Showing posts with label Interactive Learning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Interactive Learning. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Interactive Build a Body Lesson

Sponge Lab Biology recently won a National Science Foundation award for its interactive Build a Body activity. Spend a few minutes using Build a Body and it is easy to understand why it was recognized by the NSF.

In Sponge Lab Biology's Build a Body students construct a human body system-by-system. To build a body students drag and drop into place the organs and bones of a human body. Each organ and bone is accompanied by a description of the purpose of that bone or organ. The systems that students can build in the Build a Body activity are the skeletal, digestive, respiratory, nervous, excretory, and circulatory systems.

Build a Body has a case study menu in which students can read about diseases, disorders, and and other concerns that affect the human body. In each case study students are given a short description of the concern followed by a question that they should be able to answer after completing the Build a Body activity.

Applications for Education
Build a Body was designed with high school students in mind. Build a Body could be an excellent resource to pair with Biodigital Human or Healthline's Body Maps. Have students use the Body Maps and Biodigital Human to study the construction of the human body then use Build a Body to test their knowledge.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Interactive Exhibits at the JFK Presidential Library

Yesterday, I shared with you some videos of John F. Kennedy's inauguration as President of the United States. This morning I spent some time on the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum website and found some things that will be of interest to teachers of US History.

The JFK Presidential Library and Museum website has four interactive exhibits for learning about John F. Kennedy and his presidency. We Choose the Moon (a resource I reviewed over a year ago) is an interactive exploration of the Apollo 11 mission. The site covers everything from Kennedy's first proclamation that the US would put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960's to the moon landing itself.

The White House Diary is an interactive flipbook of Kennedy's schedule while in office. You can flip through it page by page to see what he did on each day or pick a specific date from the calendar. Many of the pages include video clips and or images from that day.

The JFK Timeline is an interactive timeline Kennedy's presidency. The timeline features cultural and world events as well as US political events.

Finally, the Virtual JFK Museum Tour takes you to view exhibits and artifacts in the museum. The tour is narrated and in some cases you hear Kennedy's voice. The tour is divided into major themes and events of Kennedy's presidency including his campaign, the Peace Corps, and the Space Race. The tour also includes some information about Bobby Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Interactive Lessons on the American Revolution

Teaching American History has a series of interactive lessons about the American Revolution that are suitable for middle school and elementary school use. The lessons are divided into three chronological sections; 1775-1778, 1778-1781, and Treaty of Paris 1783. All of the lessons in the first two sections ask students to locate a place on a map. Students then answer a question about that place. After answering the question students are given a short text lesson. The lessons appear in chronological order. In the section on the Treaty of Paris students move through a series of placemarks on a map to learn about the terms of the Treaty of Paris.

H/T to Donna Murray for the link.

Applications for Education
Teaching American History's interactive lessons about the American Revolution could be useful as an introductory or review resource.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:American President - An Online Reference
From Washington to Obama in 4 Minutes With Dates

10 US History Google Earth Tours

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Interactive Romeo and Juliet

The Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project has an outstanding interactive resource that everyone who teaches lessons on Romeo and Juliet should bookmark. Interactive Folio: Romeo and Juliet is an interactive display of the text of Romeo and Juliet. As students read the document they can click on any link in the text to view definitions, images, audio recordings, and videos related to the content they're reading. 

Thanks to Donna Murray for sharing the link for this excellent site

Applications for Education
Interactive Folio: Romeo and Juliet looks like it could be a fantastic resource to help students comprehend Shakespeare's most famous work.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
11 Operas in 10 Minutes
Shmoop Adds History and Literature Slideshows
Reach 'em 2 Teach 'em: Educational Rap

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Interactive Activities About US Government

The Center on Congress at Indiana University has a good collection of interactive, role-playing activities for learning about how the United States' government functions. Each activity allows students to experience the roles and functions of different members of Congress.

