Have you checked out the website Free.Ed.Gov? It’s got thousands of federal resources for students to view or research to assist them in learning. It’s full of animations, primary documents, photos and videos. One warning about the website -though- is that it can be difficult to navigate because there is an overwhelming amount of resources and tools.
So… what’s on the site that would be useful? Let me just show a few things:
1. The Cell: This link allows for users to navigate around a cell and see the different components. Each component has a tag that, when clicked, tells you about that component and what it does.
2. Pangaea: This is an animation of pangaea over time and how our continents ended up as they have. The website this came from is called ClassZone. It was linked from free.ed.gov. ClassZone is awesome because it contains animations from all the different content areas in science like: earthquakes, volcanoes, cells, weather-soil-erosion, nature of science, rocks, minerals, atoms… so if you need to find any science animations to help explain or engage students: visit ClassZone.
3 Diaries of George Washington: If you’re looking for primary documents, free.ed.gov organizes these documents through the library of congress, which allows for great accessibility. This link is an example of the diaries of George Washington between 1748 and 1799.
4. Journey to America: Are you looking for primary documents or trustworthy information on viking, mountain men, columbus, or any early journeys to America? This website (linked from free.ed.gov) provides resources for students to use. Resources like: images, primary documents, captions, brief summaries…
5. Space: This website is full of interactive lessons created by teachers who teams up with scientists. The lessons or resources provide pictures from the hubble telescope, as well as interactive images, animations, and videos.
These are just five examples of resources linked from free.ed.gov. There are so many more! I will continue exploring them and let you know if I find more treasures.
Sometimes it’s just nice to have resources to send your students to and practice what you have been talking about in class. It’s important – as we lunge into this 21st century – and this difficult economic time, to find time for students to use computers in educational ways. Recently my team has been teaching U.S. history and government to our 5th graders. We have used these resources to assist us:
- Sheppard Software : we used USA government and games specifically on this website.
- Ben’s Guide : A .gov website that allows for you to pick the age group you want to target
- 50 States : A website that educates students on important aspects of each of our states
- History Central : Has a number of excellent resources including information on Explorers
- White House for Kids : An excellent resource about the United States, the Presidents, and their First Pets
- Digital Vaults : A website full of great historical information – including primary sources from our National Archives.
- African American History Month : An excellent resource for pictures, videos, and documents on those who have paved the way.
If you have more suggestions for websites please comment! I am always looking for more resources.