Posts Tagged ‘pioneers’

Social Studies Through Inventions!

September 15th, 2011

Hi!  It’s Thursday, September 15, 2011 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
The Great Idea Finder

Age Range: 8-18 (with parental guidance)

This website was created by an Internet consulting company to inspire the “inventor” in everyone. It showcases the history of remarkable inventions, inventors, and great ideas throughout time.

When you get to the site click on “Enter” and a new page opens. In the center of the screen you’ll see some features. Use the vertical menu on the left side of the page to access:

*First Time Visitor – Get an indexed overview of what you’ll find on this content-rich website that features innovation information about the past, present, and future.
*History Facts & Myths – Explore an incredible archive of history’s most interesting inventions and the stories behind them including the Abacus, Car, Coca-Cola, Frisbee, Hair Dryer, Internet, Jell-O, Liquid Paper, Microwave Oven, Post-It Notes, Slinky, and many more. Each invention includes a bibliography for further reading as well as links to more sources of info on the Internet. Plus, you’ll find:

  • Inventor Biography – Read the biographies of notable inventors such as Steve Jobs (Apple Computer), Ed Johnson (Christmas Lights), Harvey Ball (Smiley Face), Alfred Butts (Scrabble), and many more.
  • Innovation Timeline – Search any era in history (from ancient BC to the modern 21st Century) to learn about the innovations that occurred during that time period. Includes photographs, quotations, and resources for further learning.
  • Innovation Games & Trivia – Don’t be afraid to take this test BEFORE you explore the site. The questions are intriguing, so if you don’t know the answers and your curiosity gets the better of you — find out instantly by clicking the “answer” button. A great way to introduce the topic of invention and segue to a history lesson. :)

*Idea Showcase – The point of innovation is to improve the quality of life.  That said, inventors like making income by selling their inventions. In this section you can check out award-winning inventions and purchase them as well.  

*Features – Find out how many inventions were the result of an accident. See how inventors improve upon the inventions of others to “build a better mousetrap.” Check out inventions that changed civilization and had an enduring effect on the world.

*Resource Center – Find resources for further learning and investigation including websites, books, movies, and a listing of contests, competitions, experiments, and projects for the young inventor.  (Some are available for free, others for a fee.) Find resources for invention mentors too.

*History Articles – Read in-depth articles on historical innovations, inventors, pioneers, and entrepreneurs. Find out about the Patent Act of 1790 and explore some patents that have become products.

Students will need good reading skills to explore this site independently, and non-readers of all ages will enjoy the pictures  and information with assistance.

Natural Science Lessons & Interactives!

May 17th, 2011

Hi! It’s Tuesday, May 17, 2011 and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
Campsite 24

Age Range:  7-12 (Grades 2-6, with parental guidance)

ClickScholar Wendy recommended this website, sponsored by the Ontario Parks Department of Canada, that provides lessons and activities about nature, plants, and wildlife along with historic and geologic information about Ontario’s parks.

This is a multi-media website with lots of bells and whistles. When you first arrive at the site allow up to several minutes for the pages to load. Once they’re in your web cache, you’ll be able to zip around quickly and explore the menu that includes:

*Kids – Enjoy online activities that include a trip in a virtual time machine to explore the Geological Era, Aboriginal Era, Early Settlers Era, and Modern Parks Era. You’ll find amazing interactives on insects, fish, wildflowers, trees, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. Play “Park Pals” and see informative slideshows, take a quiz, enjoy print and play activities, and explore further resources.

Note: I think it’s easier to access all of the “Kids” activities from the Site Map. Don’t forget that it takes some time to load every page you visit.

*Teachers – This Lesson plan database allows you to access the classroom lessons archived on this site for grades 2-6 in Language Arts, Math, Science and Technology, and Social Studies. The lessons include downloadable/printable curriculum, worksheets, and links to Ontario parks with features that tie into the lessons. You’ll see a map of the park and read a brief description. Plus, there are links to online activities and resources on a broad range of topics including:

  • Insects
  • Animals
  • Pioneers
  • Plants
  • Minerals
  • Food Chains
  • Habitats
  • Weather
  • Flight
  • ~ And More!