One of the activities that my Civics students have really enjoyed in the past is the "How a Member Decides to Vote" activity. In "How a Member Decides to Vote" students take on the role of a Congressman or Congresswoman for a week. During the simulated week, students receive phone calls from constituents, read newspaper headlines, meet with constituents, meet with lobbyists, and attend meetings with other Congressmen and Congresswomen. The "How a Member Decides to Vote" activity makes students account for their personal feelings as well as the influence of constituents and lobbyists.

Applications for Education
I've used many of these activities over the last few years with my Civics students and my US History students. In all there are eleven interactive activities through which students can learn about the functions of Congress. All of the interactive activities are written in a way that makes them accessible and useful for students in grades 3 through 12. Each activity is accompanied by a set of lesson plan options for categorized by grade level. The lesson plans accompanying each activity provide convenient assessment tools for teachers. Each lesson plan also suggests some "offline" activities that teachers and students can do related to the online activity.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Explore the History of the World Through Objects

The BBC and the British Museum have partnered to create an excellent interactive timeline called A History of the World. A History of the World presents images of artifacts from various eras in world history. The objects are displayed in rings arranged to match each era. Click on any object in the ring to see a larger image and to read about the significance of each artifact. You can browse the collection by clicking through the rings of images or you can browse by location, by historical theme, or by dates.

Applications for Education
A History of the World could be used as the jumping-off point for student research projects on eras in world history. You could have students select an object, read the accompanying blurb, and then search for more information related to that object and or the civilization associated with the object.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
European Virtual Museum - 3D Interactive Artifacts
The Bayeux Tapestry Animated
Timelines TV - British and American History Videos

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wild Music - Sounds and Songs of Life

Wild Music is a fun and educational website on which students can learn about sounds commonly heard in nature. On Wild Music students can listen to the sounds of nature and explore what creates those sounds. Some of the activities students will find include a game of animal audio memory in which students hear sounds and have to match them to each other. Students can find activities such as The Mosquito in which they compare their hearing to the hearing of various animals.

Applications for Education
Wild Music is a resource that could be used by both science teachers and music teachers. Science teachers can use Wild Music as an exploration of the sounds animals make and why they make those sounds. Music teachers can use Wild Music to explore how the sounds of nature influence musicians.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Arts Edge - Podcasts and Lesson Plans
Classics for Kids - Classical Music Lesson Plans
Herbie Hancock Performs at TED

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Interactive from Annenburg - Elements of a Story

Annenburg Media's offers hundreds of lesson plans and online activities you can use in your classroom. One such resource that I just learned about from Anne Marie Corrieri's Talking SMARTBoards & Much More is Interactives - Elements of a Story. Interactives - Elements of a Story uses the story of Cinderella as a model for learning about the elements of a story. To use this interactive students select any element of the story; setting, character, sequence, exposition, conflict, climax, or resolution then read and listen to an explanation of that element of the story. After they have worked through all of the elements of the story, they can take a quiz to test their knowledge.

Applications for Education
Interactives - Elements of a Story uses a familiar story, Cinderella, which makes Elements of a Story a resource accessible to elementary school, middle school, and high school students. Although the graphics are clearly aimed toward elementary school students, this could certainly be a review resource for older students.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Imagination Prompt Generator
Two Sources of Writing Prompts
Write Rhymes Provides Fun Times

Friday, September 18, 2009

Interactive Look at Giant Redwood Forests

National Geographic's cover story this month is about the giant Redwood trees. To complement the cover story, National Geographic has created some interactive resources for learning about the redwoods. The interactive resources include a map, a timeline, and an interactive drawing. The interactive drawing can be used to learn about all of the life at the top of the Redwood forests. The map can be used to explore the range of redwoods. The timeline shows the growth stages of redwoods compared to significant events in history.

Applications for Education
These interactive resources from National Geographic could be good for anyone teaching a basic course in environmental science.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Geography and Science Lesson Plans Using Google Earth
View Glacier Melt in Google Earth
What is Possible With Google Earth?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Good Interactive Game/ Lesson for Teen Drivers

The New York Times has an excellent interactive game that every teen driver or aspiring driver should play at least once. Gauging Your Distraction requires players to try to read and reply to three text messages while negotiating lanes of traffic. The game ends when all three messages have been sent. I gave the game a try and found it to be quite challenging.

