BatsLive is a virtual field trip into the amazing world of bats! The site contains dozens of interactive resources, including video tours, lesson plans, webinars, and printable resources about bats. Here’s their introduction to this extensive and well-done resource site:
Bats are vital to healthy ecosystems and human economies worldwide. As primary predators of night-flying insects, bats consume enormous quantities of agricultural pests and reduce the need for chemical pesticides. Yet these wonderfully diverse and beneficial creatures are among the least studied and most misunderstood of animals. Bats are threatened worldwide, and their colonies and habitats are destroyed – both intentionally and inadvertently – because of myths, misinformation, and lack of scientific knowledge and understanding. Bat populations are declining almost everywhere in North America especially due to the devastating White-nose Syndrome. Losing bats has far-reaching consequences for natural ecosystems and human economies. Knowledge is the key to their conservation and protection.
BatsLIVE: A Distance Learning Adventure is an exciting, free education program for children in the 4-8th grades and their educators, that will bring bat conservation to life in your classroom or community.
Click here to go to the site
Wow! This website from France has an incredible collection of downloadable maps of the world, continents & countries in multiple graphic formats (GIF, PDF, CDR, SVG, AI and WMF). They also have a large collection of Historical Maps from different time periods. Go to the site, bookmark it, and use it whenever you need specific maps for studies or projects. Our link is to the English language version of the site.
To go to the site, click here!
Betsy at NotebookingNook.com has put together this neat little resource page on some of the “simple machines” we use every single day, but hardly even think about. Here’s what she says about it:
In the past, when we have studied simple machines, I found it easy to find information on this topic but not as simple to find good free resources. My son and I had an occasion to discuss simple machines this week and I remembered how difficult it was to find what I needed once upon a time and thought I’d put something together for any of you looking for something on this topic. I hope this helps.
Included in her PDF download are: Notebooking pages & matchbooks for levers, wheel & axle, the pulley, inclined plane, wedges and screws.
Also on the page are links to 5 short, simple online videos explaining and demonstrating how these “simple machines” work.
Click here to go to the site!
Okay, LEGO builders. Here’s today’s engineering challenge for you:
Can you build a LEGO car that zooms across the floor that uses a balloon as its engine/source of power? All you should use for this project are LEGO parts, LEGO wheels if you have them, and a balloon.
There’s no one “right” way to do this, but you might keep in mind:
Which way the balloon opens
Horizontal to vertical stability
Balloon staying away from tires
Try to invent your own working Balloon Car first… and then, if you get finished, or stuck, or are ready to see how some other students did it and solved their own “engineering” problems, you can click the link below:
Click here to go to the webpage (after you’ve tried to build this yourself)!
Here’s a fun Unit Study using everybody’s favorite building blocks from WalkingByTheWay.com. The Learning with LEGOs unit study is written to the student and each day includes four components: copywork, a word of the day, explore and learn, and a building challenge.
Click here to go to the download page!
Want to put together a “high interest” chemistry lab with your middle school or older kids? Add LEGOS or other similar blocks to the mix and you’ll get their attention. Today we’ve got a neat lab workshop that uses LEGO® bricks to represent atoms bonding into molecules and crystals. This lesson plan was written for small groups as a 2.5 hour workshop (or could also be divided into four 45-minute classes). It could easily be adapted to any homeschool situation. There is a “wet lab” chemistry experiment (mixing baking soda and calcium chloride with phenol red indicator), followed by a “LEGO lab” modeling phase that includes writing formulas using chemical notation. As always when chemicals are involved, parental supervision is needed for this.
Click here to go to the PDF Teacher’s Guide
Click here to go to the resource page which contains links to the Student handout pages, templates & more.
Preston Blair’s Animation Book is the best “how to” book on cartoon animation ever published, and is still the first resource recommended by professional animators today to younger students who want to learn the fundamentals of animation. Today’s resource is a wonderful complete scanned copy of the first edition of his book, which has been posted on the wonderful Animation Resources website, which provides self-study resources and training material to animation professionals, cartoonists, designers, Illustrators, students and researchers.
When Blair put the book together in 1947, he used the characters he had animated at Disney and MGM to illustrate the various basic principles of animation. Apparently, the rights to use some of the characters were revoked after the book was already in the stores. Publication was halted for a time, and he was forced to redraw most of the MGM characters, replacing them with generic characters of his own design. The revised edition went on to become a classic, and the first edition was forgotten. Until now.
Click here to go to the scanned pages from the book.
10 Part Animation Course based on the book
The AnimationResources website also has an online animation class that uses this book as the resource curriculum. It is a great, structured way to go through the book and learn. Here’s what they say about it:
How much would it be worth to you to learn to draw for animation from two masters… one from the “golden age” of animation, and one of the top talents in the industry today? Well, you can do that right here on the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive Blog with our online drawing course. Overseen by Ren & Stimpy creator, John Kricfalusi and using the long out-of-print original edition of Preston Blair’s handbook on animation techniques, you can’t find a better resource for honing your drawing skills.
Click here to go to lesson one.
Anatomy Arcade makes basic human anatomy come alive through interactive flash games, puzzles and videos. Lots more fun than worksheets and textbooks. While some of these games are quite advanced and challenging, many are well suited for middle school and older students to learn and review human anatomy. (Note: This site is for all ages, and the content is family friendly. FYI, The site does have ads, however no objectionable ads appeared while we reviewed it.)
From the site developer: Hi there and welcome to Anatomy Arcade. My name is Ben Crossett and I hope you enjoy your time here and develop a real fascination with how intricately you are constructed. I’m a Science and Physical Education teacher at Glen Waverley Secondary College in Melbourne, Australia. I have been learning flash in my spare time since 2002 and have been making games that help teach basic human anatomy.
This mission was born of frustration with what I saw as a lack of truly engaging material in the area of anatomy and also a frustration as a teacher catching students wasting class time playing flash games every time they were in a computer lab. The catch phrase “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” sums up the decision I made; to investigate the potential of these “pesky” little games to invigorate the delivery of anatomical material to the teenage audience.
It was never my intention to launch a website, but it became apparent upon completion of the first version of Whack-A-Bone, that something exciting was being created that needed to be shared with the rest of the world.
To go to the Anatomy Arcade, click here!
Here’s another great page by Amy from the blog, BlessedBeyondADoubt.com that has a huge list of links she has compiled to all sorts of printables about ancient Greece — including printable activity sheets, lapbooks, games, maps, lessons & more. Lots more great resources here!
Click here to go to the download page. Note: All the download links are BELOW the Greek history graphic.
Here’s a wonderful collection of links to many printable resources all about ancient Rome, from Amy at the Are We There Yet? Blog (AmysWandering.com) — including worksheets, lapbooks, paper dolls, flash cards and more.
Amy writes: I started searching for some Ancient Rome history printables for my kids to put in their notebooks and I was amazed at the wonderful pages I found! Many of these are high school level too, which can be harder to find. Of course I had to round them all up and share them with you, ‘cuz that’s what I do.
Click here to go to her download page.