Posts Tagged ‘middle school’

Free History & Geography Lessons & Activities

April 30th, 2020

 

It’s Thursday, April 30, 2020, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

A Guide to Teaching World History & Geography

(www.studentsfriend.com/

Age Range: 11 and up (Grades 6 and up, approximately; children with parental supervision)

 

This website was developed by a history teacher named Mike Maxwell whose mission is to make history and geography more meaningful to students by identifying important developments in world history and tying them to geography in a way that is memorable.

It offers a free, downloadable, comprehensive guide called the Student’s Friend that may be used in place of a history textbook, along with lesson plans, study guides, and other resources to enhance learning. The site has been recognized as one of the top ten history sites for teachers by the Stanford University School of Education. 

When you get to the site you’ll see a menu that includes: 

  • Purpose – Learn more about the author and educational philosophy.
  • Teaching and Learning – Get the fundamentals of teaching and learning world history and geography. 
  • Teacher Tools – Get free lessons plans and activities. Students can explore important themes and issues and enjoy in-depth learning activities such as projects, investigations and simulations. While designed for high school classroom use, the materials have been used by middle school teachers, college professors, and homeschool teachers worldwide.
  • Student’s Friend – A Concise World History – Access a free, concise narrative of world history and geography to use in place of a textbook. The Student’s Friend can be used online or download it for use offline. It’s divided into two parts: 
    • Part I – Prehistory through 1500 including: 
      • Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt
      • Ancient India and China
      • Ancient Greece and Rome
      • The Early Middle Ages, 500 to 1000 AD
      • The Late Middle Ages, 1000 to 1500
    • Part II – 1500 to the Present including: 
      • 1500s and 1600s, Early Modern World
      • 1700s, Enlightenment & Revolution
      • 1800s, Industrial Revolution & Imperialism
      • 1900 to 1950, World at War
      • 1950 to the Present, Cold War & Space Age
      • Current Issues, A Changing World Order

This is a remarkable resource, so bookmark the site to return again.

The Science of Non-Destructive Testing

March 3rd, 2020

 

It’s Tuesday, March 3, 2020, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

NDT Education Resources

(www.nde-ed.org/EducationResources/educationresource.php)

Age Range: 10-18 (Grades 5-12, with parental supervision)

 

What is Non-Destructive Testing? It’s a method of testing and inspecting industrial parts and materials without damaging them. NDT technicians and engineers test for material conditions and flaws that might cause planes to crash, reactors to fail, trains to derail, pipelines to burst, etc.

Through methods such as radiology, NDT allows inspection without interfering with a product’s final use. NDT inspectors use the sciences of:  

  • Electricity
  • Magnetism
  • X-Rays
  • Sound

This website provides free, interactive lessons in all four of these sciences for students in middle school and high school.

Under the paragraph entitled “The Science of Nondestructive Testing”, you’ll see links to the introduction, and then the 4 sciences. Click on any one of the sciences and a new page opens with a table of contents for the curriculum in that field.

Click on any topic to learn more, or just follow the arrows to chronologically follow the curriculum. Each page offers interesting text and illustrations. Many pages contain multi-media, interactive demonstrations of the concepts discussed. The material is presented in an engaging way to capture student interest.

If your student enjoys the material here, they may be interested in learning more about a career in NDT. You’ll find information about that (designed just for middle and high school students) at the site as well. Here’s the direct link.

Hands-On Biology Activities

February 4th, 2020

 

It’s Tuesday, February 4, 2020, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Serendip – Biology

(serendipstudio.org/sci_edu/waldron/)

Age Range: 11-18 (Grades 6-12, with parental supervision)

 

This website that offers FREE hands-on activities for teaching biology to middle school and high school students.

These activities were designed by a graduate student of the Biology Department at the University of Pennsylvania who notes, “The expression ‘hands-on, minds-on’ summarizes the philosophy we have incorporated in these activities — namely, that students will learn best if they are actively engaged and if their activities are closely linked to understanding important biological concepts.”

When you get to the site you’ll see an introduction followed by the lessons with Student Handouts and Teacher Preparation Notes available in either PDF or Word formats. (You can also access the activities by clicking on the “Table of Contents” menu on the right side of the screen.) The activities cover a broad range of biological topics and are presented in one *possible* effective sequence for learning biology. Here is a sample of activity titles: 

  • Is Yeast Alive?
  • Introduction to Osmosis
  • Photosynthesis Investigation
  • Mitosis, Meiosis and Fertilization
  • Dragon Genetics
  • DNA
  • Moldy Jell-O
  • Regulation of Human Heart Rate
  • How do we Sense the Flavors of Food?
  • And so much more!

