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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery for Kids

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!

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Moon Zoo: Contributing to science with lunar mapping

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 03-05-2011

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What it is: The Endeavour Shuttle launch has been delayed but don’t let that keep your students from exploring space, there are some incredible interactive sites that will make your students feel like they get to suit up as astronauts.  Moon Zoo gives students the chance to study the lunar surface while contributing to real science.  Students can get an up close and personal view of the moon viewing images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.  Moon Zoo’s mission is to provide detailed crater counts for as much of the moon’s surface as possible.  Your students can take part in actually helping to count and map out craters and features of the lunar surface.  Students can identify craters with boulders around the rim to help map the regolith across the surface of the moon.  To take part in Moon Zoo, students are shown an image of the lunar surface, the first task is identifying craters in the surface.  Students can click on the “Crater” button and click the center of each crater they see.  Next, students adjust the ellipse to stretch and move their marks so that they are the same size as the crater.  Students search for boulders around the craters, if there are any boulders students can note that by selecting “blocky crater” and marking the most appropriate description.  When finished, students can submit their work to the Moon Zoo database.

How to integrate Moon Zoo into the classroom: I love that Moon Zoo actually lets your students take part in science.  They are contributing to actual lunar research in real and meaningful ways while learning about the moon.  Moon Zoo would be a great activity to complete as a whole class in the elementary classroom.  Tell your students that they are going to be astronauts and complete a “launch” to the moon.  If you have time, students can create official astronaut badges to wear for the big launch.  Using a projector-connected computer or an interactive whiteboard, launch one of the shuttles here.  When you “land” on the moon, let students explore the surface together by hunting for craters in Moon Zoo.  Help students mark craters, look for boulders and map the lunar surface.  Each student should have a chance to make a discovery.  While students wait for their turn, they can track the crater/boulder count on a table to create a graph.  Categories can be small, medium, and large craters found and number of boulders.

Older students can sign up for their own Moon Zoo account, each studying and identifying craters on their own images.  Older students can dig into the science behind mapping craters and learn about how craters can be used to date the moon.

Want to involve your students in more contributing science?  Check out Galaxy Zoo (the hunt for supernovas), Galaxy Zoo Hubble, Planet Hunters, or the Milky Way Project.  This is such a neat way for students to contribute to the scientific community while learning more about space and the universe.

Tips: Registration for Moon Zoo does require an email address.  If your students don’t have an email address of their own, they can use a mailinator or tempinbox address.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Moon Zoo in your classroom!

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