September 22, 2009
"How can education help you fulfill your dreams? On September 8, the President challenged students like you to take advantage of your education and imagine greater possibilities in your lives. Create a video about why education is important to fulfilling your dreams and the steps you will take to make your dreams a reality." Submissions accepted through November 2.URL: http://www.ed.gov/iamwhatilearn/index.html
September 07, 2009
"The Institute for Economics and Peace recently released the third annual Global Peace Index. The 'Building Blocks of Peace' is a downloadable lesson plan for educators offering teaching material which surrounds global peace. The materials are available free of charge at www.economicsandpeace.org.
Unlike traditional peace education materials, these modules go beyond conflict resolution to explore the broader meaning of global peace and its impact on our daily lives. By working through each module and the extensive supporting information provided, students will learn how to define peace for themselves and gain an understanding of the key factors that encourage peaceful society."
Referred by: GlobalEdNews
August 18, 2009
From Enchanted Learning, "These back-to-school activities and crafts are simple to do and are great as ice-breakers for the beginning of the school year. They help the students and teacher get to know one another. Also, it may help students find those people in the class who share similar interests, helping them make friends."URL: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/backtoschool
August 03, 2009
Running low on things to do with the kids? Here's a list of various online and offline activities from Education World. Among the ideas:
"Read aloud The Paper Crane by Molly Bang. Then introduce the art of paper folding by printing and following the instructions for How to Make an Origami Crane."
"Go on a Light Walk, an outing designed to teach kids the properties of light and facts about the sun. Bob Miller of the Exploratorium explains it all. Can't take an online tour? Do your own image walk by printing the directions and template found at the site."
"Cool down by making Ice Cream in a Bag. The simple technique produces delicious ice cream in about 5 minutes. What ice cream varieties will you and your child concoct?"
"Staple together pieces of plain paper or use a notebook to help your child make a cartoon flip book. Kids draw a sequence of cartoons and simulate motion as they 'flip' through the pages."URL: http://www.education-world.com/a_curr/profdev073.shtml
July 13, 2009
"Youth Speak Out: Engaging in Democracy and Grasping Opportunity - Raise Your Voice, Share Your Ideas, and Get Involved in Democracy!
The World Youth Movement for Democracy, a youth network of the World Movement for Democracy, is pleased to announce the launch of its Global Essay Contest. Fifteen winners (3 in each region: Asia, Central/Eastern Europe & Eurasia, Middle East & North Africa, Latin America & Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan Africa) will be invited to participate in the upcoming 6th Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy in Jakarta, Indonesia, in April 2010.
Please submit your essay by 15 September 2009 via email attachment as a Word document or a PDF.... Essays can be submitted in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish, and the essay must be no more than 2,000 words. Authors must be between 18 and 30 years old."URL: http://www.wymd.org/contest/contests.html
Looking for engaging activities to use in your summer program? Or planning ahead for your afterschool program this fall? The Afterschool Training Toolkit at SEDL's National Center for Quality Afterschool features lesson ideas in Literacy, Math, Science, Arts, Technology, etc. Lessons span various age groups, and are organized around different promising practices in each content area, such as Expressing Yourself through the Arts, or Investigating Science through Inquiry. Follow this link to the Sample Lessons Index.URL: http://www.sedl.org/afterschool/toolkits/sample_lessons.html
June 23, 2009
"During the April bloom of 2007, Google introduced a refreshingly inventive new online social utility tool called Google My Map that, from my perspective, is a powerful addition to the youth media arsenal. The Google My Map (GMM) application allows users to add digital content (text, video, paths, shapes, photos) to a satellite-imaged map of Earth, creating a personalized and annotated mashup that can be shared online with anyone in the world. The tool is easily learned through Google’s own tutorials and beneath the surface lays an endless array of possibilities for youth media educators."URL: http://www.youthmediareporter.org/2009/06/google_maps_a_tool_for_the_you.html
"It’s once again time to step behind the lens in the name of water conservation. We’re excited to announce the 2009 Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition is now accepting entries. In its third year, this annual competition has recognized talented filmmakers worldwide, while promoting smart outdoor water use.
You could be next.... Create a short film, 1-10 minutes in length (total or excerpted time), focused on responsible water use. Narrative, documentary, animated, experimental and/or student-made productions should explore methods and ideas to manage and use earth’s most precious resource responsibly.
All entries must be uploaded as a .mov, .wmv, .avi or .mpg file via this site. Your entry must be received by August 15, 2009."URL: http://www.iuowfilm.com/index.html
Referred by: Edutopia
May 26, 2009
Are you or the parents of kids in your program looking for great websites that young people can explore? The Parents' Choice organization has been reviewing children's media and toys for more than 30 years. They've selected a variety of websites, appropriate to different age groups, that offer entertaining and educational content. Among their top picks are Reading Rockets, Cogito.org, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Design Squad.URL: http://www.parents-choice.org/award.cfm?thePage=website&p_code=p_web
May 12, 2009
"To honor the late preservationist and ecologist Rachel Carson, the EPA, Generations United, and the Rachel Carson Council, Inc., announce a photo, essay, and poetry contest "that best expresses the Sense of Wonder that you feel for the sea, the night sky, forests, birds, wildlife, and all that is beautiful to your eyes." In her book The Sense of Wonder (written in the 1950s and published in a magazine in 1956), Carson used lyrical passages about the beauty of nature and the joy of helping children develop a sense of wonder and love of nature. Maximum award: publication on the websites of EPA Aging Initiative, Generations United, and Rachel Carson Council, Inc. Eligibility: entries must be joint projects involving a person under age 18 and a person age 50 or older. Deadline: June 10, 2009."URL: http://www.epa.gov/aging/resources/thesenseofwonder/index.htm
Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
April 14, 2009
"As Graduation Day approaches, What Kids Can Do invites students to raise their voice and let others know what matters most to them in this moment and in the years ahead. This year's theme: "Crisis and Hope in These Trying Times." Maximum award: $100 gift certificate from amazon.com. Eligibility: anyone from age 12 to 19, writing in English. Deadline: May 18, 2009."URL: http://www.wkcd.org/featurestories/2009/03_WKCD%20speech%20contest/index.html
Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
March 31, 2009
In honor of the long-awaited arrival of spring and Earth Day, coming up on April 22, try this arts and crafts activity with your group. Making your own pinwheels is a fun way to inspire discussion around wind energy and renewable resources.URL: http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/03/lp305-01.shtml
A collection is more than simply a set of objects; the relationships among the objects tell a story. A story about a collection could be about things in your room, people in your community, hip-hop slang or ways to give directions. Because almost anything can fit into a collection, projects focusing on collections give you the flexibility to reinforce curriculum goals ranging from vocabulary, math, and science to art and technology.
In this project, kids decide on a topic, create or assemble a collection of information or items related to that topic, and build a Web page to show off the collection.
This example incorporates digital photography and photo editing to create a collection of imaginary road signs to reinforce vocabulary building and synonyms. Don't limit yourself to our topic, however. You can do the project with text alone, replace the photography module with one on computer drawing, or create a multimedia presentation as the end product instead of a Web page.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/multimedia/collection.asp
March 17, 2009
Video can be one of the most powerful forms of communication, and it offers a tremendous vehicle for learning. Experiencing video production, even in its most basic form, can open new career opportunities and avenues for personal expression. It teaches kids about multimedia communication with action and motion, and it helps them reinforce a variety of other skills, including critical thinking, literacy, interpersonal communication, collaboration, public speaking, composition, storytelling and group decision making.
Working with video isn't something you can just jump right into, however. Children must be prepared for it with preliminary excursions into concepts like storyboarding and photography. Each stage can be made fun and educational, and at the end of the project, the children will understand how all the pieces come together to make a video they're proud to show parents, friends and the world by putting it on the Internet. Children as young as age five can make a video with the proper guidance and preparation.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/multimedia/video.asp
"The Teacher Salary Project is inviting all Americans to help build a movement to honor teachers.
We are excited to announce an expansion of our endeavor! We know that students are the true experts about the teachers who have the greatest impact on their lives. In this spirit, we are inviting students to use their creativity and submit first-hand stories about their teachers. All types of submissions are welcome—write a letter telling us about a teacher’s impact and why they should be valued more than they are, put together 'a day in the life' footage, film commercials about a favorite teacher, or do something else that we haven’t even though of.
While we certainly still want home videos from teachers as well, we know that by broadening the scope of the stories and perspectives we receive, we will be able to create an even stronger community-built movement. This movement will tell the true stories of hardworking teachers in order to change the public perception, support, and financial rewards that accompany the invaluable work of teaching. To learn more about submitting stories to us, go to our student submissions web page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org."
January 21, 2009
"Introduce young readers and writers to one of the most personal and meaningful ways to communicate with Letters from the White House. This national creative writing contest encourages students in grades PreK through 12 to explore the useful arts of letter writing and journaling, take a look at the history of our country, and tap into their own creativity when they imagine and write about themselves as having a role in a past, present or future White House. Contest resources for educators and parents can help make this a fun and meaningful project for the classroom, after school program or for families at home.
