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Found 403 Collections

 

Biodiversity Podcasting Resources

Resources for lessons on biodiversity, specifically for the YAG Podcasting project unit on biodiversity. 

Hazel Arroyo
4
 

Exploring Fossil Ammonoids

This collection can be used as a pre- and post-resource to support the free Smithsonian Science How webcast, Exploring Fossil Ammonoids with Paleobiologist Lucy Chang. During the 30-minute program, your students will have an opportunity to interact with the scientist through live Q&A and polls. 

This collection contains objects from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Many of the specimens in this collection are fossil ammonoids, but other mollusks are included for comparison. Also included in the collection is a companion worksheet for students (with teacher key) to express their newly gained knowledge about ammonoids.  

Ammonoids are an extinct group of marine mollusks that belong to the subclass Ammnoidea and the class Cephalopoda. A popular and well-known subgroup of ammonoids are ammonites. The closest living relatives of ammonoids are also cephalopods like squids, octopods, and cuttlefish, while the modern nautilus is more distantly related.   

Ammonoids had shells made of calcium carbonate just like today’s snails, clams, oysters, and other shelled mollusks. Ammonoid shells varied in shape and size. Some ammonoids had tightly coiled shells (planispiral), while others had uncoiled, irregularly shaped shells (heteromorphs). Regardless of shape or size, the shell provided the ammonoid with protection and possibly camouflage. 


Ammonoid shells had interior walls (septa) that created chambers inside of the shell. These chambers were connected by a narrow tube structure called a siphuncle. The ammonoid could use the siphuncle to control the amount of gas and fluid in each chamber, giving it the ability to achieve neutral buoyancy and move about in the marine environment.  


Although ammonoid shells are abundant in the fossil record, there is an extremely poor record of their soft parts being preserved or fossilized. Based off of their relationships to mollusks alive today, ammonoids likely had bodies that were soft. The animal would have lived exclusively in the last chamber of its shell with numerous arms extending in a ring around its mouth, eating plankton and detritus, dead or decaying matter. Scientists study the shapes and patterns of ammonoid shells and related species, fossil and modern, to learn about the extinct animal.  


Ammonoids lived around the globe and were present on earth for a very long time, about 350 million years. The entire group went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous, about 66 million years ago, along with the dinosaurs.  


The abundance of ammonoids in the fossil record and their long history on earth make them good fossils to study. Geologists use ammonoid fossils as guide or index fossils, helping to date the rock layers from which the fossils were found. Paleobiologists can use fossil ammonoids to learn about patterns of extinction and glean information about the group's evolutionary history.

Maggy Benson
28
 

Planets of the Solar System

Through this collection, students will deepen their understanding of each planet in our solar system.  Pairing the See, Think, Wonder thinking routine with an embroidered quilt of the solar system will peak students' interest in the dwarf planet, Pluto.  After discovering the year that the quilt was made, students can explore the website to learn the history of Pluto.

Using the provided websites, students will work in groups to research a planet.  They will use the obtained information to write a headline that captures the most interesting aspect of the planet and to create a model of the planet.

#PZPGH

Jamie Bonacorso
21
 

Forgotten Elephants of Deep Time with Paleobiologist Advait Jakur

Program Details

  • May 17, 2019
  • Shows are 30 minutes long and stream at 11am and 2pm EDT
  • The program is free, but registration is requested. Sign Up

Did you know that there were many different species of elephants millions of years ago? Go back in time with Paleobiologist Advait Jukar to learn about the different kinds of elephants from the past, see real fossils, and understand how various factors — such as body size, tooth shape, and habitat — each played a role in the evolution of the elephant. Throughout the broadcast, Advait will take questions from your students via text chat and there will be opportunities for students to share what they think using live polls.

How to Participate

  • Bookmark this page! This is where the live event will happen on May 17, 2019, at 11am and then again at 2pm EDT.
  • During the live show, your students will be interacting with the scientist through a chat window on this page.
  • Download the Science How Tech Guide for instructions on preparing for and participating in a webcast. This guide includes recommended viewing guidelines if you’re participating with a group of students.

Viewing and Tech Guide for Science How Webcasts

  • Still have questions? Want to see your students featured on Science How? Email us at ScienceHow@si.edu.

