Exploring Earth is covered in every life science class. The planet is fascinating to study and students generally enjoy taking part in almost any instructional activity that teachers can devise on any topic related to it. What would it be like if teachers had at their finger tips access to a multitude of interactive/video sites on every topic on the subject for free? Incredible! Thanks to the US Federal Resources for Educational Excellence this is possible.
The above site is an incredible collection of every aspect of this science from the smallest molecular level to the wonders of galaxies! Each of the 30 chapters captures life (both past and present) in vivid details which will captivate students. With such colorful visuals, teachers will be able to build background knowledge for those (ELLs especially) who have had limited exposure to the subject with ease. For ELLs, the more time a teacher spends building an academic content foundation, the more productive the lesson will be. A little extra here pays off tremendously since it provides immediate access to content while simultaneously developing academic language. Further, since this is a free online site, ELLs can easily review the materials as needed after class at home or in a library if they don't have computers at home.
Some of my favorites are the following:
An asteroid hitting earth in the CRETACEOUS PERIOD will leave a major impression (forgive the pun) on your students. The short video allows students to "see" the impact from space and therefore take in full impact of the crash right from their desks. Another great link here is one that highlights the VAST DISTANCES BETWEEN PLANETS IN OUR SOLAR SYSTEM. Too often students find it difficult to grasp the true distance between planets and this site helps them better understand the layout of the solar system. With this background, students would have a better appreciation of the hard work behind space exploration.
I hope your students enjoy the site as much as I do:)
ELL TEACHER PROS