Place-based Education, Science, Ecology and Natural History
Web-based Teaching Resources
Listed below are resources that can be found on the world wide web that might be of interest to science teachers, elementary teachers, outdoor science educators, homeschool parents, etc. Due the nature of quickly changing web addresses please understand if these links don't work for you.
Web Resource Sites
The following websites provide access to various web resources for teaching science, ecology, natural history, outdoor education, and environmental education. These websites are maintained by various organizations and are updated more regularly than this page.
The National Science Teachers Association Science Websites - NSTA maintains this website. It is organized by science content area and by type of resource.
http://www.learningscience.org/index.htm - This website is hosted by several organizations including the Central Bucks Country School District. It contains a wonderful directory of on-line electronic learning tools for science organized by the science standards and grade level.
Explore learning - Provides "gizmos" to illustrate science concepts.
Resident Outdoor School Resources
If you are looking for information about residential outdoor schools near you, here is a searchable database for every state. Guide to Residential Outdoor Schools.
Science, Natural History and Ecology Education Websites
Here are a few of the websites I have come across that might be useful for teachers of science, ecology and natural history.
General or Multi-Use
Montana State Science & Natural History Filmmaking Program TERRA Podcasts
This website provides short films about science and natural history topics. Outstanding films showing scientists at work, social discussions of science issues, and cultural aspects of science and natural history. "TERRA is much more than your typical wildlife show; it is a chance to experience a uniquely cutting-edge vision of the natural world through the eyes of passionate student & independent filmmakers who are discovering the next frontiers of research, re-vitalizing compelling issues, and celebrating the diversity of our natural environment like you’ve never seen it before" (3/22/06, http://terravideos.blogspot.com/).
Animals and Wildlife
Cornell Lab of Ornithology: All About Birds - This site provides information for observing, identifying, attracting and protecting birds. It has an outstanding bird identification guide with pictures, sounds, and information.
Birds of North America Online - This website provides extensive bird information for a subscription of $5.00 for 30 days of viewing. Short introductions with photographs are available for free.
National Wildlife Federation's Electronic Field Guide - A nice field guide with pictures, information, and sounds.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Animal Field Guide - This is a great resource for identifying and researching animals in the Rocky Mountain region.
Owl Pellet Activities - There are some nice online resources to support learning about food chairs and owl adaptations. This website provides a nice owl pellet virtual activity.
Places, Maps and Geography
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), has initiated a project to cooperatively develop, market, and distribute The National Atlas of the United States of America®. Do you need a simple prepared map that you can print at home, at school, or in the office? The National Atlas has prepared reference and outline maps of the United States that you can print or use online. The reference maps display general reference features such as boundaries, cities, capitals, major highways, rivers and lakes, and terrain. Outline maps showing county boundaries, State boundaries, capitals, or other basic features are also available. Maps without labels are included for students and teachers of American geography. The maps are in color, but will also print or copy well in black and white (text retrieved from website, 2/9/07).
Electronic Interactive Learning Tools
These links to websites provide teachers with on-line electronic learning tools to help students learn and practice their understanding of science concepts.
http://www.whatbird.com/game/game.aspx - Whatbird.com provides an interactive learning tool called, Avian Sleuth: Call of the Wild. The learner selects from several different ecosystems which presents the user with a realistic animation of that ecosystem with birds located in their habitat engaged in common behavior. The user selects from a pop-up box the correct name for the bird and is reward with congratulations or asked to try again. Several difficultly levels are included.
Yellowstone National Park's Windows into Wonderland Electronic Field Trips - A great site created by Yellowstone National Park that contains 16 animated stories set in engaging stories such as mysteries. The characters tell the story of park wildllife, science investigations, and lead the user to an understanding of YNP's natural and cultural resources.
Discoverey Channel's Expedition Everest: Mission Himalaya - This outstanding interactive provides the user with information about animals in the Nepal gathered on a scientific expedition to the Everest region. Then the user selectes a habitat and explores for signs of the animal they are looking for. Once you find a suitable location the users places a wildlife biologist's camera trap there to try to capture photographs of the animal. Users learn about wildlife through this search for animal signs and the mission to place camera traps.
Montana Forests Forever -
Virtual Owl Pellet Dissection - This interactive experience allows the user to remove pieces of fur from a virtual owl pellet and place bones on a bone identification chart to build a rodent skeletin.
Photosynthesis Animation - This interactive takes the users into the world of the cell showing the chloroplasts and the steps that occur in photosynthesis.