Applications for Education
Gauging Your Distraction is an excellent activity to incorporate into a driver training program.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Online Art Activities at the National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art has created seven interactive art activities for students in elementary school through high school. Using these activities students can explore elements of digital photograph editing, elements of color, and experiment with different styles of painting. Three of the featured activities are Brushster, Dutch Doll House, and Collage Machines. In Brushster, students mix and match colors to create abstract art. The Dutch Doll House is an interactive exhibit in which students explore the 17th century home and studio of a Dutch artist. The Collage Machines, of which there are two, give students a platform for creating collages of art samples.

The National Gallery of Art's website has other resources that art teachers and students may want to explore. The National Gallery of Art's videos and podcasts take viewers and listeners behind the scenes of the gallery's exhibits. The videos and podcasts also give access to lectures and talks with scholars and artists. The National Gallery of Art has dozens of online tours of the gallery's collections. Each tour includes the images accompanied by descriptions of the works and brief biographical information about the artists.

Applications for Education
The National Gallery of Art's online galleries could be useful for anyone teaching or studying art history. The interactive activities could be a fun way to introduce reluctant students to an art class or a topic in an art class.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Blogs for Art Teachers
The Forward Thinking Museum - Virtual Museum
7 Resources for Creating Cartoons and Comics

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

America by Air from the Smithsonian

One of the few regrets (if you can call it that) from my trip to NECC in Washington, DC is that I did not have time to go to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Fortunately, the Smithsonian does offer some fantastic online resources about the history of aviation. One such online resource is America by Air which I learned about from Anne Marie's Talking SMARTBoards & Much More.

America by Air
is a series of thirteen online activities that take students through the history of commercial aviation in the United States. Some of the activities that students can explore include examining air routes, pricing tickets, and dressing like a pilot or flight attendant.

Applications for Education
America by Air's thirteen online activities are good resources for elementary and middle school students to learn about the history of commercial aviation in the United States. As students return from summer vacations some may have stories about flying. Have students use try the activities in America by Air then compare their trip in 2009 to how their trip may have unfolded during an earlier era in commercial aviation.

Monday, July 6, 2009

e-Learning for Kids - Dozens of Activities

e-Learning for Kids offers dozens of courses for students ages five through twelve. e-Learning for Kids uses the term "courses" to describe what they offer, but "game" or "interactive lesson" would be a more appropriate description. e-Learning for Kids offers activities in math, language arts, science, computer skills, health and life skills, and ESL/EFL. Courses are listed with a brief description and a recommended age group. e-Learning for Kids is available in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.

Applications for Education
e-Learning for Kids has something to offer just about every elementary school aged student. Most of the activities are designed for individual or paired use, but there are some that could adapted for use as a classroom activity on an interactive whiteboard.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Ten Fun Educational Games for K-8 Students
Download a Dinosaur
Whyzz - Helps Parents Answer "Why" Questions

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Interactivate - Interactive Math Assessments

Interactivate is a suite of fifty-nine interactive mathematics assessments. These assessments allow users to track their percentage of correct and incorrect responses on each activity. Most assessments are designed for individual use although there are some activities that can be used by multiple users. Interactivate is produced by the non-profit organization Shodor.

Applications for Education
Most of the assessments on Interactivate are appropriate for middle school and high school use. The assessments could be used at the beginning of a course to assess your students' prior knowledge. The assessments could also be used to check for comprehension at the conclussion of a day's lesson.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Math Links You Might Have Missed
StatPlot - Graphs for Sports
Decimal Squares - Games for Learning Place Values

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Build a Pyramid

Pyramid Builder is an interactive portion of the BBC's Ancient History Egyptians feature. Pyramid Builder asks students to select a location for their pyramid and design a pyramid. After selecting the location and design, students need to plan the construction of the pyramid. The planning phase requires orientating the pyramid, selecting construction materials, and building a labor force.