*Climate Change – This online activity for students explains the impact climate change has on wetlands, plants, animals, and people.

*Francais – Explore the entire website in the French Language!

The content here is extensive and would be difficult to explore on one visit.  Bookmark this site to return again.

Carnegie Hall Music Appreciation Games

April 9th, 2011

Hi!  It’s Saturday, April 9, 2011 and time for Music at

Recommended Website:
Carnegie Hall: Games & Listening Guides

Age Range: 5-18 (Grades K-12 and beyond, with parental
The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall offers four, free interactive modules that helps students and their families
develop music appreciation skills

When you get to the site, turn on your speakers and look for icon menu that includes:

*An Interactive History of African American Music – This
interactive has lots of educational content geared for older
students. Trace the development of African American musical
styles and learn about the pioneers who helped define various
genres from gospel to hip hop. See photos, listen to audio
clips, and learn the history of African American music from
the 1600’s through today.

Note:  When you click on the icon, a new page opens where
you’ll see the icon again. Look for the word “Launch” below
the icon and click on it to start the interactive.

*Carnegie Hall Animated History – This is fun for kids! Gino, the
Carnegie Hall cat, will be your guide to learning about the
history of Carnegie Hall through engaging videos. Then, play
an interactive maze game featuring important historical
figures from Carnegie Hall’s past.

*Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9 – Listen to Dvorák’s classic, From
the New World
. Learn about the 4 themes in each movement of
the piece. Then, play challenging interactive games that test
what you’ve learned such as “Melody Mix-up” and “Unscramble
the Themes.”

*The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra – Go on an
instrument safari, guided by animated characters, to collect
all the instruments of the orchestra while you listen to
Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.

This is a terrific resource to engage students of many ages
and interests in music appreciation.


Oregon Trail Virtual Tour

February 4th, 2011

Hi!  It’s Friday, February 4, 2011 and time for a Virtual Field Trip at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website Oregon Trail Tour

Age Range: 9 and up (approximately, with parental supervision)

At this website you can virtually follow the pioneer path along the Oregon Trail and see the natural landmarks, forts, and trading posts that they saw on their long and dangerous journey West.  

When you get to the site you will see a menu tab at the top of the page. Click on “1843 Map” and “Modern Map” to compare the path of the Oregon Trail then and now.

Click on “Trail Tour” to begin your virtual journey through photographs and historical paintings accompanied by interesting facts and trivia about:

  • Independence, Missouri
  • Courthouse Rock
  • Chimney Rock
  • Fort Laramie
  • Independence Rock
  • Fort Bridger
  • Soda Springs
  • Fort Hall
  • Fort Boise
  • Whitman Mission
  • The Dalles
  • Oregon City

You can also view information about the landmarks by clicking on their locations on the maps. 

NOTE:  The “Travel Links” button was originally intended to lead to travel information for those who wanted to visit the Oregon Trail. However, most of the links now lead to error messages and/or to redirects that I have not reviewed.  Parents, AS ALWAYS, MUST PREVIEW AND SUPERVISE USE of this website.



Diane Flynn Keith
for ClickSchooling

Free History Videos & Interactives

September 2nd, 2010

Hi!  It’s Thursday, September 2, 2010 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
Have Fun with History

Age Range: 9 and up (approximately, younger children may enjoy aspects of this site and non-readers will need assistance)

What a find! This website provides free streaming videos and interactive presentations to bring American history alive for “teachers, homeschoolers, and history buffs.”

The designers of this site have ingeniously paired various American history topics, people, and events with free streaming videos and links to some of the best online history games and interactives. The result is history “edutainment” that will engage learners of varying age ranges and abilities.

When you get to the site you can dive right in and explore some of the topics featured on the home page. Or explore the menu that includes:
*History Videos – Over 300 history videos and documentaries are archived here, and the content will surprise you. You’ll not only see some well-crafted educational flicks, but also history-themed TV dramas and Hollywood films.