Lady Bugs Save the Roses - The user moves the cursor over a ladybug and directs it to eat aphids before the aphids can kill the rose plant.
Websites Related to News Stories
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been established by WMO and UNEP to assess scientific, technical and socio- economic information relevant for the understanding of climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. It is currently finalizing its Fourth Assessment Report "Climate Change 2007". The reports by the three Working Groups provide a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the current state of knowledge on climate change. The Synthesis Report integrates the information around six topic areas (retrieved from website, 3/9/07).
NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies Global Temperature Data
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Global Warming Frequently Asked Questions
Widespread amphibian extinctions from epidemic disease driven by global warming - (12Jan2006). Nature 439, p. 161-167
Climate change is killing frogs finds new research - Butler, Rhett A. (2006). retrieved news.mongabay.com 3/6/07.
Arctic Climate Impact Assessment
Animals & Plants
New Animal Species found in Indonesia
Planets & Pluto
The discovery of 2003 UB313, the 10th planet
Science, Society & Politics
US scientists fight political meddling
National Human Genome Research Institute/National Institutes of Health - Information and Education Materials
The Human Genome Project (HGP) was one of the great feats of exploration in history -- an inward voyage of discovery rather than an outward exploration of the planet or the cosmos; an international research effort to sequence and map all of the genes - together known as the genome - of members of our species, Homo sapiens. Completed in April 2003, the HGP gave us the ability to, for the first time, to read nature's complete genetic blueprint for building a human being (4/20/06, http://www.genome.gov/10001772).
Websites Collected by Students in Teaching Elementary Science
These websites were collected and summarized by seniors in Elementary Education at Montana State University. Their assignment was to: Conduct a search of websites that can help you in your science teaching. Submit the following information: 1. Website address, 2. Description in several sentences of the website, 3. Review the quality of the website, its strengths and weaknesses.
Teaching Elementary Science Fall 2005
The Scientific Method-
- This is a good reference for teachers about the scientific method. This is not
an appropriate website fro students.
- Strengths of the site include a very thorough explanation of the scientific method and its different steps. It could be very useful to elementary teachers who do not have these concepts fresh in their mind. It provides detailed information on the different processes involved with this method along with practical examples. The weaknesses of
this site are the lack of links to other related sites and the fact that it is designed for teachers only.
This website is basically an overview for teachers to use in helping them understand
science process skills. It goes into detail about each skill. It also talks about how each
skill can be integrated. It also gives some facts that will help teachers learn more about
the importance of teaching each skill such as, “several studies have investigated the
learning of integrated science process skills. Allen (1973) found that third graders can
identify variables if the context is simple enough. Both Quinn and George (1975) and
Wright (1981) found that students can be taught to formulate hypotheses and that this
ability is retained over time.
Strengths- very informative, helpful and useful
Weaknesses- not child friendly, no visuals, pretty wordy and not really broken into
This website is very beneficial. It has an enormous amount of ideas for science lesson
plans. You can categorize the lessons into certain areas that also integrate other areas
such as, math and language. It also allows you to pick the grade level that you are
Strengths- very handy, lots of ideas, has integration activities, pick grade level
Weaknesses – hard to find specific areas looking to teach
This website talks about the scientific method and has links to numerous websites that
have activities to tests hypothesis. Very useful if you are trying to find ideas to help
children understand the scientific method.
Strengths – lots of website for exploration, many ideas
Weaknesses- you can’t tell if the website’s links will be beneficial towards what you want
This website has really cool activities that are cool for students to do. By clicking on one
of the questions, it then takes you to a brief background of the information and then an
activity that can be reproduced so that the children remember what it is they learned.
Strengths- questions are answered that are common, neat ideas
Weaknesses- only addresses 4 questions, wish there were more
2. Description: This is a fun, interactive, and very educational website for students to
explore. It addresses anything that may seem yucky. Some examples include roaches,
worms, and human bodies. There are also a links for asking questions, playing games,
and conducting activities or experiments.
3. Review of Quality: The Yukiest Site on the Internet has several strengths. First, the
format is clear allowing the visitor to easily maneuver throughout the website. The
content is at an understandable level for students grades 3-8 who would also be
interested in the topics. There is a vast amount of information available, especially about
the human body. This website could be a great resource when students are learning
about systems of the body. The only apparent weakness is the lack of content available
on topics besides the human body. There are many subjects besides roaches and worms
that are commonly considered yucky.
