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DomoNation

What it is: DomoNation is a free animation website that is powered by Go! Animate.  The site is very intuitive to use and makes impressive cartoon animations.  Students can create animations with backdrops, characters, dialogue, props, music, and special effects.  Students can create on scene or several to make up their animation.    The interface is very simple to learn, the drag and drop platform will be familiar to students.  To make their cartoon come to life, each character has a set of actions and emotions that can be added by clicking on the character and choosing from a drop down menu.  Special effects, such as weather occurrences or zooming, are simple to add to the project.  Animations can be saved for personal or public view on the DomoNation site. This is an impressive little web application that makes students the director of their very own movie. How to integrate DomoNation into the classroom: Allow students to present their knowledge creatively using DomoNation instead of requiring the traditional report, diorama, or poster plastered with pictures and information.  Students can create an impressive alternative book report by creating an animated book talk, interviewing a character from the story, or re-creating an important scene in the story.  Students can display their knowledge about a historical figure by “interviewing” the historical person of interest or an eye-witness of a historical event.  DomoNation would be a great platform for creating public service announcements (how about the importance of hand washing with the H1N1 outbreak?) or short video commercials that persuade in a debate. Students can write a screen play and then transform it into an  animation. Animations are also a great way to illustrate vocabulary words and story problems in math.  In the foreign language classroom, students can create short cartoons practicing the new vocabulary they are learning.   The possibilities are endless!  Hold a DomoNation premier party day in your classroom so that students can watch each other’s finished animations and learn from their peers. Tips: Direct your students to the Create page of DomoNation, some of the content created by other users may not be appropriate for your school. Related Resources: Kerpoof, Shidonni, XtraNormal, DoInk Leave a comment and tell us how you are using DomoNation 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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