Letters from the White House is presented by Reading Rockets, AdLit.org, and the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance (NCBLA) in celebration of Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out, the NCBLA's critically acclaimed publication about American history." Submit entries by February 16.URL: http://www.adlit.org/our_white_house_contest
January 20, 2009
WolfQuest is a free online game and resource that teaches wolf behavior and ecology through exciting game play and intense social interactions. It is one of the resources highlighted in the Technology Curriculum Database launched last year, which was developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.
Players immerse themselves in a 3-D wildlife simulation that leads to powerful informal learning. In addition to the game, WolfQuest supports an online community where players can post tips and strategies, ask questions of wolf experts, share personal artwork and stories, and test their knowledge of wolves.
Having launched at the end of 2007, with an updated version released mid-2008, WolfQuest is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.URL: http://www.sedl.org/cgi-bin/mysql/afterschool/technology.cgi?resource=25
January 06, 2009
The Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) invites youth throughout the U.S. to participate in its second nationwide essay contest. The purpose of this contest is to continue to raise awareness of the CRC among youth and to engage them in thoughtful reflection on the potential impacts the Convention would have on children and youth in the U.S.
The contest is open to U.S. students in grades 6-12 and homeschooled students in the equivalent grade levels (who currently live in the U.S.). Five winners will be chosen and will receive airfare and accommodations for him/herself and one parent/legal guardian to participate in the Campaign’s 2009 Symposium. Submissions must be received by March 20, 2009.
The Instruction Kit and Application are available for download at the program website.URL: http://childrightscampaign.org/crcindex.php?sNav=youth_snav.php&sDat=youth_dat.php
With Scratch software, users can easily combine media to create and share their own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art. It is one of the resources highlighted in the Technology Curriculum Database launched last year, which was developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.
As young people work on projects in Scratch, they learn many of the 21st century skills that will be critical to success in the future: thinking creatively, communicating clearly, analyzing systematically, using technologies fluently, collaborating effectively, designing iteratively, and learning continuously.
Scratch, a free software program, was developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten research group at the MIT Media Lab, with financial support from the National Science Foundation, Microsoft, Intel Foundation, Nokia, and MIT Media Lab research consortia.URL: http://www.sedl.org/cgi-bin/mysql/afterschool/technology.cgi?resource=24
December 17, 2008
This educational software, named Alice, teaches users computer programming in a 3-D environment. It is one of the resources highlighted in the Technology Curriculum Database launched earlier this year, which was developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.
Young people can easily create animations to tell a story, produce an interactive game, or make videos to share on the web. A free teaching tool, Alice introduces fundamental programming concepts in the context of making media.
Alice was developed to engage young people in computer science and, especially, to demonstrate the relevance and applicability of computer science concepts to addressing real-world problems. The software and supporting materials grow out of a collaboration of faculty, staff, and students across several universities.
Learn about the Mars Rover and come up with a name for it ahead of its next mission! To enter the essay contest, students must be in grades K-12 in the United States, including U.S. possessions and schools operated by the U.S. for children of American personnel overseas. There are Disney/Pixar WALL-E prizes for finalists and a trip to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the winner.
Submit essays between November 18, 2008 - January 25, 2009.
December 02, 2008
"Kids don't stop learning when they come home from school. The after-school activities for kids on these pages are entertaining, educational ways to engage kids and keep their curious minds working when they're not in the classroom.
From physically active hula-hoop games that teach cooperation to kite-making projects good for blustery fall afternoons, these after-school activities will provide hours of learning and laughs for your kids and their friends."
The site also links to afterschool games, crafts, and more activities for young people.URL: http://home.howstuffworks.com/after-school-activities.htm
I Was Wondering is an engaging online space comprised of interactive activities, such as games, comics, forums, and a timeline, that highlight scientific explorations and celebrate women scientists. It is one of the resources highlighted in the Technology Curriculum Database launched earlier this year, which was developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.
This resource supports young people, especially girls, in learning the fundamental skills of scientific investigation and empowers them to tackle such adventures. Complementing the ten-volume series of biographies entitled Women's Adventures in Science, the website showcases the accomplishments of contemporary women scientists.
The National Academy of Sciences developed this resource in order to deepen young people's understanding of science concepts, careers, and the valuable role that women have played in the advancement of science. Hands-on science lab activities and the biography series move the learning off line - and the comprehensive Teacher Guide provides tips on implementing the activities.
November 18, 2008
Created by National Geographic, this diverse collection of activities illuminates various aspects of geography, science, and social studies through hands-on, inquiry-based learning experiences. It is one of the resources highlighted in the Technology Curriculum Database launched earlier this year, which was developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.
Every Xpeditions activity is standards-based and enriched by additional resources, including maps, stories, games and other interactive features, as well as links to more information. The dozens of activities in the collection span a wide range of topics, from dinosaurs and the ancient world to multimedia storytelling and community development to nature exploration in one’s own backyard. Given such variety, and the user-friendly presentation, these curriculum resources are very well suited to afterschool settings.URL: http://www.sedl.org/cgi-bin/mysql/afterschool/technology.cgi?resource=7
"A wonderful piece by Youth Radio called "Hope Out of the Box" aired this week on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition."
It made the point that young people – like Obama, who made hope the engine of his campaign – now bear on their shoulders the heavy weight of turning their hopes into reality.... Inspired by this commentary, we at WKCD are inviting young people to create their own short audio pieces about the hope – and the questions – that the election has stirred.
In an online collection called "Speaking of Hope," we will post those pieces on the WKCD website as we receive them, if they meet our guidelines for length (3-4 minutes) and content (forthright and interesting).
What does hope mean to you? Who fills you with hope? When and how can hope hurt? The answers that young people record can take many forms: a student's commentary, a rap, a short dialogue, even a song."URL: http://wkcd.org
October 27, 2008
A multimedia collection of documentary film, photography, artwork, and music, the Circle of Stories website celebrates Native American storytelling. It is one of the resources highlighted in the recently launched Technology Curriculum Database, developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.
Visitors can listen to four Native Americans tell their stories, explore current issues facing native cultures, view maps and photo galleries that reveal Native American heritage and influence, as well as share their own stories and feedback. In addition, this PBS website features three interdisciplinary lesson plans designed for educators who work with teens.
October 14, 2008
Journey North is a free inquiry science program for young people providing multiple pathways to explore wildlife migration and seasonal changes around the world. It is one of the resources highlighted in the recently launched Technology Curriculum Database, developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.
Educators have their choice of standards-based lesson plans detailing a wide range of online and offline activities, and the Web site disseminates a wealth of information geared at helping youth make local observations that can inform global knowledge. Enlisting international participation, the resource involves hundreds of thousands of youth in the research and observation of migratory wildlife, such as butterflies and whooping cranes.URL: http://www.sedl.org/cgi-bin/mysql/afterschool/technology.cgi?resource=12
September 30, 2008
"Calling All Modern Students! Edutopia.org wants to hear from you about which skills you think your school should teach to help you succeed in life. Kids are experts on the modern digital world, and we think it's time adults listened. Create a video stating your opinion, and submit it by October 15 -- we'll publish our favorites on Edutopia.org."URL: http://www.edutopia.org/youth-voices
September 16, 2008
Through challenges and questions posed in thematic units, I3: Invention, Innovation, Inquiry gives young people the opportunity to experience the excitement of invention and innovation, and to learn how technology is integral to their everyday lives. It is one of the resources highlighted in the recently launched Technology Curriculum Database, developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.
I3 thematic units, 10 in all, consist of teaching and learning resources designed to enhance technology literacy in grades 5–6. They are based on technological and science literacy standards. This project is supported in part by the National Science Foundation and implemented by the International Technology Education Association and California University of Pennsylvania.URL: http://www.sedl.org/cgi-bin/mysql/afterschool/technology.cgi?resource=9
Looking for online literacy activities? Starfall, a bright, colorful portal that features reading materials and interactives, comes highly recommended by teachers and other educators. It's designed for first graders, but offers age-appropriate activities and games for preschool through second grade levels. The four main sections of the website serve non-readers up to independent readers: ABCs - Let's get ready to read; Learn to Read; It's Fun to Read; and I'm Reading.URL: http://www.starfall.com
August 26, 2008
SAM Animation software enables young people to easily create stop-action movies that express their ideas and understanding of the world around them. It is one of the resources highlighted in the recently launched Technology Curriculum Database, developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.
