13th October 2000 at 01:00
British wildlife guide

A wonderful site with comprehensive coverage of the flora and fauna of the UK. Attractively presented, easy to navigate and with illustrations attached to each piece, the coverage is comprehensive. You could pay good money for this. An outline of the creatureplant, size, a colour picture and a description of the habitat and location are given.


Give peace a chance

A great deal on offer here. There are educational activities which are generally suitable for individual, small group or class work in a variety of situations. The only trouble with peace approached in this way is that it is as much about war as the Imperial War Museum. It would be useful for anyone studying anti-war movements, but the coverage is not as comprehensive as it should be.

Find what you're looking for

Entirely devoted to searching! Some of the sections are devoted to special search engines meant for children. There is also a meta-search engine, which means that you can put in one query and have it dealt with by a number of engines. There are also things like rhyming dictionaries and other aspects that would be useful in literacy lessons.

Voices of Africa

This emanates from the The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and aims to present the richness of Africa from a study of the work of Mali craftsman Siriman Fane who carved exquisite masks and puppets to the myths, legends and stories of the peoples. It is designed with skill and is particularly intended to give black students a sense of their own past.

A hero of the information age

Melvil Dewey should be one of the heroes of the information age. He is the person who devised the classification of knowledge that underpins most libraries. Many wish that we could have such a system for the Internet. Nevertheless, this study of Dewey's work would be a jumping off point for anyone looking at this area of information skills. It is all presented in a jokey fashion and would be suitable for early secondary students.


A look at population statistics

"There are more than 6 billion human beings on Earth. According to the population estimates released by the United Nations, the 6 billion mark was reached on Ocober 12 1999. Every second, five people are born and two people die, a net gain of three people." This looks at the way that the human population is growing and what that means for the future. Presentation is attractive with animated graphs. You can even type in your age and see how the population has grown since your birth. It is all aimed at young people and no one could leave without seriously reflecting on the issues.


Practical advice on research

Some of the finest practical advice about writing is on this site set up by the Bellingham School District in Washington State. Don't be put off by "biography" it is about research, how to do it and how to write up the results. It is all set out under these headings: Questioning, Learning synthesis and Storytelling. There is also a section "The Traits of Effective Writing" defined as: ideas and content organisation, voice, word choice, and sentence fluency.


Statistics, statistics and more statistics

"Lies, damn lies and statistics" runs the cliche, nevertheless if a teacher wants to base some work on some real figures this is the place. The amount and range of material is impressive and it contains the latest range of official UK statistics and information, as well as providing free access to recently released publications. The site is arranged by themes, but is probably best used by teachers to extract the information to use with students.

Cathedrals at your fingertips

This simple page just lists all the UK cathedrals that have websites. If you are a teacher doing work on these amazing buildings then this can save a great deal of time. Elsewhere on the BBC site are backup materials on the way some of these places were created.

What did the Romans ever do for us?

There is everything here: Roman religion, buildings, artifacts, leisure, families and children, the technology, the invasion, roads and defences. There are also links to other sites with important information. The reading age is at primary level and it is difficult to think of a better site on this topic. The activities are just common or garden worksheets, perfectly adequate but hardly imaginative.

Jack Kenny

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