Biodiversity and Ecosystems

General Science, Grade 6 Science, Grade 7 Science No Comments »

I recently came across some interesting biodiversity and ecosystem sites. The first site is called Phylo and it would be interesting to incorporate into a biodiversity unit. The website introduces a crowd sourced biodiversity card game (originally proposed as an alternate to Pokeman), and provides various decks for the same game format. Each deck focuses on different living creatures. You really need to explore it for yourself, I cannot do it justice. 

The second is a site called Wildscreen Arkive, and it would complement either biodiversity or ecosystem units. It appears that the main goal of the site is to archive the diverse life on our planet, and animal searches can be conducted based on conservation status. The education section of this website is also worthwhile, and lessons are organized into different age groups. Lessons are well developed, with presentation notes, teacher notes, and student handouts. 

Happy summer, everyone!

Exploring Flight

Grade 6 Science No Comments »

Today’s post will highlight a few of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s online resources, and specifically those focused on flight.

How Things Fly is a comprehensive interactive resource that reviews forces of flight, gravity and air, aerodynamics, propulsion, structures and materials, wing design and flight dynamics.

There is a Pioneers of Flight online gallery, including Military Aviation, Civilian Aviation and Rocket Pioneers.  The activity section in this gallery  includes a simulation of the US Army’s 1924 Around the World Flight, Designing an Air Racer, and helping the Lindbergh’s pack their airplane for long flights.

The Wright Brothers – The Invention of the Aerial Age explores the Wright Brothers and their first flyer, and there is also a Lecture Archive where past museum lectures are shared on Youtube. These include lectures from astronauts, pilots, and academics.

There are many more areas to explore, much more than I can highlight in a short post. Go explore.

Wishing everyone a successful school year.
Have a great week.


The NEED Project

General Science, Grade 6 Science No Comments »

I came across this website quite a long time ago, but I still love it. It is the site for the National Energy Education Development Project, or NEED. The project began over 30 years ago in order to enhance energy education in schools in the United States.

Click on the Educators tab and you will find a variety of curriculum guides with lesson plans on energy education, organized by title, subject, or grade level. There are also activity suggestions, games, and more. In the Students tab you will find ‘Infobooks’ with fact sheets on a many topics, organized by curriculum level, as well as ideas for science fair projects. The Multimedia tab has a selection of presentations, complete with colourful images, on different energy sources. The Links tab speaks for itself, providing many alternate websites for exploring energy education.

It is a great resource for energy education, and worth checking out.
Have a great week.

Rich Performance Tasks

General Education, General Science, Grade 6 Science, Grade 8 Science No Comments »

The London (that’s London, Ontario folks) District Catholic School Board has a website called Rich Performance Tasks, or RPT’s for short. The website is no longer updated, but the tasks are still there for others to access. They are real-life tasks that bridge different subjects.  There are tasks for all grade levels and most subject areas within the Ontario curriculum. Each task has both a student and a teacher page. If you click on the teacher page, then you have access to pre-task activities, exemplars, and curriculum tie-ins.

If you click on the science tasks link, then you are brought to divisional science projects. There are tasks designed for primary, junior, and intermediate grades, and it appears that the goal was for students to work together across grade levels.

If you are only looking for science-based tasks, then I have some of my projects posted for all to use.  Enjoy.

Note – This website is no longer accessible to the public…..sigh…..


General Science, Grade 6 Science, Math No Comments »

This week’s post is credited to two people, Pete MacKay and Mark Sheridan. Pete MacKay maintains theteacherlist, a daily mailing that recommends various educational websites, as shared by his subscribers. Mark Sheridan sent in this website, which Pete then sent out to his subscribers.

The site that is being highlighted is called studyjams, which seems to be maintained by Scholastic. It has a math and science section, each of which are interactive whiteboard friendly. The math section seems to cover a range of topics, including various concepts within number sense, geometry, algebra, measurement, data analysis, probability, and problem solving. There are options to have the math problem read aloud, to test yourself or work step-by-step, and to review key vocabulary.  The science section also covers a variety of topics which seem to support the grades 4 and 5 Ontario curriculum (amongst others), including light and sound, the human body, ecosystems, rocks and minerals, weather and climate, matter, and the list goes on. With the science topics you can watch slideshows and videos, test yourself, and review key vocabulary.

…a good website to add to your links.

World Health Day 2011

General Science, Grade 6 Science, Grade 7 Science, Grade 8 Science No Comments »

April 7th is World Health Day. Every year the World Health Organization creates a World Health Day with a different theme. This year’s theme is “antimicrobial resistance and its global spread”.  What does this mean, exactly? It refers to a resistance to the various antibiotics medications that we use to fight infectious illnesses and diseases. At some point they become ineffective in our bodies, thus no longer achieving the goal for which they were created. This problem is becoming more widespread. The World Health Organization is using World Health Day 2011 to bring this issue to the forefront in the eyes of governments and stakeholders so that they can begin to combat this problem.

Who are the stakeholders? The people within the World Health Organization might have their own opinions, but I think that the stakeholders would be every living person in this world. The entire human population stands to gain, or lose, from the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of the various medications that we use to fight infection and disease.

It may be too late to plan a whole unit around this topic in time for World Health Day this year, but you can certainly begin the conversation by introducing some thought provoking activities. Here are some links to get you started in your planning:

World Health Organization – This is a direct link to the World Health Day page on their website. Go here for information about World Health Day for this year, and for past years. Here is their document which provides information about antimicrobial resistance:  World Health Day 2011

Antimicrobial Resistance from Public Health Agency of Canada

Antibiotic Awareness

Evolution and Antibiotic Resistance from PBS

Similarities Between Spread of an Infectious Disease and Population Growth

Unit Plan on the Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance

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