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Monday, July 16, 2007


Still part of the "4kids" series, "biology4kids" delivers concepts in biology in a language easy to understand by students at the end of elementary school. Unlike the other ones, this one starts with the scientific method, reasoning in science, experimental evidence, logical reasoning, deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning. This content is interesting, but it is a bit surprising to see it only in the biology unit.

The content of the biology website is very well layed-out with many pictures to enhance students understanding of the concepts. The content includes taxonomy, the kingdoms, labels and naming, relationship between organisms (commensalisms, competition, mutualism, parasitism, predator-prey), animal and plant cells, organelles, cell functions, osmosis, passive transport, active transport, mitosis, microorganisms, microscopes, prokaryotes, eukaryotes, fungus, photosynthesis, plant structure, invertebrates, arthropods, vertebrates, mammals, systems as well as some human anatomy and physiology. For each section, there is a quiz for student to check their understanding of the concepts. There is also a slideshow for some sections presenting many pictures with comments. A great introduction to biology!

Friday, July 13, 2007


"Physics4kids" is yet another website of the "4kids" family. It presents physics concept in a language that most students at the end of elementary school will be able to understand. There are quizzes throughout the website as the student get acquainted with the concepts to test their knowledge. The site presents the concept of motion including simple movements and complex movements, forces, acceleration, mass, lever, vectors, the three laws of motion, instantaneous velocity, transfer of energy and work. Even as an adult, if all of this is just a big nightmare of your past when you were in high school, you can relax and read through it. You will realize that it is not that bad.

Other topics covered include : thermodynamics (energy transfer, expansion, heat, temperatures, first and second laws of thermodynamics, enthalpy and entropy), optics (electromagnetic radiation, visible light, light structure, reflection, refraction, lenses and lasers), electricity and magnetism (charges, conductors, electric fields, magnetic fields, current, resistance, Faraday's law, Coulomb's law, magnet and AC/DC power) and modern physics (nuclear physics, quantum physics, radioactivity, fission, fusion and reactors).

Thursday, July 12, 2007


"Cosmos4kids" is part of the same series than the site I presented yesterday : Chem4kids. It is a great introduction to space and astronomy with a language that most students at the end of elementary school should understand. The website design is appealing and subjects covered by this website include :the origins of the universe, gravity, the vacuum of space and electromagnetic radiations. The site also talks about galaxies and stars, including the Milky Way, constellations, black holes and clusters. Students will also get information about the solar system and all the planets that are part of it and other solar system details such as the solar wind, the heliosphere, the heliopause, the asteroid belt, asteroids, the Kuiper Belt, Comets and moons. There is also a technology component that includes spacecrafts, probes and satellites used to explore the universe.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Now this is chemistry made easy! "Chem4kids" presents many different chemistry concepts in a language that most students at the end of elementary school and beginning of high school will understand. It is great to present the three states of matter and the changes from one state to another. Students can also learn about mixtures and solutions, alloys and amalgams. They also discover how neutrons, protons and electrons form atoms that can be combined to form molecules. They are introduced to the periodic table of elements. It also talks about reactions, stoichiometry, thermodynamics, equilibrium, catalysts and inhibitors as well as acids and bases. There is also an introduction to biochemistry. It is certainly too simple for advanced chemistry course in high school, but it is great for younger students who have an interest in the subject.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Catalogue of Illusions

No, we are not talking about a catalogue for magicians here, we are talking science. As you can see on this image, there seems that be imaginary black dots appearing randomly. This is an optical illusion. If you are teaching your students perception or just the five classical senses, this catalogue of optical illusions will be a success with your students as they will be amazed by what they see. The catalogue includes illusions in the following categories : Geometrical illusions, Lightness illusion, Color illusion and Anomalous motion illusion. Some classical optical illusions include : Müller-Lyer illusion, Ebbinghaus illusion, Zöllner illusion, Café Wall illusion, Fraser illusion and Poggendorff illusion.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Air Travelers

If you are teaching the properties of fluids and the properties of air at the elementary level, the web site "Air Travelers" will certainly be a good source of ideas then planning your lessons. It will provide you activities to explore buoyancy, the properties of hot air, the properties of helium and the effect of wind on a balloon. There is also a guide in PDF to build a hot hair balloon with all the details. There is a teacher guide and well as a section providing the science background information to truly understand hot air balloons. In the gallery section, you can watch pictures and videos of hot air balloons.