Designed at Tufts University, SAM Animation is freeware that's both PC and Mac (with Windows XP or OSX) compatible. The technology is accessible and engaging, and has multiple applications for both in school and afterschool. The developers offer support in the form of podcast tutorials on key features of the software. They also share tips, tricks, and activities in the Community section of the Web site. Users need only register with SAM Animation to download the software; plus, they will need a webcam to begin their work.URL: http://www.sedl.org/cgi-bin/mysql/afterschool/technology.cgi?resource=5
August 12, 2008
PicoCrickets give young people the raw materials to build their own artistic creations, which they can program to respond to light, sound, and touch. It is one of the resources highlighted in the recently launched Technology Curriculum Database, developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.
Drawing on the same research base as Lego Mindstorms, the PicoCricket Kit is a robotics kit designed with greater emphasis on artistic expression, in an effort to appeal to girls as much as boys. The Kit includes a miniature computer, sensors, software, Lego bricks, craft materials, and project ideas. The user-friendly Web site provides technical support, additional ideas for educators, and photo and video galleries for showcasing creations.URL: http://www.sedl.org/cgi-bin/mysql/afterschool/technology.cgi?resource=2
July 22, 2008
Windward: Outsmart the Weather is a fun, free online game in which players learn how to read weather maps and identify and predict weather patterns. It is one of the resources highlighted in the recently launched Technology Curriculum Database, developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.
In this game, players must negotiate the wind and weather and determine what tools and resources to use as they sail a boat in a virtual round-the-world race. Created by Cable in the Classroom with project partners Discovery Education and The Weather Channel, and in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Windward brings broadband technology and interactive digital content together in a way that enriches the teaching and learning of science concepts related to weather. Extensive teacher and parent sections offer ideas and link to numerous resources for using Windward in or out of school.URL: http://www.sedl.org/cgi-bin/mysql/afterschool/technology.cgi?resource=3
July 08, 2008
Comprising online games and interactives, blogs, educational materials, and other activities, this multicultural social marketing campaign to increase physical activity among youth is called VERB: It's what you do. It is one of the resources highlighted in the recently launched Technology Curriculum Database, developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.
The VERB curricular materials for educators and interactive multimedia content directed at youth combine to engage and motivate tweens (ages 9 to 13), encouraging healthy lifestyles and participation in physical activity. VERB was created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.URL: http://www.sedl.org/cgi-bin/mysql/afterschool/technology.cgi?resource=10
July 07, 2008
"Over the past twenty years several native ladybug species that were once very common have become extremely rare... During this same time several species of ladybugs from other places have greatly increased both their numbers and range. Besides being incredibly cool and charismatic, ladybugs are also essential predators... To be able to help the nine spotted ladybug and other ladybug species, scientists need to have detailed information on which species are still out there and how many individuals are around. Entomologists at Cornell can identify the different species but there are too few of us to sample in enough places to find the really rare ones. We need you to be our legs, hands and eyes. If you could look for ladybugs and send us pictures of them on Email we can start to gather the information we need. We are very interested in the rare species but any pictures will help us. This is the ultimate summer science project for kids and adults! You can learn, have fun and help save these important species."URL: http://instruct1.cit.cornell.edu/courses/icb344/Lost_Ladybugs.htm
June 17, 2008
"What works to engage youth? Movies for one." A partnership of the National Collaboration for Youth and Heartland Truly Moving Pictures, this site "offers free youth curriculum that uses movies to promote literacy, learning and service. The newest addition centers on the Disney movie Prince Caspian and includes discussion prompts, activities and service projects."
Many other films are represented, such as Charlotte's Web, Freedom Writers, Gracie, and Ratatouille, etc.
Referred by: Connect for Kids
June 03, 2008
The ESRI GIS software tools and curriculum create opportunities for young people to engage in their communities in concrete, meaningful ways. It is one of the resources highlighted in the recently launched Technology Curriculum Database, developed by YouthLearn for the U.S. Department of Education-funded National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at SEDL.
Projects range from community mapping to global investigations, with technology employed as a tool in a learning process that is interdisciplinary and, to varying degrees, learner-driven. Developed by ESRI, a company that has a long history in geographic information systems, the education community portal offers educators an array of free or low-cost resources. These include curriculum, software products, and a book series on GIS education.
From Illinois 4-H, these "Positive Youth Development (PYD) Lesson Plans have been designed for use in a club/group setting to strengthen" the eight elements identified as critical to positive youth development. These are easily adaptable for camp and other youth programs.
Lesson plans include the following core sections: Background information; Assessment questions; Roll Call Suggestions; and Activities, such as self-reflection, games, and role-play.URL: http://www.4-h.uiuc.edu/opps/pyd-club.html
May 20, 2008
"Create a short video remix that explains what Remix Culture means to you. Using video footage from any source, including Public Domain and Creative Commons licensed work, we want you to produce a creative, educational and entertaining video remix that communicates a clear message to a wide audience. The video is to be no shorter than 30 seconds and no longer then 3 minutes in duration.
This contest is being run to promote awareness of remix culture in an educational capacity by encouraging the fair use of a wide variety of content and also to create a new pool of work that explains what remix culture is to the general public. For more information on fair use, check out these guidelines from the Center for Social Media."
People of all ages may enter and compete for the prizes. Deadline for submission: June 2, 2008.URL: http://www.totalrecut.com/contest1.php
April 22, 2008
Today is Earth Day! "It’s a special day to learn about our planet and how to take care of it! Be sure to visit our Earth Day crafts, coloring pages, and activities," at the Kaboose website. Of course, hands-on learning and lessons that promote environmental awareness are topical any of the 365 days of the year. Go green!URL: http://holidays.kaboose.com/earth-day/
April 08, 2008
A storyboard is simply a planning device used to visually "sketch out" the actions of a story that will be told in a visual medium like animation, multimedia, a Web page or video.
Some storyboards are very simple; for example, a simple animation project, such as a flip book of a dot moving across a page, can actually be the storyboard for later creating an animated GIF on the computer. On the other extreme, storyboards for a video need to include not just the action of characters in a scene but placement of lights and camera as well. Long before you get to those sophisticated storyboards, however, you should introduce the basic storytelling concept with an activity.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/language/storyboard.asp
March 25, 2008
Audio production has become an increasingly popular youth media activity that now includes music production, online streaming and podcasting, as well as production for broadcast. There is a wealth of materials to support this work online and a host of youth audio works to explore. In this resource list from YouthLearn's Youth & Media section, you can find examples of youth media programs, guides and pointers for facilitators, and related research and news articles.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/youthmedia/resources/audio.asp
March 11, 2008
"A new, free 3-D video game is meant to supplement science education by asking players to work in small teams or individually to save a planet approaching ecological disaster. The IBM game, 'PowerUp,' is a free download accompanied by lesson plans."URL: http://www.powerupthegame.org/home.html
Referred by: ASCD SmartBrief
February 05, 2008
In this activity you and the kids will draw simple shapes to copy. Once you've introduced the basic compositional forms of drawing--see YouthLearn's guide to Teaching Drawing--this is a fun activity for taking the next step. This resource also serves as a good community-building activity and an excellent step toward preparing kids to draw on the computer.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/multimedia/mirror.html
A special occasion like Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity to involve kids in hands-on learning experiences like giftmaking and various crafts. Check out this great collection of arts and crafts, complete with user-friendly instructions and colorful illustrations, hosted by the Kaboose Family Network.URL: http://crafts.kaboose.com/valentines-day-crafts.html
January 08, 2008
This concise guide, especially suited for educators working with younger children, explains how to come up with themes, choose tools and materials, and create accessible activities. The creator notes, "Adapting activities for kids with special needs is easier if you first choose a theme, then brainstorm the content and materials; start with materials you already have, and build on them!"URL: http://www.exceptionalcomputing.com/Curriculum%20pdf/ThemeGuide.pdf
In traditional classrooms, kids sit in classes of 20, 30, 40 or more students, yet they largely work as individuals, taking tests in silence, competing for grades and constantly hearing things like "keep your eyes on your own paper," "stop talking" and "do your own work." Luckily, you have more flexibility in an out-of-school program to instill an atmosphere of community effort and sharing.
In today's networked world, teamwork is more than just a laudable goal—it's a required skill. If you're going to create a truly collaborative environment, you have to model, inculcate, and reinforce the sharing of ideas.
December 18, 2007
"The Christopher Columbus Awards Program combines science and technology with community problem-solving. Students work in teams with the help of an adult coach to identify an issue they care about and, using science and technology, work with experts, conduct research and put their ideas to the test to develop an innovative solution. Maximum Award: $25,000, an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World to attend the program's National Championship Week and a $2,000 U.S. Savings Bond for each student team member. Eligibility: middle-school-age (sixth, seventh, and eighth grade) children; teams do not need to be affiliated with a school to enter. Deadline: March 17, 2008."URL: http://www.christophercolumbusawards.com/
Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
"Snowmen, Skating, Skiing ... It's Winter!
