Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Atlas of World War II

Despite the fact that we still have almost a month of school left, my students had to turn in their school-issued netbooks today. This left me searching for some blank outline world maps for my special education students to use for a map-based assignment. Finding current maps wasn't a problem, but finding maps representative of the world in 1939 through 1945 took a little bit of time. In that search I came across the Wikimedia Commons' Atlas of World War II.

The Wikimedia Commons' Atlas of World War II contains dozens of maps related to World War II. Some of the maps are blank outline maps, but most are labeled. In the Atlas of World War II you will find maps of battle locations, shifts in control, and posession of territory. The collection of maps is arranged by region.

Applications for Education
My original lesson plan was to have my students create multimedia maps about World War II. When I learned that my students would be losing their netbooks, I decided to have them use the blank outline maps to place information about WWII on the map according to location. In essence they're making static placemarks on their maps.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
10 Resources for Teaching and Learning About WWII
National Atlas Map Maker
The History Channel's Guide to the US States
Five Interactive Geography Activities

NachoFoto - Realtime Image Search Engine

A picture is worth a thousand words and when a news story is breaking that is especially true. NachoFoto is an image search engine designed to bring you the latest images from across the web on emerging trends and breaking stories.

According to their whitepaper NachoFoto searches for images based on recency, image density on a webpage, inward links, and domain authoriy. What this means for people searching on NachoFoto is that they will see new photos before older photos, will find images from sites that frequently post new quality images, and find images from websites that are family friendly.

See NachoFoto in action in the video below.

Applications for Education
NachoFoto could be a great resource for anyone that uses current events in his or her classroom. NachoFoto provides images that could help complete the picture for students after reading a story. You could also use the images to introduce a story.

Through the use of NachoFoto's timeline slider your students can
look back at images taken over the course of the development of a news story.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Real-Time Search Options
Collecta, Real-time Search, and Professional Learning
Google Real-Time Search: Here Comes Everything!

Resources About Mount St. Helens 30 Years Later

Today marks the thirtieth anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens. I was reminded of this by Amanda Dykes who shared a link to these satellite images of Mount St. Helens the images chronicle the years 1979 through 2009. You can view the images individually or open them as a slideshow in Google Earth. All of the images are provided by NASA.

CNN has a narrated slideshow in which eyewitnesses and experts discuss the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

National Geographic has three easily accessible resources about the eruption of Mount St. Helens. Lost On Mount St. Helens is a short video about Ralph Killian who lost his son and daughter-in-law in the eruption of Mount St. Helens and spent a year looking for them. Mountain Transformed is a picture gallery chronicling Mount St. Helens from eruption to today. Rebirth of the Blast Zone is an interactive illustration of the life that exists in the 230 square mile blast zone around Mount St. Helens.

The BBC's Bitesize section has an online lesson about volcanoes that includes Mount St. Helens. The lesson is appropriate for elementary school and middle school students.

And take a trip in the time machine and watch a 1980 CBS News report about the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

For some resources and lessons about volcanoes in general see 5 Resources for Learning About Volcanoes.

Combating Food Deserts

Today's episode of CNN Student News contains a story about food deserts. Food deserts is a term used to describe areas that have poor access to affordable and healthy food. The story was about the city of Baltimore's policies and strategies designed to combat the food desert that exists in poor areas of Baltimore, Maryland.

Applications for Education
There are a couple of classroom discussions that could emerge out of this segment of CNN Student News. Your students could explore the question of how much should the government get involved in the daily lives of its citizens? Your students could also explore the reasons why food deserts exist in poor urban areas.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Food Play - Resources About Food and Diet
Sugar Stacks - How Much Sugar is in Your Snack?

Cool Food Kidz Teaches Kids About Diet & Fitness