1. Website: http://www.yucky.com/teachercenter/index.html
2. Description: This is a portion of the yucky.com website where teachers can find
activity ideas, lesson plans, and units to teach the topics addressed on this website.
These activities and plans were created to align with the scope and sequence of the
science curriculum and the national standards. The three main subjects dealt with are
teaching with worms, teaching with bugs, and teaching with the human body. There is
also a link provided to inform teachers how to use Ask Wendall source provided on the
3. Review of Quality: This is an excellent website for teachers to find ideas for teaching
about worms, bugs, or the human body. The activities and lesson plans are thorough,
realistic, and engaging. It is also helpful how they are designed to align with the national
standards and the scope and sequence of most science curricula. Once again, the only
obvious weakness of this website is that it concentrates just on worms, bugs, and the
2. This website is called the National Park Service Nature and
Science. The topics covered on this site are: air, biology, geology,
sounds, and water. There is a link for students and teachers
available that offers a multitude of educational topics to experience.
3. The strengths of this site are the five specific categories of
topics to learn from. Each category has several aspects to learn
about including sections for students and teachers. There are lesson
plan ideas within each of these categories for teachers to use in the
classroom. The weakness of this site is there is a lot of information
here so teachers would need to spend extra time reading and
learning; although it would be worth it because there are also
interactive places on the site for students to go to.
2. This is the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This
site is designed for kids to learn about things that cause natural
disasters mostly having to do with weather. Most of this site is
designed for student interaction and include things such as stories,
games, and facts to learn about. There is a section of this site
geared towards teachers that includes many lesson plans teaching
students about natural disasters, and the prevention of such.
3. The strengths of this site are the friendly, colorful ways they
appeal to students. The weakness is that this site is primarily for
younger students (not that that is actually a weakness, but older
students may get bored with this site).
2. This is the website of the Spokane Aquifer. There is a
section on this site for teachers and students that offer exciting
educational engagement activities such as a virtual field trip. There
are two sections of virtual field trips, one for elementary students,
and one for middle school students. There is also a wonderful
section on this site for resources for teachers including lesson plan
ideas, coloring books, and classroom posters.
3. There are many strengths to this website for teachers as
well as students. I think the quality of everything available is good,
and I can not find anything to be critical about.
2. This site is the Science Junction: A Cyber Community for
Teachers, Students, and Researchers of Science. There are sections
for teachers that include lesson plans, and a section for students
that includes home experiments and internet interactive learning in a
variety of educational topics.
3. This site has strengths in both the teacher and student
area. It offers unique lesson plan ideas for teachers and fun
interactive learning experiences for students. One weakness of this
site would be there could be more lesson plan ideas to choose from.
The first web site that this paper will look at is call "Molecular Expressions" at
http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/powersof10/. This website has
several interactive Java tutorials that cover topics such as powers of 10 and cells. It
brings to life how big the universe is and how small a cell is, using the powers of 10. The
site is also full of information pertaining to cells, microscopes and math. In addition,
there are teacher resources and student activities. The only drawback to this tutorial is
that once it is over, the website has no other appeal. It only has its one flashy tutorial,
then once it is over, the site is rather boring. The site could only be visited once by the
students to keep their interest, but the one time that they do see it, they will think that it
is very fascinating.
Another site that this paper will look at is called ExploreScience.com at
http://www.explorescience.com. At first glance, this seems like a site to find many
science activities and websites, but as one explores the website, one finds that it is really
not all that it is cracked up to be. The site is full of other search engines that search the
web looking for various science topics. Most of the links end up to be commercial rather
than educational. Not that a commercial link is inherently bad, but general those links are
trying to sell a product rather than educate a person on a science topic. I would not
recommend this site to anyone trying to find interactive websites for students, it would be
a beneficial site for a person looking for science materials.
The last website that is visited in this review is called "Explore Learning.com" at
http://www.explorelearning.com. This is a comprehensive site that has many different
tutorials and hands on activities for students to participate in. The site is created for
teachers to integrate these various hands on activities in their daily teaching. The
introduction tells teachers how in integrate these activities and why it is beneficial to the
students. This site is very advantageous for both students and teachers when they are
learning and teaching about many different science and math topic.
This website is fun because it offers so much for a student to explore; solar
systems, dinosaurs, hurricanes, volcanoes and so many other topics. The colors are
bright and inviting for students, which in turn will stimulate learning. This website has
cool video clips on how things work such as your heart in your body. I do not see any
weaknesses with this website, as it seems very inclusive in its science content area.
