All resources in Pandemic Resources for Libraries

Blue Sky

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This activity provides instructions for using a flashlight and aquarium (or other container of water) to explain why the sky is blue and sunsets are red. When the white light from the sun shines through the earth's atmosphere, it collides with gas molecules with the blue light scattering more than the other colors, leaving a dominant yellow-orange hue to the transmitted light. The scattered light makes the sky blue; the transmitted light makes the sunset reddish orange. The section entitled What's Going On? explains this phenomena.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Bone Stress

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In this optics activity, learners examine how polarized light can reveal stress patterns in clear plastic. Learners place a fork between two pieces of polarizing material and induce stress by squeezing the tines together. Learners will observe the colored stress pattern in the image of the plastic that is projected onto a screen using an overhead projector. Learners rotate one of the polarizing filters to explore which orientations give the most dramatic color effects. This activity can be related to bones, as bones develop stress patterns from the loads imposed upon them every day.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Magnet Circus

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Explore the properties of magnets by designing a device that can move as far as possible using only magnets to move it, and then design a machine that will stay in motion for the greatest period of time.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

6.2 Thermal Energy

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Unit Summary This unit on thermal energy transfer begins with students testing whether a new plastic cup sold by a store keeps a drink colder for longer compared to the regular plastic cup that comes free with the drink. Students find that the drink in the regular cup warms up more than the drink in the special cup. This prompts students to identify features of the cups that are different, such as the lid, walls, and hole for the straw, that might explain why one drink warms up more than the other.  Students investigate the different cup features they conjecture are important to explaining the phenomenon, starting with the lid. They model how matter can enter or exit the cup via evaporation However, they find that in a completely closed system, the liquid inside the cup still changes temperature. This motivates the need to trace the transfer of energy into the drink as it warms up. Through a series of lab investigations and simulations, students find that there are two ways to transfer energy into the drink: (1) the absorption of light and (2) thermal energy from the warmer air around the drink. They are then challenged to design their own drink container that can perform as well as the store-bought container, following a set of design criteria and constraints. This unit builds toward the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs) as described in the OpenSciEd Scope & Sequence: MS-PS1-4*, MS-PS3-3, MS-PS3-4, MS-PS3-5, MS-PS4-2*, MS-ETS1-4. The OpenSciEd units are designed for hands-on learning and therefore materials are necessary to teach the unit. These materials can be purchased as science kits or assembled using the kit material list.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson, Module

8.2 Sound Waves

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Unit Summary In this unit, students develop ideas related to how sounds are produced, how they travel through media, and how they affect objects at a distance. Their investigations are motivated by trying to account for a perplexing anchoring phenomenon — a truck is playing loud music in a parking lot and the windows of a building across the parking lot visibly shake in response to the music. They make observations of sound sources to revisit the K–5 idea that objects vibrate when they make sounds. They figure out that patterns of differences in those vibrations are tied to differences in characteristics of the sounds being made. They gather data on how objects vibrate when making different sounds to characterize how a vibrating object’s motion is tied to the loudness and pitch of the sounds they make. Students also conduct experiments to support the idea that sound needs matter to travel through, and they will use models and simulations to explain how sound travels through matter at the particle level. This unit builds toward the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs) as described in the OpenSciEd Scope & Sequence: MS-PS4-1, MS-PS4-2. The OpenSciEd units are designed for hands-on learning and therefore materials are necessary to teach the unit. These materials can be purchased as science kits or assembled using the kit material list.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson, Module

Backyard Bug Bonanza

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Step outside and discover the diversity of insect life in your neighborhood. Insects are the world’s most diverse group of living things, with over 950,000 identified species and counting. You might think that you’d need to travel to the Amazon to study insects, but they can be found practically everywhere—including right where you happen to be.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

6th Grade Cybersafety Lessons

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I made 5 lessons about cybersafety and cyberbullying that I used for my Girl Scout Gold Award project. These lessons incorporate a wide range of activities such as discussions, interactive games, poster making, and watching videos. I have also included scenarios about cyberbullying which should prompt some discussions about the topic. Each lesson takes about 30-45 minutes to teach and starts with an essential question which is what the students should be able to answer at the end of the lesson. I made these lessons because the world is becoming more and more technology-based and with that more and more kids are getting on the internet at a younger age.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Interactive, Lesson, Simulation, Unit of Study

Author: Abby Burden

Wide Open School: Online Teaching Resources

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Wide Open School is a free collection of online learning experiences for kids curated by the editors at Common Sense.This site has a very user friendly interface, an excellent organizational structure, and reputable partners providing quality content. Though the connected resources are free for viewing online, please note that not all are openly licensed so your permitted use of the materials will vary.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Game, Interactive, Lesson, Lesson Plan, Module, Simulation, Teaching/Learning Strategy, Unit of Study

Author: Barbara Soots

Writing in the Googleverse

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Overview:  In this lessopn students will use Google Docs, Search and Drive to research, organize, write, and defend a point of view essay. Content/Context: The content area for this is writing for History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. In addition several key digital literacy skills will be put into practice. Length of lesson:  Multiple lesson sessions up to a couple of weeksNorthstar Digital Literacy Standards: Locate potentially relevant information in media found online, including text, video, images, etc. Locate the source of the information.File/store information in a format that facilitates ease of access for future use (e.g., file naming, folder organization, bookmarking, etc.)Synthesize relevant information from one or more sources.Integrate new information into current knowledge and use it to support understanding, views, perspectives, or opinions.CCRS Standards addressed:W.9-10.1WHST. 9-10.1Lesson Objective(s): At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:Search For and bookmark relevant and reliable sources for a persuasive essay.Be able to navigate in Google Search and save links and information to a Google DocFormat and write an essay in Google DocSave to a Google Drive folderAssessing Mastery of the Objective(s):  By the end of this lesson, students will be able to access information, format and write an essay, with sources cited and make the essay available in a shared Google Drive folder  Materials/links:computersPen and PaperOutline:Introduction:Explain that students will be writing a persuasive essay of their choice of topic using sources cite from the internet..  Explanation/Modeling:Demonstrate on a computer (projected if needed) the workflowIdentify topicSearch for sources; assess reliability and relevanceSave citations and relevant quotes or notes in a Google DocFormat and write essay in Google DocSave essay to a Google folderGuided Practice:Start by asking for topic ideas. Have students pair up, with each taking an opposing view point. When students have a topic, have them each list 4 or 5 points in support of their idea and organize them in a logical order. Discuss how to identify and assess the reliability and relevance of information found on the WebAllow time for searching sources, aiding the students in refining their search terms to find information supporting their claim and refuting it. Use pen and paper to take notes and refine essay plan.Have students open their Google Doc and begin formatting and writing a 5 paragraph essay in support of their idea. Make sure they use the points against to acknowledge some potential weaknesses in their argument.Walk students through the process of creating and sharing a Folder with their partner and the teacher. Partners are then encouraged to read and comment on their opponents essay. Students should continue to refine their essay in response to comments.At end of lesson, have students share folders with all students and vote on which ones are most persuasive.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Douglas Lowthian

Introduction to Google Slides

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Students learn how to use Google Slides to make a simple presentation about a career they have researched on www.mynextmove.org. Lesson designed for use in a one-room schoolhouse ABE/GED program, where volunteer tutors and instructors work with students one-to-one.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Homework/Assignment, Lesson Plan

Author: Elizabeth Bennett