Pyramid Builder is part of a much larger feature about Ancient Egypt. Some of the other highlights of the Ancient Egypt feature are a history of the pyramids, a timeline of Egyptian history, and the Mummy Makers game.

Applications for Education
Pyramid Builder and the BBC's Ancient Egyptian History feature in general are excellent resources for World History students to explore. The Pyramid Builder and the Mummy Maker could both be used as informal assessment tools after students have read about and researched these topics.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Write Like an Egyptian
Math + Egyptian History = Good Learning Activity
Visualizing Cultures

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Amusement Parks Physics - Design a Roller Coaster

Amusement Park Physics is an interactive lesson produced by In Amusement Park Physics students explore how a roller coaster works and how wood and steel can alter the ride. At the end of the roller coaster section students can design their own roller coaster and have it evaluated for safety and fun. (My design was rejected as unsafe and not fun).

In addition to exploring the workings of roller coasters students can explore the workings of carousels, bumper cars, pendulums, and free fall rides.

Applications for Education
Amusement Park Physics could be a good way to introduce students to physics. In years past my school used to take physics students on a field trip to an amusement park as a fun, educational, end-of-year trip. Amusement Parks Physics would have been a good resource for those students to explore before or after their trip.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Physics Games for Your Blog or Website
This is Phun - Physics Simulator
Physics 4 Kids

Monday, May 18, 2009

Medical Animation Library

The University of Pennsylvania Health System provides nearly 200 video animations and explanations of injuries, diseases, and body systems. The animations, like this one of a balloon angioplasty, are concise which makes them good for general reference purposes.

Applications for Education
The medical animation library could be a good resource for biology teachers, health teachers, and teachers of anatomy and physiology.

Thanks to Angela Maiers for the link via Twitter.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Dr. Saul's Biology in Motion
Visible Body - 3D Human Anatomy
Interactive Anatomy and Physiology Tutorials

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dr. Saul's Biology in Motion

Dr. Saul's Biology in Motion features fantastic interactive activities and animations for students to use to learn human biology concepts. The activities and animations seem to be targeted toward a middle school audience there is a lot of value in Biology in Motion for high school students too. Biology in Motion offers some good tips for teachers planning to use these activities in the classroom. Most of the tips are things that might seem obvious, but are good reminders none-the-less.

Applications for Education
Dr. Saul's Biology in Motion provides fun and educational activities and animations appropriate for middle school and high school science classes. One way you might use Biology in Motion is to have students diagram a concept then compare it to the animations in Biology in Motion.

Here are some related resources that might be of interest to you:
Virtual Frog Dissection
The Interactive Body
Interactive Anatomy and Physiology Tutorials

Save 20% on all books & DVDs from National Geographic!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Top Marks - Educational Search Engine

Top Marks is a search engine for educational resources. I learned about Top Marks through Paul Hamilton's excellent blog. Top Marks is designed for busy teachers in need of a quick way to find classroom activities. You can search for resources by subject area and grade level. Top Marks is based in the UK so you do need to have a basic familiarity with Key Stage levels in order to find age appropriate resources. Those teachers who have an interactive whiteboard will want to explore the section dedicated to interactive whiteboard activities.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Interactive Periodic Table

The periodic table haunted my dreams during my junior year of high school. It was during that year that my Chemistry teacher had us memorize the periodic table. Today's high school Chemistry students have a number of online resources for learning the Periodic Table including the video periodic table and now this interactive Periodic Table simply called The Elements located at

The Elements is an interactive periodic table on which students can click an element and learn about that element. Clicking on an element describes all of the element's properties and the common uses of that element. If students just need a snap shot of information, simply placing their cursor on an element reveals a snap shot of information at the top of the page.

Applications for Education
The Elements could be a great reference for science students at many grade levels. Students can locate all of the standard periodic table data as well as see images of the elements and read explanations of each element in use.