In many parts of the world, winter’s snow and chilly temperatures offer a teachable moment that should not be missed. But even kids in warm places love to 'experience' winter. The lessons and resources on this page are meant to help all educators bring the wonder of winter" into their programs. This collection features language arts lesson ideas, interdisciplinary resources, crafts, recipes, online games, and other activities.URL: http://www.educationworld.com/holidays/archives/winter.shtml
December 04, 2007
What's really important about multimedia presentations is that they are storytelling devices. It's not about the software, its about the story. We recommend a four-part process for any storytelling project, whether it's a presentation or video: Begin with mapping activities to help generate ideas. Here's a sample map to begin a storytelling project; use storyboarding to help kids figure out the plot, logic, structure and elements of their presentations before beginning work in a software application; introduce the software slowly, making sure that you've already introduced any preliminary technologies you'll need as elements of the presentation; do a group share when the work is complete so kids can share their work and learn from each other.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/multimedia/presentations.asp
November 20, 2007
"The Listen to a Life Essay Contest, sponsored by the Legacy Project of Generations United, asks students to interview a grandparent or grand-friend 50 years or older about the older person's hopes and goals through their life, how they achieved their goals and overcame obstacles or how dreams may have changed along the way. The student then writes a 300-word essay based on the interview. Maximum Award: a Lenovo ThinkCentre computer, $800 in Orchard software, and an iPod Classic with video and $25,000 worth of software for the student’s school. Eligibility: students ages 8-18. Deadline: March 31, 2008."URL: http://www.legacyproject.org/contests/ltal.html
Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
"The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Three Chicks Media are pleased to bring you All Terrain Brain (ATB), a unique multimedia project designed to encourage kids ages 8 to 12 to take their brains 'off road' and tap into their entrepreneurial spirit. Through a series of 25 animated 1-minute videos, an interactive web site, and an educational outreach initiative, ATB will help kids discover they have the power to do whatever they want in life, whether they become entrepreneurs or simply gain a greater understanding of their own abilities." WGBH Boston is creating the Team ATB Activity Guide & DVD, which "will be available in December 2007 and will be distributed for free to afterschool programs nationwide while supplies last.... We are looking for 15 afterschool programs to pilot activities... in early 2008. Pilot sites will receive a $500 stipend for conducting activities."URL: http://www.allterrainbrain.org/
November 06, 2007
"The smell of a flower - The memory of a walk in the park - The pain of stepping on a nail. These experiences are made possible by the 3 pounds of tissue in our heads...the BRAIN!! Neuroscience for Kids has been created for all students and teachers who would like to learn about the nervous system. Discover the exciting world of the brain, spinal cord, neurons and the senses. Use the experiments, activities and games to help you learn about the nervous system. The Neuroscience for Kids Writing Contest is now open!... Entries must be received by February 1, 2008." Poems must have a neuroscience theme - about brain anatomy, brain function or brain health. "Be creative! Use your brain!"URL: http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/contest8.html
Out-of-school programs have a unique opportunity to help children master basic language skills because they can apply more flexible approaches to reinforce what kids are learning in their K-12 classrooms. Learning centers can provide unique activities, help with homework, and give personal attention to children who may be struggling with reading or writing.
The language arts lesson ideas available on YouthLearn include those that focus on reading skills, those that build writing skills, and those that focus on storytelling skills. The key to most education, especially to teaching reading and writing, is repetition, reinforcement and practice. Although that idea is nothing new, repetition sometimes gets a bad rap. The challenge lies in finding ways to turn repetition and practice into engaging activities that kids actually want to do.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/language/index.asp
October 24, 2007
Just in time for Halloween and all the creative energy kids bring to this holiday, check out EnchantedLearning's Halloween K-3 Theme page. "These crafts projects are for preschool, kindergarten and elementary school children. The crafts use materials found around the house, like egg cartons, cardboard, paper, boxes, string, crayons, paint, glue, etc."URL: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/halloween/
October 23, 2007
Via the popular Arthur and Buster characters, PBS invites kids to produce and send in original video clips. "Hey! Buster and Arthur here. Would you like to see yourself on TV or the Web? Well, here's your chance to send us YOUR video postcard. Arthur and I want to learn about your world. What's it like to be you?... We want one-minute videos that you film and edit. Your movie can be about anything you'd like to share! Maybe it's your family, your friends, your hobby, your pet, or your neighborhood. Maybe it's a one-minute mystery or comedy, or an animation. Whatever it is, we'll choose some of your postcards to appear on the Arthur TV show! Others will be shown on this Web site."URL: http://pbskids.org/buster/pfy/index.html
October 09, 2007
"The Center for Science in the Public Interest is hosting the first-ever Junk-Free Schools Video Contest. The contest invites young filmmakers to make a video under three-minutes making the case for getting junk-food out of schools. It is part of a nationwide campaign to bring healthier foods to schools. Maximum Award: $100 gift certificate for iTunes and the video will be showcased on the school foods Web site. Eligibility: youth filmmakers. Deadline: November 1, 2007."URL: http://www.schoolfoods.org/contest.html
Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
September 25, 2007
Just like writing, drawing is a tool for expression, and we owe it to kids to help them become better at it. By teaching drawing you'll also build your own artistic confidence. Teaching drawing has another advantage: Doing it the right way helps kids learn about math, symmetry and geometry in a conceptual way and without the academic words. We don't mean just focusing on computer drawing, either. Focus on and practice drawing in the real world long before you get to the computers. The secret to drawing is to overcome a natural inclination that most people have to draw the whole object they see. If we train ourselves to observe carefully, however, we see that a few basic shapes called compositional forms make up every object in the world.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/multimedia/drawing.asp
September 11, 2007
"The Campaign Youth Outreach Committee is pleased to launch its first nationwide CRC Essay Contest which will run from now until October 1. The purpose of the contest is: to raise awareness of the Convention on the Rights of the Child among youth; to engage youth in thoughtful reflection on the possible benefits of U.S. Ratification of the CRC; and to provide youth with the opportunity to express and share their thoughts on the CRC and possible benefits of U.S. ratification." For more information on the contest and to download the Essay Contest Guidelines and Application, see the website.URL: http://www.childrightscampaign.org/essaycontest.htm
Referred by: GlobalEdNews
September 09, 2007
A collection is more than simply a set of objects; the relationships among the objects tell a story. A story about a collection could be about things in your room, people in your community, hip-hop slang or ways to give directions. Because almost anything can fit into a collection, projects focusing on collections give you the flexibility to reinforce curriculum goals ranging from vocabulary, math, and science to art and technology. In this project, kids decide on a topic, create or assemble a collection of information or items related to that topic, and build a Web page to show off the collection. This example incorporates digital photography and photo editing to create a collection of imaginary road signs to reinforce vocabulary building and synonyms. Don't limit yourself to our topic, however. You can do the project with text alone, replace the photography module with one on computer drawing, or create a multimedia presentation as the end product instead of a Web page.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/multimedia/collection.asp
"A set of four lesson plans on race and diversity can now be downloaded by educators at no cost. Designed for high school teachers, and suitable for youth leaders in non-school settings, the lessons are designed to promote greater understanding of differences among high school students. The activities in the four lessons have been tested with high school students in Chicago and have been found to open up constructive dialogue among students... Each of the lessons is completely self-contained and can usually be completed during a 45-minute class period. One whole-class activity causes students to examine issues of identity and then commit to making personal changes in behavior. Another lesson utilizes personal stories to reflect on the Thanksgiving holiday and on Americans’ acceptance of difference."URL: http://www.racebridges.net/schools?mw1
Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
August 28, 2007
Thinking ahead to the new year of afterschool? Check out YouthLearn's interviewing project: There's no better way to learn than by talking to people. Even if you're not a reporter, everyone needs good interviewing skills, whether it's to find the answer to a question or to get a job. Interviewing isn't something you can just rush into, however. Kids need preparation, practice and coaching. This project teaches kids how to conduct an effective interview, then sends them out to talk to people in your center or neighborhood and create a Web page to tell the story. This example covers the entire process once as a model, and we suggest that you do the same. Once you've completed the entire project in the demonstration phase, do another with the same steps, but let the kids pick their own interview subjects and topics, and give them more time to research and create their pages.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/thinking/interview.html
"Here's a high student-engagement project being promoted by long-time MiddleWeb friend and teacher-innovator Brenda Dyck, also the author of a popular technology integration column for NMSA's Middle Ground magazine... 'Digital placed-based storytelling (also called StoryMapping) uses an easy online digital mapping tool like Google Maps or Community Walk and combines it with narrative to produce a learning product that helps the student make a connection between the past and present and understand how community shapes who we are.' The student identifies a place that has meaning for them, locates it on a web-based map, adds place markers, and writes short 'memory narratives' for each marker."URL: http://www.rebooting.ca/place/
Referred by: Middleweb
July 24, 2007
There have never been more forums for shooting and sharing video with others - the YouTube Presidential debate being the newest example. To support youth and the educators who work with them on media-making activities, the Adobe Digital Kids Club website offers this useful guide to digital storytelling, with detailed descriptions of the seven process steps. This guide divides the steps into four phases—pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution—and identifies the length of time, processes, and technology associated with each step. "The technology tools, resources, and skills needed vary with each phase, but following these process steps will help your students translate their imagination and talents into exemplar digital stories worth the time and energy spent creating them."
