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Sunday, September 22, 2013

27 Topographic Maps Lessons

The USGS offers free topographic maps for most of the United States. The maps can be downloaded as PDFs through the USGS store. The maps can be used in the 27 suggested topographic maps lessons found in the USGS education site. All of the lessons are rated by grade level and time required for completing the activity. In the list of lesson ideas you will find suggestions for lessons about typical geography topics like coordinates, scale, and map projections as well as lesson suggestions for less common things like analysis of stereo aerial photographs and analysis of humans and hydrography.


Dozens of Games About Mammals, Birds, and Dinosaurs

The Canadian Museum of Nature hosts a good collection of online games and animations about mammals, birds, and dinosaurs. A few of the games and animations are Canada-specific, but those and all of the others have a broad appeal.

The three games that I tried were focused on the adaptations of animals to their environments. In the mammals section I played a game about the adaptations of polar bears and grizzly bears to their environments. In the birds section I played a matching game in which I had to pair the beak of a bird to the adaptation it represented. And in the fossils section I viewed an animation through which I learned how horned dinosaurs ate their food.

Applications for Education
The games and animations available through the Canadian Museum of Nature are appropriate for elementary school students. The games could prove to be useful as fun activities for students to test the knowledge they gained from one of your lessons about mammals, birds, or dinosaurs.

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