I thought this was a cool website because a lot of students dream to be
astronauts when they grow up. This website lets students meet real astronauts and tells
them about the schooling required to be an astronaut. It also has cool pictures of the
International Space Station and different options to choose from to go more in depth
about the space station. “A day in the life of an astronaut” will be a great read for
students, and will teach them the challenges of each day for an astronaut. This website
would benefit greatly from having more real pictures attached to every section.
This website is very helpful and informative. It gives a lot of ideas for teaching science
and it has handouts and things that teachers can actually use. It has a ton of different
information so at first the website seems overwhelming, but as you look around it
becomes easier to navigate. It has many different areas of science to teach about, from
chemistry to biology. This site would be a good teaching tool to have on hand.
Teaching Science Matters
This website is organized and straight to the point. It has a lot of helpful ideas for
teachers in the science classroom. It gives a ton of different ideas of how to teach
different lessons. It has trade secrets, a think tank, science in action and an idea
exchange. All of this links can help with teaching science. For example the trade secrets
gives helpful hints on how to keep plants alive in the classroom. This site is organized,
and I think that this is a site that children could get on and find information.
The Teaching Tank
This website is amazing. It has hundreds of different links to help teach about science.
Each link takes you to something fun and interesting that can be used in the classroom.
It is nice because the science area is focused solely on science. This site should be used
in the classroom. It is so precise and very informative.
Biology 4 Kids
This website would be useful in the classroom. It is a website that is very organized and
easy to get around. Students of all ages could used this website. It has bright colors and
it is something that students would be excited to learn on. Each of the links are specific
so you do not have to look around for a long time to find what you are looking for.
Everything that this site offers is on the homepage so students can see if it there, if not
they can search somewhere else. Overall, I think that this site would be a great resource
for students and teachers.
1.“Resources for Scientists Teaching Science”
2.This website is advantageous for science teachers. It has several
links to help teachers generate ideas, integrate other content areas,
how to incorporate the Internet into teaching science, how to teach to
large classes, and different ways to teach science other than class
discussions. This site would be beneficial for teachers. It, most
likely, would not benefit students' learning if they searched this site.
Since science is such a broad field, this site allows teacher to narrow
their science topic to find information relating to teaching science and
about information about science.
3.This site may be overwhelming initially for teachers. There are a lot
of links that teachers can search, which could be time consuming. On
the other hand, this site has teaching tips, scientific information, and
other links that can take teachers to find the information that they need.
1.“The Sourcebook for Teaching Science.” http://www.csun.edu/~vceed002/
2.This site is awesome. Teachers can get lesson plan ideas, curriculum
standards, lab safety techniques, how to teach the language of science,
science activities, and many other great links. This site can help
teachers slim down their search by clicking on Physics, Chemistry,
Biology, or Earth Science. Teachers can also reference professional
issues, which is always advantageous in order to keep up with what is
happening in the area of science. The site has several outlines for
tips in teaching problem solving, communicating science, and the
language of science. There are also books that teachers can get an
overview of to find out some of the latest resources in the classroom.
These books emphasize hands on activities so teachers can get an idea of
what is in each book and then order it for the classroom if they choose
to do so.
3.This site would be recommended to any science teacher. It has
resources for elementary and secondary educators. Some of the
information is in outline form so teachers may not like that there is
not a lot of detail, but they can get an idea of what they should teach
and they can fill in the blanks with their content. This site has
activities, lesson plans, content for the four major subject areas in
science, and links for professional issues. This would be a great site
for any science teacher.
1.“Quick Time Virtual Field Trips”
2. Since many teacher do not have the funding to go on field trips to
teach students, this site is a great way to teach science and provide
the students with an interesting lesson, away from the textbooks. This
site has trips about fossils, national parks, mid-ocean ridges, beaches,
copper mines, and many other exciting trips. The site only offers about
ten virtual trips, but does allow teachers another link to find other
3.The only thing that would be difficult in a classroom would be finding
a set up that would portray the Internet on a wall. It may take
teachers a little extra time, but it would be time well spent for
students' learning. The school would also have to have a computer
program that would allow teachers to download the trips. Other than the
set up time, this site is only going to benefit students' learning.