July 10, 2007
Inspiration is a software program that helps people organize their thoughts and make simple presentations. In this project, you'll introduce kids to the basic features of Inspiration and have them create a web map to present ideas for their own zoo.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/multimedia/zoo.asp
June 19, 2007
"The long hot days of summer provide lots of time to read. It's also a time to make sure kids don't fall behind. Researchers commonly find that students score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer than they do at the beginning. The reading achievement of children from low-income families takes a particularly big hit."
See the Reading Rockets website for "information about summer reading and summer learning loss. Plus you'll discover great activities to encourage kids to learn, read, and have fun in the summer sun."URL: http://www.readingrockets.org/calendar/summer
May 22, 2007
Some Basic Vocabulary for Teaching Kids How to See... There's obviously much more to photography than the few aspects described in this resource, but introducing the basics will teach the kids a fundamental understanding of how to think before taking a picture. This introduction will also give you a platform to move further into the aesthetics with older kids.
If you have already had kids taking pictures while introducing the camera and the camera's basic features, you have been stressing the importance of looking, seeing the big picture and making conscious decisions. Now you're ready to get into the core decision factors: angle, pan, distance, level, focus and framing.
May 21, 2007
"To honor the late preservationist and ecologist Rachel Carson, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Generations United, and the Rachel Carson Council, Inc., announce a photo, essay, and poetry contest 'that best expresses the sense of wonder that you feel for the sea, the night sky, forests, birds, wildlife, and all that is beautiful to your eyes.' In the book, The Sense of Wonder (written in the 1950s and published in a magazine in 1956), Carson used lyrical passages about the beauty of nature and the joy of helping children develop a sense of wonder and love of nature. Maximum Award: publication on the websites of EPA, Aging Initiative, Generations United, and Rachel Carson Council, Inc. Eligibility: entries must be joint projects involving a person under age 18 and a person age 50 or older. Deadline: June 15, 2007."URL: http://www.epa.gov/aging/resources/thesenseofwonder/index.htm
Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
April 30, 2007
"How do you help your students succeed in a media-filled world? Do they know how media is created? Can they analyze the messages that inform, entertain, and sell to us everyday? Have they created their own media messages?...
Try out these ideas for integrating media education into the arts, reading & language arts, social studies, math, science & technology, health & fitness, and early childhood education."URL: http://www.pbs.org/teachers/media_lit/getting_started.html
April 17, 2007
Community builders are short activities that help break up the day. They can be used as follows:
To get kids to feel more like they are part of a community by interacting with each other,
To transition between larger activities,
To gain control or focus in a class that is starting to stray or act out.
This resource page on the YouthLearn website describes a few community builders you can try; many great ideas are available elsewhere as well. Collect them from colleagues and write them on index cards to add them to your repertoire.
April 03, 2007
Looking for engaging activities and games that integrate rich content? Check out "Kinetic City: Mission to Vearth, the after-school standards-based science program in which kids complete activities in conjunction with a dynamic website. The Kinetic City Super Crew needs your kids' help to save their virtual world of Vearth from the science-distorting computer virus, Deep Delete." This program was produced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and funded by the National Science Foundation.URL: http://www.kcmtv.com/
March 13, 2007
"Internet Photo Essays," comprising lesson plans for 8 sessions, introduces 12- to 14-year-olds to tools and techniques that can be used to create original digital content about issues, trends and happenings that are important to them. This project is targeted to 12- to 14-year-olds because at that age, current events, social issues, politics and history are common themes in students' schoolwork, in the literature and media they are exposed to, and in their personal lives. The emphasis on multimedia and Internet skills is intended to help youth gain the advanced technology skills they need to pursue higher education and employment.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/inter/photo_essay/overview.html
February 27, 2007
"Reading Rainbow is sponsoring a young writers and illustrators contest for students in grades K-3. The contest is designed to encourage a love of writing in young children. Students who would like to enter write an original story and include original illustrations, and all entrants will receive a certificate signed by LeVar Burton," the host of Reading Rainbow. Prizes include technology products and books. Follow the link to find out the deadline for your local PBS station. Or, if you enter the open qualifying competition, the deadline is March 28.URL: http://pbskids.org/readingrainbow/contest/
Referred by: Reading Rockets News
"Print, Cut, and Fold is a simple enough title, but the reality is that the breadth of projects and examples covered in this lecture is far from simple," writes Paul Love-Kretchmer, an eSchool News reader who covered the Texas Computer Association's annual conference for eSchool News in February. His review of Presenter Jim L Holland's session is available on the eSchool News website: "Mr. Holland has a knack for using common objects in an uncommon way. The ease with which he converts a #10 envelope into a set of pockets for note cards reflects the ingenuity that is a common theme throughout his talk.... The lecture included tips for creating projects from Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Using these familiar software programs, teachers and students create and publish a myriad of manipulatives designed to spark learning and facilitate retention." See especially the downloadable zip file of numerous projects to try in your program.
"Morgan Stanley and UNICEF have partnered to bring about the 2007 J8 Program, a global citizenship education program that enables young people, with guidance from a teacher, to learn more about major global issues, form their own ideas about these issues, and develop their group work skills.
As part of the J8 Program, students are encouraged to participate in a competition where groups of eight students (ages 13-17, working with a teacher) write a brief communique on the topics being discussed at the G8 Summit for a chance to earn a spot at the J8 Summit in Germany this June. At the Summit the students will have the opportunity to present their ideas directly to President George W. Bush and the other Heads of State from the G8 countries. Entries must be received by March 29th 2007."URL: http://www.j8summit.com
Referred by: GlobalEdNews
February 13, 2007
To help you facilitate a video documentary project for the C-SPAN competition or another purpose/audience, here's a 15-page project guide on "storytelling, editing, planning, lighting, camera handling, making titles, recording sound, as well as showing and reviewing your production."
This is one of many useful curriculum resources and "publications that have been created by Wisconsin 4-H and are available for viewing, printing and downloading free of charge."URL: http://www.uwex.edu/ces/4h/pubs/pubdetails.cfm?publicationid=57
"C-SPAN StudentCam is an annual documentary competition that invites students to identify a current political topic of interest and produce a short (up to ten minute) video documentary that creatively explores an issue while integrating C-SPAN programming. Maximum Award: $3,000 in digital equipment for school. Eligibility: individual or teams of students grades 6-8 or grades 9- 12; Deadline: March 30, 2007."
Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
January 30, 2007
When most of us think of a journal, we imagine something like a diary in which people record their daily thoughts or activities. Writers use journals to spur their creativity and compose their work. Accountants do calculations in a journal. Travelers, explorers and bird watchers use journals to record their discoveries. Remember the first line from every Star Trek episode? "Captain's log, star date…"
We can use journals with young people to do all of these things and more.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/teaching/journal.asp
"A new essay contest gives students the chance to win a college scholarship for sharing their ideas about how technology will be integrated into the 'digital dorm room' of the future. The top student responses will be compiled in book format and distributed to colleges nationwide, possibly influencing the design of future school facilities." The contest is open to high school juniors and young adults up to 28 years of age. Essays must be no longer than 750 words. Deadline: March 16.URL: http://www.gradware.com/scholarship.asp
Referred by: eSchool News
January 25, 2007
"Baffin Island is ground zero for climate change... This February, Will Steger and his expedition team of Inuit hunters, explorers and educators, will embark on a four-month-long expedition to get a first-hand look at how global warming is impacting the Arctic landscape, wildlife, and human communities. The Global Warming 101 expedition will publicize this change using photo, audio and text updates they collect and post" to the Web... "Students and teachers around the country can follow along with the Expedition using the freely available educational curricula."URL: http://www.globalwarming101.com
Referred by: GlobalEdNews
January 16, 2007
"Where can I find historical speeches, posters, and maps? My students like real-world data and statistics for math problems, where can I find this type of information? What are the best sources of historical documents, oral histories, and other authentic resources?
The Internet provides access to a wide range of primary resources such as letters, diaries, journals, logs, data, documents, speeches, and videos. Students can also create authentic information through collecting oral histories, conducting polls and surveys, and keeping journals."URL: http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic88.htm
Since "an audacious Shuttle repair mission, when Hubble was fixed with what is effectively a pair of eyeglasses to correct its sight, the telescope has returned some of the most stunning images ever captured by science.
And now astronomers have voted for the best pictures taken by Hubble in its 16 years in orbit.
