Showing posts with label nature webcams. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nature webcams. Show all posts

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The National Zoo's Activities You Can Do at Home

My daughters are currently obsessed with a book titled On the Loose in Washington D.C. It's a book created in the "Where's Waldo" style, but instead of having to find Waldo you have to find animals. The premise of the book is that all of the animals have escaped from the Smithsonian's National Zoo and you have to find them. The preface to the book encourages readers to visit the National Zoo's website to learn more about the animals. That's what I did this week when I found the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Activities You Can Do at Home.

There are sixteen activities in the Activities You Can Do at Home collection. There are activities suitable for students of all ages. Even though nearly all of the activities could be modified for any age, a target age is listed below each activity in the collection.

Some of the activities in the Activities You Can Do at Home collection include simple games that kids can play on their own, live animal webcams that students can watch and record observations about, and there are some full-blown plans for lessons that you could carry out over the course of a few days.

Here are a few of the activities that stood out to me as I reviewed the Activities You Can Do at Home collection:

  • Rainforest Wonders - this activity features a guide to helping K-2 students explore the world around them through the use of five senses. This could be a great one to recommend to parents who are looking for activities to do at home with their kids.
  • All About Amphibians - this eight-part activity is set-up like a mini online course for elementary school students to learn about the differences between reptiles and amphibians and the role of amphibians in an ecosystem. Kids will also see some neat pictures and videos of amphibians in this activity.
  • National Zoo Webcams - sit back and enjoy watching some of the most popular animals at the zoo. And if you want to encourage kids to document what they see, you can distribute an observation recording sheet. 


Monday, April 29, 2019

Live Nature Webcams - Lambs, Eaglets, Piglets, and Calves, Oh My!

Image copyright: Richard Byrne
Last night while I was working on a list of alternatives to YouTube I found myself distracted by the live nature webcam streams hosted on Explore.org. Explore.org has hosted live webcam streams for many years with the number of streams growing every year. This is a great time of year to look at those streams as many baby animals are born in the spring.

On Explore.org you will find live streams of an eagle's nest with eaglets in it, a sheep barn, a pig pasture, and a bison watering hole. Those are just three of the dozens of interesting streams you can watch on Explore.org. In fact, there is an entire section dedicated to just showing baby animals.



In addition to live webcams you can use Explore.org find documentaries about animals.

Applications for Education
Watching a webcam of a nest or watering hole could get a little boring after a few minutes. The way that I recommend using Explore.org's webcam streams is to have students pick an animal or animals that they want to watch grow over the course of a few weeks. Have them watch for a few minutes a day and record observations in an online or physical journal. The Google Science Journal app could be a good option for writing those observations.