A good website to help a teacher learn how to teach science is
http://www.learner.org/resources/browse.html?discipline=6. There is a video workshop
that examines current assessment issues and explores strategies for making classroom
assessment practices more effective. This website contains many topics and articles that
are popular issues with teaching science. Some of these topics include case studies in
science education, essential science for teacher, learning science through inquiry, and
how to teach biology or chemistry. One thing that makes this website easily accessible is
that a teacher may search his or her topic by discipline and grade level. This provides
for specific search strategies and will allow teachers to find what they are looking for.
One may also buy videos and tools off of this site if they find something in which they are
very interested. Although this website is very informative, it would help if there were
some more eye catching graphics and colors on the home page. This would make this
website more appealing to users. Despite this downfall, this website is very informative
to science teachers.
Some teacher struggle with how to promote critical science thinking in their
classroom. A website that might assist them with this is
http://instruct1.cit.cornell.edu/courses/taresources/. This website offers many different
solutions to this potential problem with links directing teacher to different areas. Some
examples of these links are teaching, biology, writing, and active learning. There are
also examples of student work which allows teacher to see how these strategies might be
effective. This site does not provide any search tool which makes the site less
accessible. The organization of the site makes it look unprofessional. Hopefully a
teacher will look past these things and focus on the good content this site does offer.
An excellent science teaching site is located at http://www.nsta.org/. This
website offers so much to science teachers. This website is age specific and under each
age level of school offers many lesson plan ideas, ideas for everyday work in the science
classroom, and articles about cutting edge science. If the user wants to become of
member of this organization and benefit from all it has to offer, they must simply sign up
on this website. It is easy to do and so much can come from a membership. This site
provides a “today in science history” paragraph. This information is very fun for students
and can be accessed daily for any teacher. This site provides a search area so the user
can search for specific things he or she are looking for. The site is appealing to the eye
and captures attention and interest. I cannot find anything negative about this site and
recommend it to any science teacher.
This website was great, it had a ton of really good science activities categorized by topic
and grade level. There is a plethora of science topics: Bioscience, Earth Science,
Energy, Oceanography, Physical Science, Space, and Transportation. The lessons are
very thorough and detailed. They include grade level, objective, and procedure, in a
well-designed lesson plan format, which is easy to access. The website is of good quality
because it is easy to access and the lessons are simple yet detailed enough to
understand. I would recommend this website for science teachers because it had good
“The Weather Unit” website is great when creating a Weather unit. There are many
lessons in the different subject areas, which deal with weather. Once you click on a
subject area, many lessons are available for that subject dealing with weather. Once
you click on a lesson, a page comes up which explains the lesson. The lesson includes
the author, grade levels, and science topic integrated. There is also a quality and
creativity rating done by readers of the lesson. This is very beneficial because it tells
you whether other people think the lesson is good or not. The lessons are well
formatted with objectives, materials and very detailed instructional procedures. Also
included are conclusion activities, list of vocabulary words, and evaluation procedures.
Even though the website is only about weather, I like how it integrates weather into so
many different subjects across the curriculum. Also, the detailed lesson plans are
especially great because they don’t leave the reader guessing as to how to perform the
lesson. I don’t have any weaknesses about this website because I think it is very easy
to navigate and to the point.
This website has a great compilation of lessons from all subjects. Once you choose
science, you can narrow down the search by choosing a grade level to search for. Once
chosen, there is a plethora of science lessons categorized by science topic. Once the
lesson is chosen, a detailed lesson plan appears. The lessons include objectives,
vocabulary, materials, and detailed procedures. Also included are diversity strategies
and assessment techniques. In some lessons, there is also a technology component.
This website is great if you are looking for quick science activities which are effective. I
find no weaknesses with this website, I like that it can be used for so many different
This website was great because there is a plethora of science lesson links. The links go
to websites on science resources or science lessons and units. There is a good detail on
what the website contains before clicking on it. The only weakness about this website is
the sites aren’t in any particular order, so it might be frustrating to read through before
finding the site you want to look at. Other than that, I think the website is good, because
there are not too many links but there are plenty to choose from right on the same
1. Website Address: www.monroe2boces.org/
2. Description of site: This site was established in New York in 1972 to
meet the New York State educational goals for science. This site
contains several sections such as a link to bilingual education. In
addition to this, there is a section that discusses current grants and
how to apply for them. Finally, the "science kits" section of the
website provides links [by contacting the Elementary Science Program
(ESP)] to purchase or lease science kits.
3. This website is overall of about average quality. Its strengths lie
in the activity ideas for teachers. There are several ideas that fall
under seasonal divisions. These activities are clearly laid out and are
a valuable tool for teachers. Another strong point for this site is the
"grants" section. This section shows available grants for the different
One area of weakness on this site is the "science kits" section.
