Teaching Day-by-Day: Digital Supplies
You have the chalk, notebooks and 3" x 5" note cards. What are you missing? Digital supplies! Here's where to find digital images, audio clips, video clips and fun learning online games.
One of the country's largest repositories of images is in the National Archives. Visit their teacher's website www.archives.gov) for ideas and images for teaching with documents.
Help students learn about history and money by downloading high-resolution images of the $7.2 million dollar check used to purchase Alaska from Russia at www.ourdocuments.gov from the National Archives.
Show elementary students how their favorite animated shows are made by making flipbooks in class. Use PBS' Zoom website www.pbskids.org to show them how.
PBS' Colonial House can show students what it was like to live in the 17th century. Go to Colonial House and click on "pictures." Have students compare and contrast living in the 21st century and the 17th century from the images they find.
Teach students about the power of photography by visiting the American Photography website at www.pbs.org. Have students find a favorite image online, then write a paragraph explaining how the picture makes them feel.
Research the Civil War at the "In the Valley of the Shadow" website. Both you and your students can search through a wealth of primary source photographs and records. Send students on a scavenger hunt or start a report on the war's effects.
Use primary source images to teach older students Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Find lesson plans and printable handouts at the "In Search of Shakespeare" website at www.pbs.org.
Help sci-fi-loving students learn about the real science going on at NASA through their website www.nasa.gov. Download images from the Hubble Space Telescope and the rovers on Mars to pique kids' interest in the universe around them.
Looking for online craft projects? The Maya and Miguel website has many easy-to-print-off projects for kids, from creating sports-themed placemats to celebration pinatas, all at www.pbskids.org/mayaandmiguel.
Visit kids.nationalgeographic.com and find beautiful photos from around the world. Have students write short stories based on the exotic images they select.
Introduce your students to the sounds of jazz at PBS Bandleader. Click and drag instruments to the stage and play a tune. With practice, students can learn the concept of beat and tempo in music.
Visit the Nature website and listen to different sounds produced by the animal kingdom. Have students share their own examples of music they like that also contain nature sounds.
Students can find examples of protest music at Strange Fruit. Have students explain the lyrics of a protest song in a paragraph. Ask them to find a modern protest song.
Slave narratives can help students better understand what happened in the past. Visit the Slavery and the Making of America to hear about the slave trade firsthand, and have your students reflect on what it means to be free.
On September 17, 1787, delegates to the Constitution Convention signed the U.S. Constitution and a new democratic nation was born. Visit Freedom: A History of US and play some of the audio clips of famous speeches and documents from that period.
Read the preamble to the Constitution and have students separate the stated purposes for the Constitution into individual phrases like "a more perfect union." Students then team up to find out the meanings.
At the James Madison Center website, play students audio of the first 10 amendments that became the Bill of Rights as an introduction to personal freedoms.
View online video of NewsHour reports and discuss how selected age-appropriate national and world events affect your local community.
Pinpoint the locations of these national and world events on a map and learn more about the geography, culture and daily life of the people living there.
Continue to discuss current events throughout the year. Keep the map with marked locations visible all year long to remind students how your community connects to the world.
The "It's My Life" website for kids lets them share online video about serious issues like divorce, depression, time management, bullies and more.
Invite a guidance counselor to discuss one topic in depth and help students develop coping strategies relevant to their lives.
Use Dragonfly TV to learn more about careers in science through online video of real scientists discussing their jobs.
Encourage individual or groups of students to do further research on one of these science careers and present their findings to the class.
Introducing vowel sounds to young readers this year? Check out the online game "Clucky's Chicken Stacker" at www.pbs.org.
Go west! This year, the bicentennial of Lewis and Clark's voyage continues. Put your students in the shoes of these famous explorers with the "Into the Unknown" role-playing game.
Cyberchase, the math show for kids, has dozens of math games online that teach fractions, estimation, volume, symmetry, patterns and more at www.pbs.org.
Introduce DNA to your students with the "Create a DNA Fingerprint" activity. Kids play detective to determine which of seven sisters stole their brother's lollipop.
Teach consumer concepts with the PBS "Don't Buy It" site with games like "Is the Price Right?" and "Be the Ad Detective." These are sure to engage students in grades 5-8.
Jazz up your geography lessons with web games for grades 3-5. "Postcards from Buster" offers one- and two-player games like "Coast to Coast".
PBS TeacherSource helps PreK-12 educators with 3,000+ free lesson plans and teachers' guides on hundreds of topics – all correlated to national and state curriculum standards. Visit www.pbs.org/teachersource to access these educational resources, professional development materials and to sign up for a free weekly newsletter for teachers.