Hubble's Top Ten are shown here, and they illustrate that our universe is not only deeply strange, but also almost impossibly beautiful."URL: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=418049&in_page_id=1770
January 02, 2007
"The America 24/7 Student Project is based on the book America 24/7, by Rick Smolan and David Elliot Cohen. The book's images, submitted over a one-week period by both amateur and professional photographers, paint a powerful picture of everyday life in the diverse communities that make up the United States. The book's grass-roots look at who Americans are and how we live inspired the use of this book as a classroom guide to visual literacy and to developing student web photo galleries that tell the unique stories of their own communities.... It includes lessons in Social Studies, Geography, History, Art, Language Arts, and International Studies. To extend the scope of learning, students post their images to a web gallery to share with other schools."URL: http://www.adobe.com/education/instruction/curriculum/exchange/america.html
Are you and your kids getting into photography in this new year? Check out 'Zany Zoom Ins: Fun With Close-Up Photographs', an activity in the YouthLearn collection. Even if you're introducing photography as part of a larger project, you'll want to spend time over several sessions introducing photographic techniques to help kids understand elementary concepts like distance, angle and framing. "Zany Zoom Ins" is an intermediate activity you can use along the way. In this activity, the kids take ultra-close-up photographs of common objects to identify what they are.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/multimedia/eyeball.asp
December 05, 2006
The Web offers youth an array of publishing opportunities, many of which are continually emerging and evolving. The Youth & Media section of the YouthLearn website includes a list of organizations and youth media project examples as well as resources for supporting online collaboration and publishing by young people. Among the resources are a workshop for teens on creating a Blog and a toolkit by the Plugged In technology center with sample curricula. Browse through the rest of the Youth & Media section for additional curriculum, toolkits, and project examples and other resources around facilitating media making.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/youthmedia/resources/blog_website.asp
"More and more schools are eager to engage their students in online learning opportunities, but they worry about Internet safety. This site, developed by the Oracle Education Foundation, offers a free learning community environment to accredited elementary and secondary schools. Think.com is password-protected and provides a way for students to write and interact with a protected national and global audience. Check out the features at this site and compare them to IMBEE, another free and secure social networking service developed with classrooms in mind."URL: http://www.think.com/en_us/
Referred by: MiddleWeb
October 24, 2006
"This comprehensive American Folklore Web site contains retellings of tall tales, myths and legends, ghost stories, animal stories, Native-American folklore, tongue-twisters, and more from all 50 states. There are also lesson plans, an ESL section, and a 'countdown to Halloween.'" This website is also an American Library Association 'Great Web Sites for Kids' pick.URL: http://www.americanfolklore.net/
Referred by: Reading Rockets
October 10, 2006
This site shares community-based curricula for elementary through high school age students as well as descriptions and educators' reflections on the experience of facilitating the activities. "The curriculum exemplars you will find here possess strong elements of community-based education, in principle and practice. Many of the examples we showcase on these pages also make use of service-learning as a pedagogy. Most of the exemplars presented here were originally featured in our publications Community Works Journal, or in Connecting Service-Learning to the Curriculum."
The Community Works On-Line Resource Center is operated by Vermont Community Works.URL: http://www.vermontcommunityworks.org/exemplars/index.html
Field trips are a great way to bring excitement and adventure to learning. A focused, well-planned field trip can be the perfect vehicle to introduce new skills and concepts to kids, reinforce ongoing lessons and leverage the learning potential of other trips you'll take throughout the session. If your field trips are going to be more than just fun, however, it will take serious teamwork and planning. When it comes to maximizing the learning value of field trips, nothing is more important than what you do long before stepping onto the bus.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/fieldtrip.html
September 26, 2006
What is a story? Nothing more than an orderly telling of a tale in a way that the audience understands and appreciates enough to want to see how it ends.
We're used to thinking about stories in terms of fables, novels or movies, but when children write a report about an inquiry-based project, they're really telling a story about their discoveries. A poem is a story, even if it's just a story about an emotion felt for only a minute. It's cliché, but it's true: Every picture tells a story. When you have kids create multimedia presentations, animation, a video or a Web page, they need storytelling skills to keep the viewer engaged and interested.... The heart of writing a story is identifying the main ideas behind it and the order in which they'll be presented. If kids can learn to do that, they are more then halfway to becoming good writers and communicators. You can use many tools to organize stories, including several graphic organizers that we've discussed before.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/language/stories.asp
"In 100 words or less, your child can write a poem, essay or short story about what he or she would do to make our world a better place to live. Children 8 to 12 years old are encouraged to submit their own words of inspiration for a chance to win one of three great prizes," including educational savings bonds and gifts. This contest is inspired by the Akeelah and the Bee feature film. Entries must be submitted by November 29.URL: http://www.hearmusic.com/essaycontest
September 12, 2006
Reading is Fundamental "invites kids ages 5-15 to create posters of characters, scenes, or other imagery from the Charlotte's Web book.
With the support of HarperCollins, Walden Media, and Paramount Pictures, the contest offers exciting prizes for the winners in three age groups (5-8, 9-11, and 12-15)...
Get your paper, paints, markers or crayons out and get creative! All artwork is due November 10."
August 29, 2006
Have you tried mapping out your ideas to jumpstart curriculum and project planning for the fall? YouthLearn's guide to using graphic organizers (see also our info about webbing) can get you started. Mapping is a simple and wonderfully versatile technique that you can use with your colleagues and kids for brainstorming, organizing thoughts, and generating ideas. They can be used to define a curriculum, plan a project, select a theme, develop a simple story or to add energy and enthusiasm to a repetition-based exercise such as pattern writing. Whether you're doing a project with the whole class, breaking up into teams or working on individual projects, mapping should be a part of almost every group activity—and you should do lots of group activities. The reason is practical as well as philosophical. If you allow group members to suggest their own ideas and make their own decisions (within the parameters of your educational goals, of course), they will be much more engaged, positive and enthusiastic than if you make all the decisions yourself...URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/teaching/mapping.asp
August 08, 2006
Showing kids how to see with the camera's eye comes more easily with this activity from the YouthLearn collection. Photography is not just about pointing and pressing a button; it's a decision-making process. One of the best reasons for working photography into your activities and projects is that it helps kids better understand the media images they're bombarded with every day. Photography is also just plain fun, and it's a wonderful foundation for community-based projects. If you introduce photography properly, it helps kids look much more carefully at the world around them.
Check out our curriculum around photo techniques and related lesson plans as well!
"Have your picture featured in this year's State of the World's Children. Submissions due 8 September 2006. This year's State of the World's Children will argue that one of the most powerful constraints to fulfilling children's rights and achieving the Millennium Development Goals is the discrimination experienced by women. To help us express how important women are for the well being of children we would like you to send us a picture of a woman in your life -- a mother, a sister, a teacher, a friend -- who has been a particularly powerful source of inspiration and support. The photos should include a 250-word explanation of who the woman is and how she has inspired you..."URL: http://www.unicef.org/voy/takeaction/takeaction_2922.html
Referred by: GlobalEdNews
" 'TeachEngineering' provides more than 500 lessons and activities for teaching engineering content in K-12 science and math classes. Topics include oil and energy consumption, water and electricity, mass and volume, various energy sources, heat transfer, solar heating systems, collisions and momentum, electrons, cellular respiration, biomedical engineering, and more. Lessons connect real-world experiences with concepts and skills already taught in K-12 classrooms. "URL: http://www.teachengineering.org
Referred by: EdInfo
July 12, 2006
"Geographic Information Systems (GIS) -- mapping and analysis software employed by the U.S. government, NASA, and other agencies -- now is helping students locate and document hazards in their communities."URL: http://www.educationworld.com/a_issues/issues/issues403.shtml
Referred by: Education World Weekly Newsletter
June 20, 2006
As you start your summer programs, the "Our Neighborhood" project introduces kids to structured ways of thinking and expressing ideas about the people, places and things that matter most to them. The lessons build on the information and experiences that the children and the instructors already have about the culture around them.
Children who participate in "Our Neighborhood" should be organized into groups with no more than a three-year age span. The activities are not recommended for 5-year-olds (or for any children who have not yet enrolled in, or completed, first grade) because the activities require beginning reading skills, the ability to work independently for short periods of time and the ability to work in a group and with a partner. Because levels of skill and maturity vary, adult facilitators should exercise their best judgment when placing children into groups.URL: http://youthlearn.org/learning/activities/inter/neighborhood/overview.html
June 06, 2006
The Girls Scouts' GirlsGoTech website features four cool games that both girls and boys can enjoy:
Cryptic Codes - Secret Message Decoding
The World Around Us - Mandala Maker
Think about Thinking - Mixed Messages
The Sounds of Science - Composing Digital Music
Have fun, and let us know what you think - and learn!
May 23, 2006
"Got kids who need to run off a little bit of pent-up energy? Barbara J. Feldman offers a collection of favorite outdoor games resources at her Surfing the Net with Kids website. You'll find 'hundreds of games to play by yourself, with just a few friends, or with your entire scout troop or classroom. Whether you are looking for rules to a game you vaguely remember from your childhood, or want to find something entirely new, these sites have it all.' AND, speaking of "student movement," check out the Brain Gym website developed by the Educational Kinesiology Foundation, where you can explore research about the impact of movement on learning."