Although it is a good concept, it is too difficult for one to order or
lease science kits. In order to order these kits, the teacher first has
to contact the ESP. This process will take too long and will turn many
teachers off by its complexity.
The first website I visited was titled, “Science News for Kids” at
website is a visually appealing and engaging website mainly designed for
the use of students. The website also provides a helpful link called,
“the teacher zone” that includes information about science materials and
resources, academic science articles, and other recommended educational
science websites. I like the activities and educational information
provided on this website and I would definitely use it in my classroom.
A few of the specific advantages I observed on this website include the
educational articles covering an extensive range of scientific subject
matter and the interactive activities and science based games provided
for kids. The only possible disadvantage that I could recognize was
the lack of information or lesson ideas provided for teachers.
The second website I visited was titled, “Web Weather for Kids” at
http://eo.ucar.edu/webweather/. This website is a good source for both
teachers and students to access when learning about weather. The
website provides safety, games, stories, and activities related to the
weather. The website also provides specific information about
thunderstorms, clouds, hurricanes, and blizzards in addition to an
interactive link designed to let kids try forecasting the weather. The
advantages of this website include the immense amount of educational
information about weather to aid in both teaching and learning. The
website also provides fun learning activities and experiments to
hands-on, inquiry based experiments. One disadvantage to this website
is the fact that some of the graphics depicting aspects of weather (rain
drops, suns, etc.) have faces and humanistic attributes.
After typing in the key words Science+process skill+earthquake into a “Google” search,
I retrieved an awesome resource of information. The website that I visited was:
http://www.extension.iastate.edu/e-set/science_is_here/earthquake.html. This site
offered a very clever experiment on the concept of earthquakes. The model of an
earthquake was made of Jell-O, clay, and a cardboard building. The students were
asked to observe and apply what they have experienced from the demonstration. They
will be able to ask questions such as, “Describe how your structures reacted on the
different ground conditions. (The Jell-O and the clay). “What do you think would happen
to your structures if you made them taller?” “How does this activity relate to real life
earthquakes like the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake?”
Another website was: http://www.instructorweb.com/lesson/photosynthesis.asp. This
site offered a lesson plan on photosynthesis to fifth graders. The site included a
definition of photosynthesis that is easy to understand and appropriate for the grade
level. The photosynthesis site would only serve as a reference to the definition. There
were no activities, links to other science sites, and no other information about
photosynthesis than just the definition.
The third site: ttp://www.chabotspace.org/vsc/teacher/schoolvisit/lifescience/life1.asp
was an incredible resource for teachers. The web page offered dozens of activity
examples for discovering animal adaptations. The students would be amazed at the
creative project they will encounter if the website is used. One example of a creative
project is the students create a habitat for sowbugs, snails, crickets, or mealworms and
watch their life cycles. They will use different methods of observation to understand the
• Great website for published and broadcasted science lessons.
• Gives good background information for the teacher to begin research and
• Some lesson plans are a little complex and hard to follow
• Gives good resources for both students and teachers to access
• Easy for the user to navigate
• Search section for teacher or student to utilize in narrowing or broadening a
• Very kid friendly
• Separate resources and sections for students and teachers
• Gives a variety of worksheets and activities along with the recommended
Magic School Bus book
• Gives easy directions for both kids and teachers
• Options for all ages and grade levels
• Has a theme index allowing for quick research for the teachers or students
using the site
• Ability to purchase products directly off the site
• Internal search engine allowing for great resource and reference use for
• Geared specifically for teachers using integrative techniques
• Discusses Cross-Curriculum Integration as well as integrating technology
• Provides great, easy-to-follow lesson plans for a large variety of topics
• Excellent monthly features on the field of Education
• Offers a lot of external resources
• Very busy home-page…somewhat turns off the user
• Not kid/student friendly
• Great supporting materials available for every topic
• Focuses only on the topics related to the solar system
• Contact info provided
• Products and materials for sale
• Products are very expensive
• No lesson plan documentation but a lot of good information for a teacher to
base a lesson/unit on.
