I've been home on medical leave for about 10 days now and just couldn't stay away from work/educational technology any longer. My substitute needed some inspiration for this week, so I spent some time finding a great deal of online, interactive educational sites for him and then grouped them according to middle school grade level curricula at our district. Some would require more lesson planning and/or supervision than others and many are well-suited for interactive white board use. Some are US-centric but my international readers will still find plenty to explore. If your school district’s web filter blocks streaming audio or video, web cams, etc., you will find you cannot use some of these. Some require the latest Flash or Shockwave updates. (Many thanks to http://mrssmoke.onsugar.com/2871369 who compiled the Museum portion of the list.)

Most Grade Levels:

Comic Creator: Lesson Plans http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/comic/ComicCreator.pdf

The actual Comic Creator site http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/comic/

NOVA scienceNOW - Sleep: The Sleep-Memory Connection Explore the stages of a good night's sleep and the research linking sleep to memory with this

Rumor Control Explore the difference between harmless, hurtful and dangerous gossip in this online interactive game. Examine rumors that float by, toss harmful rumors in the trash and report dangerous rumors to the principal's office.

Story Strips Explore feelings and emotions by creating storyboards. Select scenarios, hair and eye color, and then complete dialogue boxes to illustrate how to communicate feelings.

Interactive Museum Exhibits

American Museum of Natural History Presents Ology (Grades 2-8) Astronomy, Biodiversity, Genetics, Rocks and Minerals, Water.

American Package Museum Art Gallery (Grades 3-12) Advertising, Art, Graphic Arts, American History.

Benjamin Franklin Interactive Timeline (Grades 5-12) Founding Fathers, Government, Inventors, Science History.

Birth of the Internet from the National Science Foundation (Grades 6-12) Computer Apps, History, Technology.

Churchill and the Great Republic from the Library of Congress (Grades 9-12) Biography, Cold War, European History, World War II.

Colonial Williamsburg (Grades 4-12) African-American History, Colonial America, American Revolution, Native American.

Dumbarton House for Kids (Grades 4-6) Colonial America, Founding Fathers, Post-Revolutionary War.

Exploratorium’s The Science of Music (Grades K-12) Instruments, Music, Rhythm.

Field Museum Online Exhibits (Grades 3-12) Ancient Civilizations, Art, Biomes, Chocolate, DNA, Evolution, Fossils, Genetics, Instruments, Map Studies, Mythology, Natural Disasters, Rocks and Minerals, Scientists.

Frissiras Art Museum of Greece (Grades 6-12) Art.

Humanities Interactive (Grades 5-12) Art, Ancient Civilizations, Exploration, Medieval History.

Indianapolis Children’s Museum Interactives (Grades K-6) Art, Fossils, Rocks and Minerals, Skeletal.

Indianapolis Museum of Art’s African Life Through Art (Grades 6-12) African Studies, Art.

John F. Kennedy Library (Grades 6-12) JFK Presidency and Biography.

Monet’s Sketchbooks (Grades 6-12) Art, French.

Museum of Advertising and Design Online Exhibits (Grades 6-12) Advertising, Art, Cultural Studies, Graphic Designs, Journalism, 20th Century Music.

Museum of Glass Virtual Hot Shop (Grades 3-12) Art.

Museum of Human Disease (Grades 9-12) Biology.

Museum of Modern Art’s Online Projects (Grades 3-12 depending on which project you launch) Art, Biographies, Cultural Studies, Graphic Design, Writing.

Museum of Natural History Virtual Exhibits (Grades 2-12) African Studies, Ancient Civilizations, Atmosphere, Biomes, Exploration, Lewis and Clark, Latin America, Mammals, Native American Studies, Rocks and Minerals.

Museum of the Moving Image (Grades 6-12) Computer Apps, Drama, Presidents, Technology, Video Production.

NASA’s 50th Anniversary Online Museum (Grades 3-12) Astronomy, Cold War, History.

National Archives Digital Vault Experience (Grades 5-12) American History 1754.

National Gallery of Art Online Tours (Grades 3-12) Ancient Egypt, Art, Artist Biographies, Art History, European History, Photography.

National Geographic’s Map Games created by the Indianapolis Children’s Museum (Grades 1-6) Ancient Civilizations, Map Studies, Presidents, Space.

National Museum of Dentistry (Grades 1-4) Dental Healt

National Zoological Park’s Conservation Central (Grades 1-5) Animal Habitats, Biomes, Conservation.

Neave Planetarium (Grades 3-12) Astronomy, Exploration, Space.

