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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Dinosaster - A Game About Dinosaur Extinction

Culture Street produces a number of neat online activities for kids. In the past I've reviewed their stopmotion video tool and comic book creator. This morning I received an email from Culture Street about a new offering in the form of a game called Dinosaster.

Dinosaster is an online game in which students move a dinosaur across a timeline in a Mario Brothers-like style of running and jumping. The object of the game is to hit each dinosaur bone along the way. When a new bone is grabbed a new fact card about a dinosaur appears on the screen. The object is to get all the cards and discover why the dinosaurs became extinct.

Applications for Education
Culture Street offers a simple lesson plan and worksheet (link opens PDF) to use in conjunction with Dinosaster. The game itself is rather simple, but it could be a fun introduction to a larger lesson about dinosaurs. I have a handful of other resources about dinosaurs available here.

Writing About Weather

Disclosure: BoomWriter is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

The wildly fluctuating temperatures, longer daylight hours, and the whipping wind outside my house are all signs that spring will be here soon. March is a great time to study the weather because we will have so many fluctuations in the patterns throughout the month. This month's featured lesson and vocabulary sheet on WordWriter is all about the weather.

WordWriter's weather-focused lesson plan and vocabulary sheet follows the same pattern as their other monthly features. The lesson plan includes a pre-made list of words for your students to use in the writing assignment that you distribute to them through BoomWriter's WordWriter service. The weather-related vocabulary terms are appropriate for fourth through eighth grade students.

If you haven't tried BoomWriter or WordWriter before, check out my demonstration videos embedded below. The first video shows just the perspective of the teacher. The second video shows the perspective of a student receiving an assignment.


How to Add Annotations to YouTube Videos - Video

Adding annotations to YouTube videos is a good way to add little bubbles of information to a video or to create a series of choose your own adventure videos. A great example of using annotations in student-produced videos can be found here. In the video embedded below I provide directions for adding annotations to your YouTube videos. You can also find screenshots of the process in this post.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth - An Animated Infographic

Journey to the Centre of the Earth is a neat infographic produced by the BBC. As you scroll down the infographic you will see little pieces of information slide into the graphic from the sides. Each of these pieces of information is a fun fact like the maximum depth of a metal detector, the depths of sunken boats, the depths of the layers of the Earth, and the pressure you would feel at various depths below the Earth's surface.

Applications for Education
Journey to the Centre of the Earth provides a good way for students to get a sense of just how far it is the center of the Earth. The depth references made throughout the infographic are ones that most students will understand (how deep an earth worm burrows, for example).

Pair Journey to the Centre of the Earth with Magnifying the Universe to help students see a bigger picture of our place in the world and universe.

H/T to Maps Mania for the BBC infographic.