Maggy Benson
51
 

Nonrenewable Resource: Coal Mining

This collection can be used to introduce a unit about natural resources and the Industrial Revolution.  Students will have a chance to reflect upon where natural resources come from, the danger of extracting the natural resources, and living conditions of some workers that mined this nonrenewable resources in the past.   #PZPGH

Gretchen Hogue
15
 

Introduction to the Nature Journal

Lesson plan in which students practice writing and observation skills by keeping nature journals. They observe animals on the National Zoo’s webcam and write about the behaviors they see, making hypotheses based on these observations.
Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
13
 

Tale of a Whale and Why It Can Be Told

Multi-step lesson in which students do the work of scientists who study the endangered North Atlantic right whale. They compare photos to identify an individual whale and use a record of sighting to track this whale’s movements along the eastern seaboard.
Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
10
 

What's Your Problem? A Look at the Environment in Your Own Backyard

Students take on a local environmental challenge in the lesson plans of this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom. Before deciding on a problem to tackle, they try interviewing local folks about the state of the community's environment and how it has changed through the years.

Click the PDF icon to see the Smithsonian in Your Classroom. Then check out oral-history interviewing tips on the site of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife. Also included below is an audio presentation on deer life by Smithsonian scientist Bill McShea.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
4
 

How Things Fly

A lesson plan introduces students to the four elements of flight - drag, lift, thrust, and weight - through fun-filled experiments. Students "fly" for short periods and then evaluate factors that might either increase or decrease their "flight" duration.

Click the PDF icon to download the issue.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
12
 

Smithsonian in Your Classroom: "Lewis and Clark and the Language of Discovery"

Lesson plans in this issue focus on Lewis and Clark as keepers of journals. Click on the PDF icon to download. Please also see an interactive map on the site "Lewis & Clark as Naturalists" from the National Museum of Natural History.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
3
 

Smithsonian in Your Classroom: "Under the Spell of ...Spiders!"

The issue presents curriculum-spanning ways of teaching about arachnids. Includes teacher background, lessons, and a bilingual student page. Click on the PDF icon to download.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
6
 

Tomorrow's Forecast: Oceans and Weather (1995)

This 1995 issue of Art to Zoo includes printable maps and classroom/take-home activities. Students learn how ocean currents influence weather patterns and climate. They conduct an experiment on the differing heat capacities of water and air, and find and label port cities around the globe. Below are some of the port cities represented in artworks from Smithsonian galleries.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
8
 

The Universe: An Introduction

This issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom includes a lesson plan in which the class arranges pictures of heavenly bodies according to the students' best ideas of size, distance, and age. This active introduction to the cosmos can be a pre-assessment for a unit on space science. In a follow-up modeling exercise, relationships in space are brought down to a scale of two inches.

Click on the PDF icons to download the issue and ancillary materials.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
7
 

Prehistoric Climate Change and Why It Matters Today

In a lesson in this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom, students do the work of a team of paleontologists studying a time of rising carbon dioxide and rapid global warming during the Eocene epoch. By examining fossils of tree leaves, and then incorporating the findings into a mathematical formula, they are able to tell average annual temperatures 55 million years ago. Really!

Click the PDF icons to download the issue and additional materials.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
9
 

Highlights Collection: Invention and Innovation

This is a Smithsonian Learning Lab topical collection, which contains images, text, and other multimedia resources that may complement the Tween Tribune feature, How a children's toy could help fight malaria. Use these resources to introduce or augment your study of this topic. If you want to personalize this collection by changing or adding content, click the Sign Up link above to create a free account.  If you are already logged in, click the copy button to initiate your own version. Learn more here

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
33
 

Area Architects--Quay Dorsey

This is an overview of an area and coding project 3rd grade students completed this year. 

Quay Dorsey
7
 

"Blacks in the Westward Movement," "What Can You Do with a Portrait?" and "Of Beetles, Worms, and Leaves of Grass"

The premier (1976) issue of Art to Zoo contains three sections on three different subjects: the experiences of African Americans in westward expansion, the use of portrait art in the classroom, and the ordinary lawn as a habitat for plants and animals. Click the PDF icon to download the issue.

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
7
 

Saving Wildlife: Highlights Collection

This is a Smithsonian Learning Lab topical collection, which may contain images, text, and other multimedia resources that complement this Tween Tribune issue. Use these resources to introduce or augment your study of this topic. If you want to personalize this collection, visit the Learning Lab homepage (learninglab.si.edu) and sign up for a free account. This will allow you to copy the collection and adapt it for your own purposes. Learn more here: https://learninglab.si.edu/create

Tags: conservation; endangered species; extinct; national zoo; frog; panama; andean bear; oryx; coral; elephant; bison; cheetah; panda; webinar; expert; article

