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Monday, April 20, 2020

World Wildlife Fund Livestreams, Apps, and Games for Students

For years the World Wildlife Fund has offered educational games and apps for students. Now they're also offering live educational broadcasts for students.

On the WWF's Wild Classroom page you will find a list of upcoming livestreams and he target audience for those livestreams. For example, tomorrow's livestream about bees is intended for students in second through sixth grade.

In addition to upcoming live broadcasts the WWF Wild Classroom page features daily lesson plans and activities. The activities were designed for use at school, but could easily be modified to be completed at home with the help of parents. Every lesson plan includes an activity outline, a video, and a related article. Archives of previous weeks'  lesson plans are available at the bottom of the WWF Wild Classroom page.

WWF Mobile Apps
One of my all-time favorite iPad apps was developed by the WWF. That app is the WWF Together App. It's not the most advanced app you'll find, but it is beautifully done. WWF Together now features the stories of threatened or endangered animals around the world. The stories include facts about the animals' ranges, threats to their habitats, and latest news about efforts to help preserve these animals and their habitats. Within each story there is an opportunity for students to take a selfie with an animal. This is done through the use of augmented reality that lets users place an origami rendering of an animal into any setting including a selfie. And for those who want a hands-on activity, WWF Together includes directions for making origami animals.

WWF Free Rivers is a free augmented reality app produced by the World Wildlife Foundation. The app uses augmented reality to present a story about rivers. WWF Free Rivers tells students stories about the implications of changes in weather patterns, damming rivers, and pollution on river ecosystems. Students interact with these stories by moving their iPads and or by pinching and zooming on elements in the stories. Unlike some other AR apps the animations within WWF Free Rivers can be experienced by students from a variety of angles. A great example of this is found early in the app when students can see what a dam does to a river. During that experience students can see the dam from above, from below, and from the sides.

Resources for Teaching & Learning About the American Revolution

Today is Patriots' Day here in Maine as well as Massachusetts and Connecticut. It's a day commemorate the start of the American Revolutionary War with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. As a good New Englander, this is the day that I like to highlight some of my favorite resources for teaching and learning about the American Revolution.

Pictures of the Revolutionary War is a compilation of images about the Revolutionary War. The images in the collection chronicle the stirrings of rebellion in the pre-revolution years, the war from both American and British perspectives, and events following the Revolutionary War.

Minute Man National Historical Park offers detailed lesson plans that can be in conjunction with a visit to the park and lesson plans that can be used independent of a visit to the park. Take a look at the Legacy of Conflict lesson plan designed for 5th grade students (link opens a PDF) to get a sense of the type of detailed resources that the park offers.

Creating Google Earth tours of Revolutionary War battle sites is an activity that I did for many years with my U.S. History students. Students would create multimedia placemarkers for each battle in sequence. The placemarkers contained information about the outcome and significance of each battle. Here's a video on how to make a tour with with the browser-based version of Google Earth.



Video Lessons
Keith Hughes has a popular video in which he explains the American Revolution for middle school and high school students.



Crash Course has an extensive series on U.S. History. Included in that series is Taxes & Smuggling - Prelude to Revolution.



Mr. Betts has a YouTube channel on which he posts cartoons and song parodies to teach U.S. History lessons. Here's one he did about the Battles of Lexington and Concord.



Bonus for Red Sox Fans!
This is usually the day that the Boston Marathon is held and Red Sox play a morning game. Neither is happening this year. For my fellow Red Sox fans here's a famous clip from the 2007 Patriots' Day game.