February Links of the Month 2011

Curriculum Links

Icebreakers.ws is an online catalog of dozens of fun icebreaker and team builder activities

There is now a Calvin and Hobbes search engine where you can type in your query — homework, reading, etc — and then get the text and, in many cases, a link to the strip itself.

Social Studies

Picturing America is a site sponsored by the National Endowment For The Humanities, and it’s quite impressive. It has an interactive gallery of historical images, and provides lesson plans that include some pretty good ideas on how to use them.

The JFK Timeline is an interactive timeline Kennedy's presidency. The timeline features cultural and world events as well as US political events.

The National Civil Rights Museum’s Before the Boycott eLearning activity invites students to travel back in time and take on the role of a school newspaper reporter assigned to ride the Montgomery, Alabama bus system in 1955.

Language Arts

***Spelling City is now called Vocabulary and Spelling City and has added a few games, including one using sentence scrambles.

Wordia is a free visual, video dictionary.

Visuwords uses a web design to show users the definitions of words and the connections between words.

The Idiom Dictionary was created to help people understand the meanings of more than five thousand English idioms

Future Me is a neat service that lets you write an email to your future self and have it delivered to your email inbox at a time that you schedule.

Mr. Thorne Does Phonics is a website and YouTube channel dedicated to teaching kids phonics through videos.  The site has a great tag line, “Where learning to read becomes reading to learn.”


Hey LHS Kids is a science activities website for kids developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley

The University of Pennsylvania Health System provides nearly 200 video animations and explanations of injuries, diseases, and body systems.

Google Body Browser gives you a 360 degree view of the human body. You can turn on layers to see bones, muscles, organs, and the nervous system. You can turn on all the layers at the same time and alter the transparency of each layer. Turn on labels to have labels appear each time you click on a part of the body. For example, if I have the bones layer turned on along with the labels, when I click on a bone a label will appear. Watch this video to see the Google Body Browser in use.

eSkeletons is a great website produced by the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. eSkeletons features interactive models of mammal skeletons

In an effort to help elementary school teachers educate their students about germs and disease prevention (and to sell disinfectant) Clorox has developed a website for teachers. Clorox Classrooms offers ten lesson plans, four "take home" activities, and a couple of interactive whiteboard activities for K-5 classrooms.


Brain Nook provides students with a series of scenarios that they have to resolve by answering mathematics and language arts questions.

Learn Your Tables is a neat little site for students to use to learn and develop multiplication skills.

Planet Orange is a website developed by ING Direct for the purpose of helping elementary school students learn some basic money skills. Through a series of "missions" (games) to Planet Orange students gain or lose money.

New Technology Tools

SnipSnip.it is a new service that allows you to easily clip a section from a YouTube video and share that section with others. To use SnipSnip.it  just grab the link to a YouTube video, paste it into SnipSnip.it, and then enter the start and end times for the section of video you want to share. After you've completed those steps SnipSnip.it will generate a link and an embed code that will play just the section of video you selected. 

Voki is a free service that allows you to create personalized speaking avatars and use them on your blog, profile, and in email messages.
CN 2nd Grade

Try out the Voki Lesson Plan database. You can submit and store your own lessons, and take a peek at what other educators are doing in the classroom. This is a place for educators to inspire and get inspired!

For Administrators

21st Century Walkthrough is a ten page guide to using Google Docs Forms and an iPhone or iPod Touch to record and analyze school or classroom walkthrough data. The guide provides directions with screen images for setting up a form, setting up your iPhone, and analyzing the data collected. 

Valentine's Day Resources

Need a Calvin & Hobbes Comic?


Monkey Machine is a free web-based program that allows students to experiment with drum set sounds and rhythms.

The San Francisco Symphony's website Keeping Score is a comprehensive website full of educational materials about composers, scores, musical techniques, and symphonies.

The Science of Music, created by the folks at Exploratorium, is a fun series of lessons and activities about music. The Science of Music offers six exhibits containing interactive elements for students to use in exploring rhythms and sounds.

Classics for Kids, produced by Cincinnati Public Radio, offers lesson plans, podcasts, and games for teaching kids about classical music.


Color in motion is a wonderfully animated and interactive experience of color communication and color symbolism.

The Museum of Modern Art offers a sizable collection of online resources for teaching art lessons. Part of that collection is a series of lesson plans, but there are also collections of art for students, an art game for young (5-8 years old) students, interactive activities for older students, and podcasts about art and artists.

Art Babble is a video website designed and maintained by the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The purpose of Art Babble is to provide a place for people to learn about the creation of art, artists, and collections through quality video productions.

Smarthistory is a free online alternative to expensive art history textbooks.

MOOM, the Museum of Online Museums, is a list of museums that offer online exhibitions.

Arts Edge, produced by the Kennedy Center, is a collection of podcasts, lesson plans, and links for teaching music and culture.

The Google Art Project puts some of the most important art museums, and their collections, online with amazing features, including being able to create your own art collection. I’ve embedded a very short video from the site that shows what it can do — I can’t do justice to it just with words.

Timeless Tales 
Myths are stories that explain why the world is the way it is. Throughout history, artists have been inspired by myths and legends and have given them visual form. On this site, created by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, your students can explore myths and legends from around the world, with the great works of art, in-depth interpretations and interactive features. 
Click Here to Visit Web Site

Beauty and Harmony 
In Native American thought, there is no distinction between what is beautiful or functional, and what is sacred or secular. For many native peoples, beauty arises from living in harmony with the order of the universe. Surrounded by Beauty, created at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, is based on a slide curriculum with many contextual  images to aid understanding, letting users zoom in closely on each artwork. 
Click Here to Visit Web Site

Foreign Language & ESL Sites

Forvo can best be described as an audio wiki for word pronunciations.

WordSteps is a resource for learning the vocabulary of your choice of nine languages.

Voxy is an interesting approach to helping ESL students learn English. Voxy uses current articles from world news, pop culture, and sports to to help students acquire language.

Repeat After Us is an online library of copyright-free English texts and audio recordings. The purpose of Repeat After Us is to provide ESL students with a place to read and hear proper pronunciations of English words.

Lingus TV is a website featuring videos to help viewers learn conversational Spanish.

Hello World provides games and activities for students to develop their knowledge of foreign languages. Hello World has games and activities in nine languages including Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese.

Google Science Fair

The focus of the Google Science Fair is on STEM projects. The Google Science Fair is open to 13-18 year old students. Students can enter individually or in small teams. Google's partners in this project include National Geographic, CERN, NASA, Scientific American, and LEGO. There are some really nice prizes up for grabs. Those prizes include a trip to the Galapagos Islands and trip to CERN in Switzerland.

Entries to the Google Science Fair must be made online in the form of a Google Site. Google has posted a sample project site

The Google Art Project

The Google Art Project puts some of the most important art museums, and their collections, online with amazing features, including being able to create your own art collection. I’ve embedded a very short video from the site that shows what it can do — I can’t do justice to it just with words

YouTube Video