August 2007

Learning with themes

Themes offer an interesting way to integrate lessons and give students more in-depth opportunities to pursue learning. The following sites contain a variety of ideas, but are best used as a starting place for your own ideas. You should adapt them for your classroom, as some sites are too simple for some learners and overly complicated for others.

They are posted here by topic

How to Prepare Young People to Vote

Regardless of political opinion, learning to vote and to educate young people on its importance is vital. It is also important to note that this is a global right. The links I have posted her help people understand how to vote and about elections around the world.

Virtual Field Trips

Alan Haskvitz

Virtual field trips can enhance learning and provide individualization and recourses not possible otherwise.  But be warned that virtual field trips are not uniform in quality.  As usual, it is best to preview sites at length to make sure they meet your needs and don’t include links that lead the student elsewhere.

I have put together the best tests about retirement that deal with income, expenses, state tax rates, and more. I have them posted here:

Constitution Day Resources

Alan Haskvitz

The law mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on Constitution Day, September 17th

Here are resources to make that possible.

Pearl Harbor Day Lesson Plans and links

Alan Haskvitz

On Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese submarines and planes from aircraft carriers launched an early-morning attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor. The attack included nearby military airfields. About 3,000 naval and military personnel were wounded or killed, and eight battleships, 13 other navy ships and 200 aircraft were damaged or destroyed.

With this attack, the Japanese formally entered World War II on the side of Germany and Italy. And it was the catalyst for the United States’ engagement on the Allied side.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt described Dec. 7, 1941 as “a date that will live in infamy.” On the anniversary of this event, help students and others grasp the significance using these free links and resources.

For more free resources go to

Astronomy and Space

National Teachers Hall of Fame

These sites are designed to help students become interested in astronomy and space and get them involved starting with studying the stars on their own birthdays and homes. Lots of good lessons and enough here to offer advanced students more depth.

For many more free resources go to

Space and flight lessons and links

Space lessons and units on the solar system

Huge selection of astronomy links

Astronomy for Kids

Astronomy links

Find the sky above you anywhere on earth and much more. Great fun.

Solar System Simulator

Order a simulated photograph of the Sun and planets as seen from any

vantage point.  The reader can choose any time in 5 minute

intervals from 1600 to 2399.

Lessons and good links

Online Astronomy
Easy to understand with good images.

Classical constellations and myths

Simple lesson plans and links

Space and astronomy lesson plans

NASA’s Ask an Astrophysicist site

Solar system lessons

Worksheets and more

Science vocabulary hangman

Fun for younger students

Science link site

Kids’ Astronomy lessons

Free worksheets

Links to physics and astronomy lessons by grade level

Extremely vibrant looking site with astronomy lessons

Includes history of telescopes

Science link site

Teacher developed lesson plans

Excellent astronomy sites for all levels

You need to search as there are some dead links, but the diversity of material is very good.

Astronomy link site from About

Lots of advertisements and a mixed bag of quality, but a lot of variety

Astronomy, mythology, and music

A very complex and complete unit of study for elementary students

How to set up science labs in many subject areas

Integrated Activities

Some poems about astronomy

Art and Space

Nice collection of links on how artists capture the heavens.

Family astronomy activities

Checking out the night sky. Great homework assignment to involve parents.

Pluto Express Home Page

This is full of great information of resources for teachers. Excellent.

Look into astronomy and others far out things.

Building a Telescope

How to build a telescope

Building a simple telescope

NASA lesson on building telescopes


Astronomy as a career links

Women in space and astronomy careers

National Association of Space Simulating Educators


Astronomical Society of the Pacific

David Dunlap Observatory

Database of stellar information

National Space Society

Mount Wilson Observatory

General information

National Optical Astronomy Observation

Naval Research Laboratory

Royal Greenwich Observatory

NASA’s Observatorium

Other sites

SETI Institute

Looking for aliens?

Sky On Line

Rocket and Space Technology
Encyclopedia Astronautica
Center for Science Education
Planet Quest
Nine Planets

Center for Educational Resources

Library of online and interactive K-12 science materials for teaching astronomy.

Asteroid Hits Earth

What a site, literally. See what NASA thinks about this issue.

What was the moon like on?
Just plug in the date to get a virtual photo
Satellite tracking sites

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