Referred by: MiddleWeb
May 18, 2006
"Combining Google Maps features with other resources can provide educators with some handy classroom tools."
"Mashup? What's a mashup? Well, Wikipedia defines the term mashup as "a Web site or Web application that combines content from more than one source." When people combine Google Maps with other content, the result is a "Google Maps Mashup" — a combination of map and other relevant information."URL: http://www.techlearning.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=187002846
Referred by: techLEARNING News
April 25, 2006
Given the many opportunities cited in this newsletter for young people to showcase their own films, it might be useful to review some tips on facilitating video projects with youth.
We have found that working with video isn't something you can just jump right into. Children must be prepared for it with preliminary excursions into concepts like storyboarding and photography. Each stage can be made fun and educational, and at the end of the project, the youth will understand how all the pieces come together to make a video they're proud of.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/multimedia/video.asp
The mission of National Neighborhood Day is to inspire, build, and sustain the neighborhood relationships that provide the foundation for civic action and the building of stronger, more caring and effective communities. The vision establishes National Neighborhood Day as an annual day to recognize and reinforce the relationships that are the fabric of our communities.
To promote National Neighborhood Day’s mission and vision, we are hosting our second annual National Neighborhood Day Short Film Contest. This is an awesome opportunity for filmmakers to use technology and creativity to tell the nation “What Neighborhood Means to Me”. The deadline for entries is June 15, 2006.URL: www.neighborhoodday.org
April 24, 2006
"FILM YOUR ISSUE, an unprecedented "issue film" competition, is inviting young Americans 18 to 26--including 7 million college and university students on 1,200 campuses nationally-- to add their voices to the public dialogue on contemporary issues via 30- to 60-second films. The Millennium Development Goals are included as one of five "suggested sub-categories," which will offer additional presentation platforms to winners. George Clooney and Walter Cronkite have each written an open letter urging young Americans to engage in the pressing social issues of our times."URL: http://www.filmyourissue.com/index2.html
Referred by: Global TeachNet
April 20, 2006
International Call for Participation
"Scenes and sounds of my city" Special Session 2006
Deadline 3 May 2006
"The UNESCO DigiArts Team invites young students and teachers to reflect on the theme of "scenes and sounds of my city" and to send to UNESCO a joint project proposal in group work that focuses on a specific topic or issue in relation to their urban environment or their experiences within urban surroundings.
This project will be realized through a running session of the Scenes and Sounds of My City web-based learning application, which is designed for young people (12-18 years old) to collaboratively use creative digital tools in expressing their visions on urban topics."URL: http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.php-URL_ID=30690&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html
Referred by: UNESCO DigiArts Team
April 19, 2006
"Students select poems, create PowerPoint presentations that use graphics and text to enhance those poems, and then display their presentations as they read their poems aloud."URL: http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/techlp/techlp018.shtml
Education World Weekly Newsletter
April 11, 2006
This activity teaches something about poetry and reading while focusing mainly on words and vocabulary building. You'll be taking a poem and substituting synonyms to see how the meaning and pattern stay the same even as the words change. Suggested variations include ideas for working with older kids and for incorporating song lyrics and making pictures to extend the activity.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/language/poetry.asp
"Get ready to teach poetry this month with a list of tips and great poems from The Academy of American Poets. Other great poetry sites for young kids include 'Giggle Poetry' and 'Kathi Mitchell's Poetry for Kids,' which has directions for teaching kids about lots of different types of poems."URL: http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/41
Referred by: Reading Rockets
March 01, 2006
"Students use Internet resources and Microsoft Word drawing tools to brainstorm (through webbing) questions about a person they will research and write about."URL: http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/techlp/techlp052.shtml
Referred by: Education World Lesson Planning Newsletter
February 28, 2006
The environment, environmental protection, animal and plant life, natural systems and life cycles make up common themes in children's schoolwork, in the literature and media they are exposed to and in their personal lives. "The Soil Around Us" project introduces collaborative reading, writing and groupwork processes, such as brainstorming, labeling, mapping and storyboarding. Computer-based activities emphasize multimedia skills, such as creating and editing drawings, photos and text, and introduce basic Internet navigation skills.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/inter/soil_project/overview.html
February 14, 2006
In honor of Valentine's Day and the other 364 days of the year that kids enjoy using their imaginations, we've identified this giant collection of arts and crafts projects at the FamilyFun website. You can browse more than 1000 projects by holiday, age, and more--as well as review ratings and comments by other users. Craft activities are geared for toddlers up to 12-year olds and designed for the home, classroom, or out of doors.URL: http://familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts/
January 31, 2006
Fall 2005 @Concord Newsletter
This issue of the Concord Consortium Newsletter features ready-to-use lessons that "allow students to learn more science and math, earlier and deeper." Also, there's a piece supporting "More Science for More Americans: Technology can enable needed changes in science education." And more...
January 04, 2006
"Family Fun Sites offer parents an opportunity to explore the Internet with their children in a safe environment. Many of the sites have an educational focus, giving parents an opportunity to become involved in their child's learning as they guide their online activities."URL: http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/sites/sites015.shtml
Referred by: Education World Weekly Newsletter
January 03, 2006
"Dear all -
As you probably know, UNICEF started a global campaign this year called "Unite for children, united against AIDS".
We are now looking for young people around the globe to help us create a short multilingual video with the message "Unite for children, unite against AIDS".
If you want to be part of this, all you have to do is get some young people (friends, brothers, sisters, neighbors, classmates, etc.) together, take a video camera and record how you all say together "Unite for children, unite against AIDS". This should be done in your local language - no translations needed - as it's a global campaign, we'd like to have as many different languages as possible.
Then please get in touch with me (Chris Schuepp - email@example.com) and we will see how you can get the material to us. We would prefer if you sent us the material via email/Internet - there are different ways of doing this - more info once you have done the recording."URL: http://www.unicef.org/uniteforchildren
Referred by: Young People's Media Network
December 13, 2005
Do the kids want to make holiday cards, multimedia art for the walls, or (why not?) political cartoons? This activity from the YouthLearn online collection offers a good framework for introducing and working with image-editing programs. In it, kids work in pairs to take pictures of two people, import them into a photo-editing application like PhotoShop, and combine them to create an image of the two people talking to each other with comic book-style word balloons.URL: http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/multimedia/look.html
November 15, 2005
"Teaching Tolerance is offering free classroom activities to commemorate the courageous life of Rosa Parks and other women before her who fought for freedom. The site provides age-appropriate lessons for early, middle, and upper grades; exclusive Web-based classroom activities; and information on ordering a free educational kit that includes the 40-minute Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks documentary and a viewers' guide with classroom activities."URL: http://www.tolerance.org/teach/activities/activity.jsp?ar=365
Referred by: THE Newsletter
"Cable in the Classroom has just launched a free online weather simulation/game entitled "WINDWARD: Outsmart the Weather in a Race around the World" at www.ciconline.org/windward."
"WINDWARD was created in cooperation with Discovery Education, The Weather Channel and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to target middle school science students, as well as for adults and children to play together, at school, at home, or in other learning environments."
Referred by: H-Net EdTech Discussion List
October 28, 2005
"Award winners will be published in the paper in early January 2006.
Eligibility: Anyone in preschool through high school. Deadline: Friday, Dec. 2, 2005."
Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
October 26, 2005
"Students learn the six criteria for evaluating Web sites and then use those criteria to locate three sites that provide good information and three that do not."URL: http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/techlp/techlp007.shtml
Referred by: Education World Newsletter Tech Lesson of the Week
September 14, 2005
"CREATING THE BEST TECH HANDOUTS!
So, you want your students to find five facts about dolphins from two Web sites. Or, perhaps they have measured the distance of the school flagpole's shadow at different times of the day and need to record the data in a spreadsheet. You could tell them what to do and hope they remember all the steps -- and spend valuable time reminding them of the steps -- or you could provide them with effective tech handouts and teach them to work independently."
Referred by: Education World Newsletter
September 02, 2005
"The Auburn Film Society & the Department of Communication & Journalism at Auburn University are pleased to announce the 2006 Movie Gallery Student Video Competition and issue this Call for Entries. Competition is open to U.S. and International entries completed by students enrolled in accredited colleges or universities for the College Videomaker category, and students enrolled in accredited high schools or equivalents for the High School Videomaker category. The maximum total running time allowed for entries is 15 minutes. There are no minimum length requirements for the videos. The videos should not be more than 2 years old and cannot have been previously submitted to the Movie Gallery Student Video Competition."
[Deadline: Entries received by January 23, 2006.]