• Activities for children to do
• Not kid-friendly
http://www.lessonplanspage.com/Science67.htm is a great site full of good ideas. It has everything from Astronomy to Biology to Physics in lesson plans hence the address. Some science subjects have more lesson plans than others, so it is some what limited. But it can be helpful if you are not looking for one specific thing. One good thing about the site is that it doesn't map everything out for you so that forces the teacher to be creative and work from the ideas given to make it a complete lesson plan. The site does have a search engine that I found after a little bit of searching. It is kind of in a weird place. It is under a heading "How to Use" which I thought was referring to how to use a specific lab tool. But when I clicked on it there was a link to a search engine with in the site. I think that if a site has a search feature it should be at the top or bottom of the home page so that is easy to find and use. As I look at the site further there is search button that you can click on that is on the home page, oops. J The site also has lessons that incorporate other subjects into science which is always helpful. With no child left behind it seems that there is a lack of time for everything that needs to be included, so if teachers can get ideas on how to integrate instruction it is much needed and appreciated.
http://lessonplanz.com/Lesson_Plans/Science/Grades_3-5/index.shtml is a site quite like the first on. I found this site interesting because of the fact that anyone can come in a look at a lesson plan and rate it on a scale of one to ten. It also shows how many people have rated the lesson. This site also has a search engine on the home page. The site is not specific to only science it has lessons for other subjects as well. This can be good but I wouldn't mind finding a site that was specifically just for science, because I think that it would probably have a better variety of lesson plans. Another nice thing about the site is that is sells some science wall cards and games and other use full things for the classroom. It is nice because it isn't too distracting to the rest of the site to have some products for sale. Again the site is somewhat limited to the lessons and ideas that it provides, but these websites can't have everything.
http://www.princeton.edu/teacher/tsm/ is great site made by some people from Princeton. It has four major categories to into on the homepage: Think Tank, Trade Secrets, Science in Action, and Idea Exchange. Within Trade Secrets there are many other headings that have every thing from "critter care" to "Keep Your Plants Alive" to an Ecology Glossary. Under "Science in Action" there is much, much more. There are many activities that seem fun and exciting. The whole site is fun and exciting and makes me want to teach science, not that I didn't want to before seeing this site, but it definitely gets the blood flowing. There is a whole section under "Science in Action" that talks about animals in the classrooms and addresses issues with having them taking care of them, advantages and disadvantages, materials needed and even environmental considerations. I have nothing bad to say about this site. I love it!
This website offers a handful of lesson plan ideas for a range of grade levels. The
website provides worksheets as well as detailed lesson plans for specific science topics.
The topics are broken down into a series of subjects such as life processes and living
things, material and properties, and general science topics. Within in each lesson heading
is also a symbol that depicts what grade level that lesson is appropriate for. The only
thing I did not like about this website was, some of lessons were not detailed enough for
someone who had not taught that kind of lesson before. The outlines of the lessons could
be in a more organized format.
This website provides an amazing amount of information on all the science subjects
ranging from biology to physics. There is a plethora of information on lab activities,
worksheets, as well as lesson plans. The lessons and content seemed appropriate for the
middle school grade levels. The lessons could, however, be used as a resource for ideas
to create a modified lesson. The lessons are detailed and organized, however, there is no
division for the grade levels these lessons would be appropriate for. If I were not familiar
with this site I would have to spend a good amount of time sorting through the different
This is a beautifully designed website that offers lesson plans and resource information
for creating lesson plans. The website was extremely easy to navigate through and
presented the lesson plans with the grade level attached. The lesson plans also give
some background information on the topic, which would be helpful for preparing the
students for the lesson. The downside of this lesson was the small and precise amount of
lesson plans offered. When looking for lesson plans, this website would be hit or miss;
sometimes you may get lucky and get a great lesson and other times you may not find
any lessons at all.
http://www.nasaexplores.com/ This website is sponsored by NASA and gives new lesson
plans weekly regarding topics NASA is exploring. One thing I liked about this site is that
the lessons given correspond to the national standards for science. The lessons
presented were fun and engaging for students. There were not very many lessons on the
website though so this may not be the best place to go to search for a certain topic or
http://sciencespot.net/ This website has a variety of different resources for both students
and teachers. There are lesson plans, links, daily trivia, ideas for science clubs or classes
and tips for teachers. Teachers can search under different science topics and find fun,
engaging lesson plans to use. One thing I didn’t like about this website was all the extra
stuff. It may be hard to navigate to find specific information.