OrgainisMuseum Virtual Photo Art Gallery (Grades 8-12) Art, Photography, Graphic Design.

Panasonic Design Museum (Grades 5-12) Advertising, Inventions, Technology.

Philadelphia Museum of Art (Grades 6-12) Ancient Civilizations, Art, Cultural Studies.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Interactives (Grades 6-12) Art, Biographies, Culture Studies, Photography.

Smithsonian’s The Presidency and The Cold War (Grades 9-12) Cold War, Desert Storm, Presidents, McCarthyism.

Techniquest Children’s Museum Interactives (Grades K-6) Art, Colors, Culture Studies, Symmetry.

Texas Forestry Museum’s Life in an East Texas Forest (Grades K-2) Habitat, Trees, Water Cycle.

The American Image (Grades 6-12) Art, Photography, World War II.

The Imperialism Museum (Grades 9-12) Falklands Conflict, History, The Cold War, World War I, World War II.

The Science Museum’s Learning Games (Grades 3-12) Energy, Forensic Science, Natural Resources.

Try Science (Grades 3-8) Computer Apps, Environmental studies, Technology.

Virtual Hampson Museum (Grades 5-12) Art, Native American Studies.

Virtual Museum of Canada Interactive Games and Simulations (Grades K-12) Biomes, Gold Rush, Human Body, Magnetism, Music, Mystery Fiction, Space, World War I, World War II, Yukon.

Virtual Museum of Textiles and Costume Design (Grades 9-12) Art, Drama, European History, FACS.

Women of Our Time from the National Portrait Gallery (Grades 7-12) Biography, Culture Studies, Photography, Women’s Studies.

6th Grade Topics





Gravity Launch


The Art of The Explosion Lesson Ideas


The Art of the Explosion site itself


A Dinosaur’s Ecosystem


Cut to the Heart Examine the function of the heart and facts about how the heart works. Identify the parts of the heart and the steps by which the heart pumps blood through the body.

Electric Heart: Operation Heart Transplant Explore the steps in a heart transplant operation by performing a heart transplant in this virtual operating theater.

Grave Analysis Discover what a bioarcheologist was able to determine about the sex, age and other characteristics of an ancient battle victim by analyzing that person's well-preserved skeleton.

Tour of the Heart Explore the anatomy of the human heart, chart circulation to and within the heart and examine heartbeat regulation with this interactive "tour" of the heart.

7th Grade Topics

Marco Polo's Route to China and Back Game http://edsitement.neh.gov/M_Polo_flash_page.asp

Lesson Ideas for Shadow Puppets Site: http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/content/3879/

Shadow Puppets Site itself http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/shadowpuppets/artsedge.html

Xerxes March to Greece Game http://edsitement.neh.gov/Persian01_flash_page.asp

Himalayan Hike Game http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/india/html/hike.html

Secrets of Lost Empires II: Destroy the Castle Design a medieval trebuchet using knowledge of simple machines and projectile force. Adjust variables of weight, length, stability, distance and counterweight to destroy a castle wall.

Death at Jamestown: Explore Jamestown Explore the places, events and people associated with the Lost Colony of Jamestown with this interactive timeline and map. Examine artifacts and remains excavated by archeologists and learn what conclusions can be drawn from them.

Witches Curse: Explore Salem Consider the biographies of both accusers and those accused of witchcraft with this interactive timeline and map of Salem village as it was in 1692. Discover how the judicial process was warped to suit public opinion and the judges.

8th Grade Topics

Lesson about stories of Civil War soldiers’ wounds glowing at night: http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/sci_update.cfm?DocID=65

Audio and other resources linked to this page

Activities about American Reconstruction Period http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/reconstruction/

Analyzing the Evidence Examine the life of Abraham Lincoln through primary sources such as letters, photographs and paintings. Uncover clues that reveal biographical details about America's 16th President.

Life and Death in the War Zone: Military Medicine Through Time Investigate the history of military medicine from the Civil War to the Iraq War, and interpret archival photographs shot on and off the battlefield.

Saving the National Treasures: The Damage Done Compare the original Declaration of Independence document with the 1823 Stone Engraving of the Declaration. Explore the damage that has been done to the original over centuries of imperfect handling.

Nazi Prison Escape: The Colditz Glider Examine airfoil aerodynamics and the history of the building of the Colditz Glider, constructed by two WWII POWs in a failed attempt to escape from a German prison in 1943. Fly a virtual glider in this online interactive activity.

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