As noted at the website, most of the activities can be carried out with minimum equipment and expense for supplies. Sources for the equipment and supplies you’ll need are provided in the printable “Teacher Preparation Notes.”

Fun Periodic Table of Videos

October 15th, 2019

 

It’s Tuesday, October 15, 2019, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Periodic Videos

(www.periodicvideos.com/)

Age Range: 8-18 (Grades 3-12, with parental supervision)

 

What a find! This website teaches the periodic table with videos!

When you click on an element on the periodic table, it plays a video showing educational experiments and explanations about that element. (Okay, while this site is probably designed for middle school, high school, and beyond, younger children will enjoy seeing some of the experiments. Plus, we’ve found that little kids lap up information about the Periodic Table, so don’t be shy about introducing them to it.)

This is so much fun! Each video is short (up to about 10 minutes) and provides basic information about the featured element, it’s history, and how it is used. You can tell the chemists, who narrate while demonstrating experiments with the various elements, love what they do!

Consider starting with Lithium (Li). It’s very reactive in water and the clip is fun to watch. Then try Hydrogen (H) or Helium (He) to see a big bang! (Careful – kids may be tempted to try this at home, so parental guidance and safety discussions are required.) The Phosphorus (P) video will really amaze your kids when they learn there’s about a pound of this reactive element in their bodies!

The scientists in the lab have a lot fun demonstrating the properties of the elements – and their antics with beakers, Bunsen burners, and bloopers are narrated by mild-mannered professor Martyn Poliakoff who has wonderful, wild, Einstein-ish hair! Some of his descriptions are hilarious – such as when he describes what can be done with Nitrogen (N). (Preview it, as it might alarm younger children.)

Note: We didn’t watch all of the videos. Therefore, parents AS ALWAYS should preview the videos BEFORE showing them to children to determine suitability of content.

The Periodic Table of Videos is educational, fun, and not to be missed!

Free Art and Design Lessons

May 18th, 2019

 

It’s Saturday, May 18, 2019, and time for Art at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Artyfactory

(artyfactory.com/)

Age Range: 11 and up (Grades 6 and up; children with parental supervision)

 

This ad-supported website includes step-by-step, how-to art lessons. It also offers art appreciation tutorials on topics like “Still Life” or “Animals in Art” or broader “Art Movements.”

When you get to the site, choose from: 

  • Art Lessons
  • Art Appreciation
  • Design Lessons

Little ones can’t interact with Artyfactory on their own. The content and writing are at an advanced level. (In fact, it is suspect most of the content doubles as MacTaggart’s college course material.) But there’s tremendous potential here for a creative homeschooler as follows: 

  • Use it directly as reading or coursework for a high school student.
  • Adapt the lessons for younger pupils. The “Pencil Shading” exercises, for example, found under “Pencil Portraits” in the Art Lessons section, would be a fun challenge. The “How to Draw Animals” lessons might work with a talented middle school student, too, but these are no Ed Emberley thumbprints: they require a good eye and a controlled hand.
  • Fill in holes in your own knowledge. After spending some time on this site you’ll be able to introduce your children to Expressionism paintings and more next time you visit a museum.

There’s a wealth of information here: color theory (both technical stuff like the color wheel and the emotional impact of colors in painting), a thorough overview of African masks and Egyptian hieroglyphs, shading techniques in pen and ink, etc.

NOTE: As always, PARENTS SHOULD PREVIEW the site to determine suitability of content for your own children.

Fun Physics Simulations for K-12

April 23rd, 2019

 

It’s Tuesday, April 23, 2019, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

PhET Interactive Simulations

(phet.colorado.edu/)

Age Range: 5-18 (Grades K-12, with parental supervision)

 

The University of Colorado at Boulder sponsors this website with free, fun, interactive, research-based simulations of physical phenomena.

As explained at the website:  “… Students will engage in scientific exploration… achieve conceptual learning… make connections to everyday life… take and sense ownership of their learning experience… see science as accessible, understandable and enjoyable.”

When you get to the site, you’ll see a brief introduction, teacher resources including tips on how to run/use the simulations, and a button that says, “Play with Simulations.” Click on that and a new page opens where you will see an icon menu of the latest simulations on the site including: 

  • Masses and Springs
  • Energy Forms and Changes
  • Wave Interference
  • Build a Fraction
  • And more!

Use the menu on the left side of this same page to search for simulations by topic, for example: 

  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Math
  • Research

And, you can search for simulations by Grade Level including Elementary School, Middle School, High School, and University.

Be sure to bookmark this site – you’ll want to return again and again.

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