Neuroscience for kids.
This comprehensive site tackles exploration of the brain, the spinal cord, the neurons and the senses. A selection of games drive home the points made and further Net resources are catalogued. Users are also given access to the Neuroscience Network, which will provide answers to questions the site hasn't been able to clear up for you.
http:faculty.washington.educhudlerneurok.html Atlas of the body.
More medical know-how can be found on this US site, which provides a lucid description of the body with some simple graphics. Its central concerns are with the respiratory system, the skeleton, the reproductive systems and the endocrine system and, because it is written and drawn for adults, it tackles its subjects in some depth.
http:www.ama-assn.orginsightgen_hlthatlasatlas.html Schemes of work.
The schemes on this Standards site are well thought through and attractively presented under subject headings. Under Geography, for example, the materials and guidance help teachers create their own schemes of work by showing how to edit the text. Teachers can download all 21 units of work.
http:www.standards.dfee.gov.ukschemes Water cycle.
"Only about three per cent of the Earth's water is fresh. Two per cent of the Earth's water (about 66 per cent of all fresh water) is in solid form, found in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves about one per cent of the Earth's water in a form useable to humans and land animals." Did you know that? Nor did I, but it's just one fact on a well-arranged site that explains a complex subject clearly.
http:www.mobot.orgMBGnetfreshcycleindex.htm Centre for Alternative Technology.
Every now and then we need to be reminded that there are other, possibly better ways of running our lives. This site, based in Wales, looks at a number of issues: solar energy, independent electrical power systems, water power, wind farms, green living, solar water heating etc. You can also take virtual tours of the site.
http:18.104.22.168cat Modern masterworks.
Created to encourage appreciation of 20th century art, this looks at art through movements, paintings, sculptures, museums, biographies, critical analysis and interaction, and there are even some quizzes. The inclusion of artists such as O'Keefe, Duchamp and Rivera is interesting and the biography of each entry is as complete as you would find in any encyclopedia, but written in a popular style. And, of course, all pages are illustrated.
Genetics can be a tricky subject to teach, but this provides genetic experiments to show how DNA, chromosomes and genes relate to forensic and conservation matters. The DNA extraction kit encourages students to prepare DNA using household materials and the site promises that "in less than an hour students can see DNA for themselves"! All in all, a difficult area made accessible.
While not making up for the long winter nights, this site's free resources could help boost literacy teaching. There is material on shared reading, guided reading, independent reading and language skills all presented in an attractive way, and transferring these resources to school use is a simple affair. Also included is in-depth material on the relationship between print symbols and sound patterns, common spelling patterns and words within words, the development of vocabulary, and the way language is organised and ordered into sentences.
http:www.sunshine.co.uk Understanding colour.
Ever wondered how colour affects our moods? Look here for some answers on a site that examines the properties, theories, meanings and effects of colour, and details how it affects our lives. The site looks at colour in art, science, psychology and sociology and provides lesson plans on the art, science and the psycho-social aspects of colour.
In the ever-building Year 2000 hype, it comes as a mild shock to realise that not everyone will be celebrating the millennium. According to a recent estimate, there are about 40 calendars used in the world today, particularly for determining religious dates, and on many of them our frenzy about 31 December is misplaced. For those of you embarrassed by the cultural implications of teaching about the Christian millennium, this proves there are still some useful activities you can do, for example by exploring the calendars developed to help people regulate their lives.