As explained at the website, “Any form of recorded history reflects the time it was written or filmed as much as it does the time period it attempts to capture.” That can result in some fascinating discussions as you watch a 1895 Edison experimental talking movie, educational films from the 1950s, or movies that were made for entertainment, but reflect the time in which they were made, such as Frank Capra’s Great Depression era film, “Meet John Doe.”

The site acknowledges that Hollywood movies and doctrinarians often “get it wrong” and suggests that every American history resource should challenge us to investigate further.

*History Activities – Enjoy an array of online activities and games about historical subjects. The site links to some of the best online history-based games (many provided by museums and other educational websites), in addition to creating some of their own. I tried “The Boston Tea Party 1773” and “Presidential Turkeys” and was happily surprised by the quality of the interactives and how much historical info was packed into them. Likewise the site’s own creation, “The Amazing Civil War Movies of the 1860s.”

This is a great way to get a brief overview of a historical topic that could springboard your kid’s interest and desire to investigate further. Or just use it as a fun way to supplement your studies of American history.

*History Subjects – Click on a history topic of interest and a new page opens with a menu of suggested films, interactives, documentaries, rare historical footage and newsreels. Topics include:

  • Colonial America
  • Revolutionary War
  • War of 1812
  • Civil War
  • Pioneers & the Frontier
  • WWI & WWII
  • Money & Finance
  • Science & Inventions
  • U.S. Presidents & Government
  • ~ And Many More!

Most of the videos are hosted on the site but some are from a 3rd party. Additionally, this site is ad-supported by randomly generated Google Ads, etc. That means PARENTS, AS ALWAYS, SHOULD PREVIEW SITES AND SUPERVISE USE TO DETERMINE SUITABILITY OF CONTENT.

ClickSchooling Resource: Celebrate “Not Back to School” With Johnny Appleseed

August 23rd, 2009


How are you planning to kick-start the “Not Back To School” year?

Our family marked the beginning of each new “Not Back To School” year by taking a trip to the Gizdich Apple Ranch in Watsonville, California. We took a tour of the facility, learned all about the apple-agri business, and saw apples crushed to make cider. Then, we headed into the apple orchards to pick a 1/2 bushel of Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Pippin apples. After picking apples, we’d go to the barn where they served delicious apple pie and apple dumplings – yum!

Our annual homeschool ritual tied in nicely with the birthday of John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed) on September 26th. We’d listen to his biography on CD, make apple recipes, and do craft activities with apples. My sons eventually outgrew the apple crafts – but they loudly objected when I suggested they may have outgrown our annual tradition. Even as teens they enjoyed the family trek to pick apples in September! :)

I thought some of you might want to adopt a similar tradition – or just learn more about American History through the engaging facts, legends, and lore of Johnny Appleseed!

As I mentioned, Johnny Appleseed’s birthday is September 26th – and you and your family can get a head start on the celebration with….


This innovative and educational 48-page eBook by homeschool mom Fran Wisniewski (and edited by yours truly) is designed for kids in grades K-7 – and the whole family will enjoy the learning activities. This eBook includes:

  • An accurate account of the life and times of Johnny Appleseed
  • Folk legends and lore about Johnny Appleseed
  • Illustrations and pictures
  • The history of early pioneers and apple orchards in the U.S.
  • Fun and fascinating apple-themed projects
  • Lesson plans in language arts, math, and geography
  • Hands-on apple science experiments
  • Apple recipes and craft ideas!

Click on the array of embedded links in the resource pages to visit other Johnny-themed websites with apple coloring books, art projects, songs, books, games, links to you-pick apple orchards, and more.

Celebrate educational freedom and kick off the “Not Back To School” year with fun activities that will jump-start learning all year long!

Get more info on this Homefires’ exclusive here:

Happy Homeschooling!


Diane Flynn Keith
ClickSchooling List Owner


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