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The Secret in the Cellar

What it is: A few days ago I wrote about the awesome interactive Smithsonian Museum, today I found another great activity on the Smithsonian website called The Secret in the Cellar.  The Secret in the Cellar is an interactive web comic that is based on an actual forensic case of a 17th century body that was recently discovered.  Through graphics, photos, and activities, students begin to unravel a mystery of historical and scientific importance.  Students can analyze artifacts, and examine the skeleton for clues to determine a cause of death.  Because of the subject matter of this web comic, this activity is best suited for middle school or high school students. How to integrate The Secret in the Cellar into the classroom: The Secret in the Cellar activities and web comic are a fantastic way to excite students about the history of Colonial life in America and the science behind archeology.  This site takes students on a journey of discovery and critical thinking.  Throughout the web comic, students will find links to additional articles about the actual forensic case and the display at the Smithsonian Museum.  This activity would be best in a computer lab setting where each student can explore at their own pace.  Along the way, encourage students to keep a record of their inferences about how the boy died.  Before students complete the web-comic, discuss what conclusions students have come to based on the evidence. Tips: Students can dig deeper into this site learning about bones, the lives of colonists, forensic anthropology, and learn more about the related exhibit at the Smithsonian. Leave a comment and tell us how you are using The Secret in the Cellar in your classroom.

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Buzz Lightyear in Orbit

Posted by admin | Posted in Math, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 17-06-2008

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What it is: Buzz Lightyear in Orbit is part of NASA’s website for kids. The site uses the popular Toy Story character, Buzz Lightyear, to teach kids about the next space mission with Atlantis. It also introduces kids to the Discovery team and the mission that has just been completed. Kids can go on 5 space “missions” of their own by playing some fun educational games on the site. Games are math and science based and separated into grade level. Grades k-2 can play games appropriate for that age group and grades 3-5 can play at a more difficult level.

How to integrate Buzz Lightyear in Orbit into the classroom:
Use Buzz Lightyear in Orbit as part of your space unit or even as a current events topic. Students can read and learn about the current space missions on the Buzz Lightyear home page. The games are great for reinforcing math and science skills that you are teaching in conjunction with or even separate from the space unit. Your students will love the fun look and feel of this site and especially the familiar Buzz Lightyear character.

Tips: At the bottom of the game screen, you can download worksheets that correspond perfectly with the games and information on the site!

Leave a comment and share how you are using Buzz Lightyear in Orbit in your classroom!

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