Referred by: University Film and Video Association (UFVA) Listserv
August 16, 2005
"Sally Ride Science, Smith College, Hasbro Inc., Southwest Airlines, Sony Corp., and Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, are giving students in grades five through eight the chance to step out of their classrooms and broaden their engineering, science, and design skills by creating their dream toy for the TOYchallenge program. The mission of this fun-fueled toy and game design competition is to motivate kids, especially girls, to pursue science, engineering, and education careers. TOYchallenge 2006 will launch on September 12."URL: http://www.TOYchallenge.com
Referred by: eSchool News
"Technology & Learning invites K-12 students to participate in the fifth annual digital photography contest. This year's theme, "Express Yourself," encourages you to capture and share your own unique vision with our editors and readers. The subject of your photo is entirely up to you."
July 28, 2005
"ELEVEN NEW RESOURCES in arts, history, language arts, & science have been added to FREE, the website that makes teaching resources from federal agencies easier to find."
Examples include: "Irving Penn: Platinum Prints"; "Coso Rock Art"; "Research in the Parks"; "Geologic Time: The Story of a Changing Earth"; "NSF Special Reports."
Referred by: EDInfo
July 13, 2005
"A youth video program can be a creative and powerful tool. In addition to technology and multimedia skills, programs encourage creative expression, teach youth to set achievable goals, create collaborative work environments, and build self-esteem. Read about ways to start your own youth video program."URL: http://www.techsoup.org/howto/articlepage.cfm?ArticleId=434&cg=searchterms&sg=video
Referred by: TechSoup...By The Cup
June 27, 2005
Three hundred middle school students from around the country worked on a
new website created to link their interests and hobbies to future careers.
The new site is offering online resources that cater to ages 11-15,
seeking information about careers in science, technology, engineering, and
math. Designed and developed with recommendations from teams of
middle-schoolers, Funworks is not only for young people, but also for
guidance counselors, teachers, media specialists & parents. Because
existing career-related websites are often dense, full of statistics, and
created for adults, Funworks stands out with its vibrant colors, graphics
and photos, interactive games, quizzes, and more. Funworks was created by
the Gender, Diversity, and Technology Institute at Education Development
June 01, 2005
"Green Maps are locally created maps that chart the natural and cultural environment. Using adaptable tools and a shared visual language of Green Map Icons to highlight green living resources, Green Maps cultivate citizen participation and community sustainability.
Green Mapmaking is a perfect platform for exploring many subjects, including geography, urban planning, civics, design, public policy, art, media studies, biology, botany, literature, tourism management, history, ecological studies and landscape architecture. Suggestions for incorporating Green Maps and our unique methodology into university-level courses can be found here--these ideas could also be adapted for younger students. For more info on making Green Maps with young people, see our Youth Section, or the Youth Mapmaking Activity Guide."URL: http://greenmap.org/ymaps/ymindex.html
April 21, 2005
"To test out the power of blogging, last year The Children's Partnership gave a workshop in Harlem, New York, to young people in an after-school program. The workshop was so well received by the students and program staff that we developed these materials into an easy-to-use curriculum packet, to help others teach teens content-creation skills.
This curriculum is available to others to use in their own communities."
Referred by: Techpolicybank Update
"Technology & Learning invites K-12 students to participate in our 5th annual digital photography contest. This year's theme, 'Express Yourself,' encourages students to capture and share their vision with our editors and readers."
Who: "The contest is open to all K-12 students who may submit up to three digital photos electronically. Photos must be taken between January 1, 2005 and October 15, 2005."
How: "Complete the online entry form for each photo. The entry form must be submitted and photographs must be uploaded by midnight, October 15, 2005."
"Winners will be awarded prizes including Adobe Photoshop Elements and/or Olympus digital cameras."
Referred by: techLEARNING News
April 20, 2005
"Blogging -- or Web logging -- most often is thought of as an activity for high school students. Did you know, however, that students as young as kindergarten now blog on a daily basis in a variety of exciting ways? Read on to find out how elementary blogging works, what topics elementary students and teachers cover in their blogs, software programs and tools to consider, and cautions and tips for starting your own blog."URL: http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech217.shtml
Referred by: Education World Newsletter, Technology Integration
April 13, 2005
"Featuring collaborative projects, virtual field trips, educational games, and other interactive activities...A free online graphing tool for students in grades 5-12..."URL: http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/archives/interactivity.shtml
Referred by: Education World Newsletter
March 23, 2005
"To promote National Neighborhood Day’s mission and vision, they are hosting a short film contest for both professional and amateur filmmakers to illustrate, through a 5-minute or less film, what their neighborhood means to them. This call for entries in the National Neighborhood Day Short Film Contest is open to K-12 students and adults. There is no entry fee for the Youth Category and the Grand Prize is $2000. The deadline for entries is June 1, 2005. For contest rules, entry form or to download a poster with further information for K-12 students," visit the website.URL: http://www.neighborhoodday.org/film.asp
Referred by: PEN Weekly NewsBlast
March 01, 2005
"A kindergarten teacher's efforts to make learning the alphabet fun for her students at Immanuel Lutheran School won $2,500 in technology for her classroom from Best Buy.
Linda Lundgren, a longtime kindergarten teacher at Immanuel Lutheran, was among 36 teachers in Indiana who were honored by Best Buy's te@ch program. The program awards a $2,500 Best Buy gift card to schools in recognition of programs or projects that integrate interactive technology into the classroom and make learning fun for students."
The article goes on to describe the activities of Ms. Lundgren's classroom that earned her the award.URL: http://www.thetimesonline.com/articles/2005/02/23/community/youth_focus/7efd9c71171e10d386256faf007913e5.txt
January 19, 2005
"Can a computer program motivate math students weary of "drill and kill"? Teachers all over the country use Microsoft Excel in ways that excite students about the power of math in everyday life. Education World talks with Illinois middle school teacher Kelly McMahon about three important roles Excel plays in her seventh- and eighth-grade classrooms."URL: http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech079.shtml
Referred by: Education World Newsletter
January 11, 2005
By Lorrie Jackson
"Creating a photo slide show is as easy as 1-2-3. You will learn how to insert sound and pictures into a PowerPoint presentation to create a photo slide show"
Referred by: Education World Newsletter
December 22, 2004
"WebQuests are probably the most talked-about and widely used Web-based activities in today's classrooms. What are WebQuests? What accounts for their popularity? And how can you use -- and create -- WebQuests in your own classroom?"URL: http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech011.shtml
Referred by: Education World
December 21, 2004
"Play Kids Games.com is a site designed by parents of young kids."
"Our intention is to provide a web site that parents and kids can use to learn basic skills while having fun."
December 15, 2004
By Lorrie Jackson
"You will learn how to use hyperlinks to create hyperfiction for grades 3 and up."
"Hyperfiction, like fiction, is a non-factual body of text; hyperfiction, however, contains hyperlinks that allow readers to choose where to go next and what to explore further."
Referred by: Education World
December 08, 2004
"A student portfolio is a representative sampling of a student's work designed to highlight the student's best work, demonstrate the student's progress over time, make the work available for evaluation, and/or provide opportunities for the student to reflect on his or her work."
"Learn More About Electronic Portfolios ...
Electronic Portfolios in the K-12 Classroom
Using Hyperlinks to Create Student Portfolios
Referred by: Education World
November 03, 2004
"The lesson plans in this issue of Curriculum Connections take an in-depth look at the history of U.S. expansion and Indian policy, and present the voices and perspectives of Native Americans on the Lewis and Clark expedition and bicentennial. These materials offer an alternative viewpoint on an often-glorified era, and call attention to the dangers of ethnocentric and one-sided versions of history."URL: http://www.adl.org/education/curriculum_connections/In_this_issue_fall_2004.asp
Referred By: ADL
October 05, 2004
"What is YouthActionNet?
A dynamic website created by and for young people, YouthActionNet spotlights the vital role that youth play in leading positive change around the world. Launched in 2001 by the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and Nokia, YouthActionNet serves as a virtual gathering place for young people looking to connect with each other -- and with ideas for how to make a difference in their communities..."URL:http://www.youthactionnet.org/index.cfm
Referred By: The Foundation Center- Youth in Philanthropy
September 16, 2004
"Travel back to the 1800s and become an eyewitness to history. . . ."
This website includes a number of resources to help educators engage young people in an exploration of the Underground Railroad. The site was developed by Maryland Public Television through a grant from the Department of Education. Included is a first person flash-animation experience where young people can relive the decision-making process involved in escaping to freedom.
Referred by: Maryland Public Television
September 02, 2004
Do you work with high school-aged youth? Are you looking for free
online projects to help them learn about current events, technology,
and improve communication skills?
Then maybe Newz Crew is the project for you.URL: http://www.newzcrew.org
Referred by: Global Kids
June 25, 2004
"Global Response invites kids ages 5 through 18 from around the world to participate in an art contest for environmental awareness. Global Response is an environmental action and education network currently celebrating its 100th campaign. The group has campaigned to help communities worldwide facing environmental crises by constructing very effective letter writing campaigns that have an impressive 41% success rate. The subject of the artwork must be one or more of these campaigns." Deadline: Dec 31, 2004URL: http://www.globalresponse.org/artcontest.php
Referred by: GlobalEdNews