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
31
 

Polar Bears: Highlights Collections

This is a Smithsonian Learning Lab topical collection, which contains images, text, recordings, and other multimedia resources that may complement the Tween Tribune feature, The town that polar bears built. Use these resources to introduce or augment your study of this topic. If you want to personalize this collection by changing or adding content, click the Sign Up link above to create a free account.  If you are already logged in, click the copy button to initiate your own version. Learn more here

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
26
 

Journey through an Exploded Star: An Online Interactive

In this collection, students will explore the life cycle of stars and learn about the connection between elements and space. They'll explore real data that provides evidence for the dispersal of several elements produced by the explosion of massive stars, specifically through the Cassiopeia A supernova. Then they’ll put their knowledge into practice by navigating the remains of the supernova in the online interactive “Journey through an Exploded Star.”

  1. The activity begins with “DISCOVER." The students will go through a series of slides, learning first how the visible spectrum of light is only a small part of the entire electromagnetic spectrum, about the different telescopes scientists use to view the electromagnetic radiation across that spectrum, and finally how they've used that data to form a composite view of our universe, specifically through a 3D model of the Cassiopeia A supernova.
  2. In the "EXPLORE" activity, students examine the 3D visualization of data, compiled by astrophysicist Tracey DeLaney, to understand how and why scientists study supernovas such as Cassiopeia A: to gain a comprehensive picture of the cosmos.
  3. The “PLAY” online interactive then takes the students on a first-person flight through the center of this exploded star. The interactive is split into two parts: The first part is a 2 minute guided fly-through, where Kim Arcand, project lead of the original 3D visualization found in the collection, explains the different forms of light and the elements that are traceable under those spectrums. The second is a free explore option, where students are able to manipulate the different spectrums by adjusting filters as they choose. Both parts of the interactive reinforce what they’ve previously learned within the collection about light across the EMS. This interactive works across browsers and requires no software downloads. Also included is a 360 video tour that works on mobile devices and Google Cardboard.
  4. Finally, three extension activities are included. The first allows students to take photographs using real MicroObservatory robotic telescopes located at Smithsonian Observatory sites in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Amado, Arizona to create their very own authentic astrophotographs. They’ll use specialized image processing software to bring out visual details from images of objects like the Moon, Sun, star clusters, nebulas, and galaxies. The second, "Recoloring the Universe," is a suite of resources that use astrophysical data to teach basic coding. The third resource, "How to Be a Scientist: Careers in Astronomy" highlights the career and data visualization work of astronomer Kimberly Arcand. 

This online activity could be used to augment study about the forms of radiation light can take, learning about supernovae and what happens after a star explodes, as well as learning about some of the different careers in science that are available (astrophysicists, astrophotographers, engineers, and visualization experts). As with all Learning Lab collections, it is built to be freely modified and adapted to fit your specific needs. 

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
22
 

World Water Day: Highlights Collection

This is a Smithsonian Learning Lab topical collection, which contains images, text, recordings, and other multimedia resources that may complement the Tween Tribune feature, Billions of pieces of plastic spread disease in coral reefs. Use these resources to introduce or augment your study of this topic. If you want to personalize this collection by changing or adding content, click the Sign Up link above to create a free account.  If you are already logged in, click the copy button to initiate your own version. Learn more here

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
38
 

Women's History in America: Highlights Collections

In celebration of Women's History Month, this collections highlights some of the many accomplished and influential women in science, art, women's rights, and athletics throughout history. This is a Smithsonian Learning Lab topical collection, which contains images, text, recordings, and other multimedia resources that may complement Tween Tribune features for Women's History Month 2018:

 Use these resources to introduce or augment your study of this topic. If you want to personalize this collection by changing or adding content, click the Sign Up link above to create a free account.  If you are already logged in, click the copy button to initiate your own version. Learn more here

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
64
 

Earth Day: Highlights Collection

This is a Smithsonian Learning Lab topical collection, which contains images, text, recordings, and other multimedia resources that may complement the Tween Tribune feature, Are we living in the Plastic Age?. Use these resources to introduce or augment your study of this topic. If you want to personalize this collection by changing or adding content, click the Sign Up link above to create a free account.  If you are already logged in, click the copy button to initiate your own version. Learn more here

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
28
 

Soil: Highlights Collection

This is a Smithsonian Learning Lab topical collection, which contains images, text, recordings, and other multimedia resources that may complement the Tween Tribune feature, Soil has a microbiome, too. Use these resources to introduce or augment your study of this topic. If you want to personalize this collection by changing or adding content, click the Sign Up link above to create a free account. If you are already logged in, click the copy button to initiate your own version. Learn more here

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
14
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