Friday, July 6, 2007

English Grammar Quizzes Using JavaScript

If you are teaching English as a second language, this site, "English Grammar Quizzes in Javascript", will be good practice for your students. It contains tons of computerized little quizzes to test their knowledge of the English Grammar. It is all multiple choice and the student gets immediate feedback after he or she answered. It covers many concepts of the English grammar including nouns, verbs, pronouns, punctuation, misplaced words, prepositions, participles, etc. It comes with five level of difficulty : easy, easy to medium, medium, medium to difficult and difficult. All the quizzes are written in JavaScript, so they should run easily in your web browser.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Curriculum Material for the Ontario Curriculum

If you teach in Ontario in grade 9, 10 or 11 in one of the following subjects, this "Curriculum Material for the Ontario Curriculum" website will certainly be very valuable for you : Science, Language, Physical Education, Technology, Mathematics, Native Studies. The website contains Unit Plans, Worksheets, Assignments, Organizers, Rubrics, Checklists & Scales, Tests & Exams and more. All the documents and worksheets are available in MS-Word Format, so you can easily modify them to suit the needs of your students. For some of the courses, almost all the units are covered, but some courses are incomplete. As an example, the geography grade 9 course has over 50 photocopy ready worksheets. Even if you don't teach in Ontario, you may find some documents that will be useful and will match the curriculum in your state, province or country.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Graphic Organizers

"Graphic Organizers" is a great website offering printable graphic organizers in Word or PDF format. Using those tools, students will be able to better organize their ideas when writing text. They can also use those graphic organizers to sort their knowledge in mathematics, science and social studies. There are over 70 organizers that you may download for free on that website.

Graphics organizers may be used to sort information, to compare and contrast, to research, to study, to sequence, to create a hierarchy, to determine cause and effect and to present concepts. Some of the organizers available on this website include : Two-Way and Three-Way Venn diagrams, Spider Web, Who/What/When/Why/How/Where, Compare and Contrast Charts, Comparing Maps, T-Chart, Source Cards, Boolean Search, Research Planning, Division of Labour Chart, Cycle Chart, Event Sequencing, Branching, etc.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Snacks at the exploratorium

The Exploratorium is the museum of science, art and human perception in San Francisco. Since most of us live far from the museum, they have a section called "Snacks". However, they're not the kind you eat. They're the kind you can learn from and have fun with. Exploratorium Science Snacks are miniature versions of some of the most popular exhibits at the Exploratorium.

These "snaks" are short experiments that can easily be presented as demo in your classroom. They require material that is very easy to find. They include perception experiments as well as physics and earth science experiments. Students can explore colours, mirrors, Bernoulli's principle, blind spot, center of gravity, magnetism, resonance, electroscope, geyser, batteries, pendulums, peripheral vision, pinhole camera, resonators, spectra, motors, vectors and many more. Each experiment includes material, assembly steps, what to do and notice and an explanation of what is going on.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Kids Gardening

Gardening may be very beneficial for youth. "Kids Gardening" is aimed at helping young minds grow. The website includes a teachers' resource room and a family resource room. You will find many classroom projects and activities and some classroom stories. If you want to get a greenhouse at your school, there is a "how-to" guide. In the teachers' room, there are lesson plans, stories, projects and web resources. Subjects include pollinator, hydroponics, plant-insect interactions, seeds, Dutch Gardens bulbs, greenhouse and harvesting. The family room include articles about the following subjects : Gardening at Every Age, What Turns Kids On and Off to Gardening, Start With a Design, Growing Big; Garden Structures Kids Love, Theme Gardens, Plants Kids Love, Starting Small; A Place a Kid Can Call Her Own, Who’s Taking Care of This Garden Anyway, Gardening Safely and So You Don’t Have Time and Space for Another Garden.