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Water quality in Rhode Island coastal waters

Christine Leavor, ARMADA Master Teacher

Print Resources
  • Morrison, Jim. National Wildlife. March 2004. Incredible Shrinking Polar Bears. Volume 42, Number 2. 22 p.
    Jim Morrison explains in detail about a long-term study from Canada's Hudson Bay area. The study confirms that Polar Bears are losing weight and bearing fewer cubs. This is believed to be due to global warming. This increased warmth is melting away their icy habitat. This article left a great sense of wonderment with my students. One asked, "Is this what might happen to all Polar Bears and does this mean that they are extinct?"
  • Grossman, Elizabeth. National Wildlife. March 2004. Chronicles of Western Wildlife. Volume 42, Number 2. 52 p.
    I love this article because it honestly kills three birds with one stone. One of our main reading units is about the Westward Expansion. One story specifically chronicles the story of Lewis and Clark. We also study the events of going west in our Social Studies curriculum. However this article that I found provides details and first hand knowledge from the journals that Lewis and Clark left behind. These articles prove that the two famous explorers were indeed pioneering naturalists. Therefore this article also touches base with our Science curriculum. It was a great find and one that I plan on using for a long time!
  • Berger, Cynthia. Defenders. Winter 2006. The Buzz About Bees. Volume 81. Issue 1. 20 p.
    I was able to use this article when my class was reviewing the food chain unit that we did in the beginning of the year. We revisited the area just after Christmas and talked about winter food chains and the difference between what the prey eat in the winter verses the summer months. This particular article reviewed just how important each part of a food web is to an area. Although native bees are small they are crucial for keeping food on your table.
  • Foresman, Scott. Science. 1986. Glenview, Illinois.
    This is our schools old textbook that I keep around to pull additional and important information from. I especially like to refer to the section about Predator and Prey relationships. This section details the relationship between these to important parts of a healthy ecosystem. This section gives great detail in describing populations and communities as well.
  • George, Craighead Jean. Houghton Mifflin Literary Readers. One Day in the Desert. Boston, MA. 396 p.
    This story is wonderful to read when discussing the topic of deserts and desert ecosystems. After reading this story my class always makes a list of all the desert animals that they can find on the board. We later add plants to that list. From the list each student picks an animal to do a desert research report on in which the research is completed in the computer lab. The story is a great example of how humans can be predators of animals that are usually known as the predators.
Web Resources
  • Blue Planet Biomes. West Tisbury School, Martha's Vinyard, MA
    This site is a collaborative effort from teachers at the above named school. Their sixth grade students have researched various climate regions and the organisms that are located there. The site is updated yearly by each succeeding sixth grade class.
  • Desert USA. Desert USA and Digital West Media Inc.
    This site has lots of information about desert habitats for animals and people. Students can find information about the plants and animals in the deserts as well as read stories that have a desert theme. Of course, there are the prerequisite advertisements for tourism in desert regions, but students can navigate without getting tricked by them.
  • Enchanted Learning. Enchanted Learning Software
    Enchanted learning software sponsors this subscriber site. There are many child friendly selections. I visited Biomes, Zoom Rainforest, and the Oceans. Information was nicely presented with links to other sources of information including NASA Ocean project and NOAA oceans.
  • Environmental Kids Club. US Environmental Protection Agency
    This is a web site for kids to explore the environment, play games, read stories, and learn about protecting the environment. Everything is indexed and there is even a section that explains how the EPA chooses its content. In the AIR section there is information about the air quality index, greenhouse gases, and a "mystery" about the missing ozone layer.
  • Gigglepotz
    This is a one-time pay site. It has resources for teachers- printables, ideas, and even workshops. There is a section for matching classes from around the world to correspond and interact with each other. Content is not just science.
  • Kids Zone.
    Kids Zone is a Calgary based site for kids K-6. I checked out their bibliography and found they had sources such as the Calgary Zoo and Calgary Science Center. Many books were also cited. The site provides lesson plans and units from math and Language Arts to geography and science. There are experiments and science "tricks" to intrigue students as well as printables.
  • MBG net. The Missouri Botanical Garden
    Children can visit biomes of the world where they will find information about plant and animal life, maps of the biomes, student generated pictures from the biomes, and a variety of links to other cool sites. There are sections about Biomes of the World, Freshwater Ecosystems, and Marine Ecosystems.
  • New Hampshire Public Television. Nature Works
    This is a site that reviews the episodes of a natural science series for children. Included are sixteen different concepts and teachers' guides to adapt the activities to the classroom. There is complete vocabulary, hands-on activities, a section that shows how this relates to individual state standards and natural science resources on a state by state basis. We used this site with our students when they were researching different animal habitats.
  • Nine Planets
    The author of this site seems to missing. There is some information about the planets as well as a homework section for other subject areas besides science- the math looks a little interesting- but there are also a lot of advertisements to navigate around. To use this site with students one would need to direct them very carefully to the links that provide information and educational activities. For example, when one clicks on "Mercury" one gets links to Mercury cars, vacuum cleaners, and even an attorney who specializes in Mercury poisoning, but no link to planetary information.
  • United Streaming.
    This site has over 4000 digital video clip library from Discovery Education, appropriate for K-12 viewing. The videos are standards-based and are added to continuously. Courtney used this more often than I did this year. I got too frustrated at the slowness of the school computers.
Audio/Visual Resources
  • TLC Elementary School: People and the Environment. Video. Discovery Channel School. 2004.
    This video shows the effects of human industry on our planet. It also shows how we can change our ways of life to improve the overall health of the earth. Parts of this video cover the causes and effects of air and weather pollution and hazardous waste and the impact of recycling and other conservation efforts.
  • Solar System, The: Above and Beyond. 100% Educational Videos. 1999.
    Computer graphics and footage of the planets combine in this wonderful review of our solar system. Students are introduced to the structure of the different planets. They are also shown the history of human interest in the solar system.
  • Solar System, The: A First Look. 100% Educational Videos. 1998.
    This video is magnificent because the students are able to take a tour of our solar system. They are able to visit each of the nine planets to learn details about them. They learn about their special features, sizes, orbits, moons, rings and how gravity keeps them in orbit. Details about the sun are also included.
  • Getting to Know Gravity. 100% Educational Videos. 2000.
    Gravity is discovered here when students learn how it affects people and things on this planet. Then they learn how gravity affects other planets. This learning journey demonstrates the effects of mass on gravity and the difference between mass and weight in a way that is easy to understand and fun to watch.
  • Closer Look at the Moon, A: Space Science Series. 100% Educational Videos. 2004.
    Earth's nearest neighbor is examined here and all of its uniqueness is shown. Students are able to see why there are so many more craters on the moon than on Earth. They are also introduced to how the Moon affects our oceans' tides. The moons orbit and the phases are also discussed.