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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

20 Ideas for Academic Halloween Costumes

Shmoop, a great publisher of online study guides, recently posted a list of twenty history and literature themed Halloween costumes. On the list you will find ideas like "pretend to hitchhike as Christopher Columbus with a sign that says India or bust." Shmoop also offers suggestions like "put on a collared shirt, a tie, a long coat, and a red hunting hat. Carry a record under your arm and collect candy as Holden Caulfield." See the full list here.

Applications for Education
Shmoop's list of Halloween costume ideas provide some possibilities for turning Halloween into an educational experience in middle school or possibly high school classrooms.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
National Geographic Halloween Quizzes and Games
Larry Ferlazzo's list of Halloween resources
Shmoop Grows Again

Illinois State Museum Offers Good Lesson Plans

The Illinois State Museum's website offers a sizable collection of online activities, online exhibits, and downloadable lesson plans. Most of the online activities and exhibits are built around themes dealing with Illinois history and science. The lesson plans section offers resources that teachers anywhere can use in their classrooms. There are multiple, in most cases dozens, of lesson plans for every K-12 content area.

Applications for Education
I was initially drawn to the Illinois State Museum's lesson plan collection while searching for some resources about zoology. The zoology lesson plan collection, like the other collections, provides a mix of learning activities that can be done online and offline.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Teacher Linx- Create and Share Lesson Plans
Science Netlinks - Dozens of Science Lessons
The Museum of Humor Offers Fun Lesson Plans

African Parks and Wildlife Preserves in Google Earth

This week Google launched a series of videos celebrating the Heros of Google Earth. These videos and associated links tell the stories of non-profit organizations that are using Google Earth to increase global awareness of various environmental and politic issues. One of the organizations featured in Heros of Google Earth is MAPA (Mapping Africa's Protected Areas). MAPA has created a Google Earth layer featuring parks, wildlife reserves, and protected lands in Eastern and Southern Africa. MAPA's Google Earth layer goes nicely with the Africa Mega-flyover tour in Google Earth.
The video offers a short overview of MAPA's work.


Thanks to the Google Earth Blog for some of the links in this post.

Application for Education
MAPA's Google Earth layer combined with the Africa Mega-flyover tour could be useful for anyone teaching lessons about wildlife conservation. These files are also good models of using Google Earth to tell a story and writing to inform.

Galapagos Rap

This video, 3.5* til Infinity, was created by some Stanford students on their trip to the Galapagos Islands. While some people may not agree with everything in the video, it's still an excellent demonstration of using multimedia resources to demonstrate knowledge. If you do teach about Darwin in your classroom, this video is an engaging summary of his ideas. There are also some great images from the Galapagos Islands in the video.


Thanks to Open Culture for the video link.

CNN Student News - A Degree in Hip Hop?

Today's episode of CNN Student News concludes with a segment about McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minnesota. McNally Smith is now offering students the opportunity to major in hip hop. The episode is embedded below.


Applications for Education
This segment might be good for showing students that if they have an interest in a particular topic, if they look around enough, there's probably an opportunity for post secondary study on that topic.

Here is a related item that may be of interest to you:
The Week in Rap - Fun News Summaries

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