Weather Wiz Kids
This site has information on all kinds of weather as well as engaging activities for
students to learn about weather through models and experiments. I have used
experiments off of this site and they worked well and engaged students. I like the
weather jokes; it would be a fun way to begin each class while doing a weather unit. The
website also allows for subject integration because there are geographical, art, and
literature lessons within the weather studies. This website is great for teaching weather
but its downside is that is all it includes. At the end of the experiments it explains the
reason for what happened but it is short and leaves me wanting more information to help
understand the concept and lesson learned from the experiment. It could wrap things up
Zoom is a great science program for children. It is a T.V. show that runs after school on
PBS and teaches science concepts based on experiments they do. I first saw Zoom
about six years ago when I did after school childcare and the children always watched it.
It has grown and now has many resources for educators and students. When I was at
the Children’s Museum volunteering I learned that they do a Whole class based on Zoom
and get many of the activities and materials from this website. The link for parents and
educators is probably the best I have come across so far. The educator’s link has a ton
of valuable material for all ages including preschool. They also provide information on
how to start a club Zoom which would be a great asset to a school. The site has a poll
where the students vote on something different each week and can compare their vote to
children around the country. It is very interesting and right when I saw it I thought it
would be great in math class for graphing and percentages because that is how they
present the information. I honestly can not think of anything bad about this web site.
National Geographic Kids
The National Geographic site for kids is fun for kids. The website has many games and
goes into the media and pop culture. The site does teach science but the kids would
have so much fun they wouldn’t even realize they were studying. Because students
could make connections to the site and relate to it they would gain the knowledge long-
term. The site offers activities and extensive information on all science topics. The sites
fun could be distracting from the learning but it might be a nice break from the usual
lesson or research activity. Just letting the students look through the site would be
The first website is http://sciencespot.net/index.html. This site is very useful resource for
science teachers. There are links to activities, games, puzzles, lesson plans, and even
resources. It also has links to website kids can go to. The strength would be the huge
collection of links, and how they are broken down into categories. This is a great site to
help teacher prepare for units or lessons. The weakness is that it doesn’t describe the
links, so it may take a while for teachers to browse through the links to find the ones
they want to use in their classroom.
Another website is http://www.sasked.gov.sk.ca/docs/elemsci/elemsci.html. This site
describes how the science should be taught in elementary level. It describes how the
classroom and lessons should be set up. This is a great site for teachers to learn how to
build a science classroom. This website covers from different forms of teaching to
materials and safety. This is a very good guide for teachers to learn what to consider for
classroom structure to maximize learning. One weakness is that some of the links
cannot be opened. If all the links can be accessed, this is a great site for new teachers.
Other interesting web-based resources
BRING THE WORLD TO YOUR CLASSROOM
People to People International’s School and Classroom Program is a free service that pairs elementary, middle and high school classes in different countries for cultural, pen pal exchanges. Our community involves schools from 85 countries. We pair classes according to students’ age and number. Classes interact through email or letters supervised by their teacher, who receives our manual with guidance, pen pal tips, and project ideas for establishing successful classroom partnerships. Postage assistance to mail letters is available to teachers who qualify. Most classes are English-speaking, yet the program is also well suited for classes learning another language.
To join, we ask teachers to register. Registration is free. A registration form may be requested by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Or teachers may register online or download a form through our web site at http://www.ptpi.org/programs/school_class_join.html .
One of the best places to start for environmental science is the
scorecard website. It allows students to punch in their local zipcode and
find out about local environmental issues and companies responsible for the
(Surf your watershed and learn about the health of your local waters.)
(Several on-line tutorials that are very good. I've done the one about
Journey North: A Global Study of Wildlife Migration and Seasonal Change
Teachers and students in K-12 classrooms are invited to participate this
February through May in one of the Journey North project‚s free online
global studies of wildlife migration and seasonal change. One of the
nation‚s premier Internet-based "citizen science" projects, Journey North
enables students in 11,000 schools to watch spring sweep across the northern
hemisphere by following the migration patterns of monarch butterflies, bald
eagles, whooping cranes, and other animals; the budding of plants; changing
sunlight in mystery class locations; and other natural events. Students
share field observations with classmates across North America and analyze
live maps and data from other classroom and professional scientists.
Each Journey North study features standards-based lessons and challenges,
stunning photos and video clips, weekly migration updates, interactive maps,
reading selections, connections with field scientists, and compelling
migration stories. They also provide guidance for helping students conduct
local inquiries and fit them into a global context. Journey North also
offers professional development workshops to schools and districts across
Thanks to a grant from Annenberg/CPB, Journey North participation is free.
For more information and inspiration, visit the Journey North Web site:
November 4, 2010