Textivate – Fun on a Friday!

ImageHow about  quick way to create up to 44 different activities based on up to 500 words?  Find your favorite vocab list and head to Textivate. Once the words are pasted into the box on the Textivate page, generate the desired activity. There is even a “?” that can be clicked so the user can get directions if s/he needs help.

This would be fun to use in so many classes – really anything with vocabulary, matching, math problems and answers, events, it could be used for almost anything text-based.

Mummification goes digital

Don’t all units on Ancient Egypt at least mention the pyramids and mummies? This Egyptsite will fit right in. The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago has a great simulation site that explores the process the ancient Egyptians used to mummify a person. With the opportunity to click on new vocabulary words, the simulation takes visitors through the seven step process of mummification.

The Oriental Institute also has a great Teacher Resource Center with lesson plans and information geared toward the middle and high school levels.

Maps Make Fun

Interactive maps are a great way to help students learn and explore information.Map created with Show

Show is an engaging website that allows visitors to explore the US and the World comparing states and countries through statistics and demographics and displays the information visually. The data is so up-to-date that the US maps show a comparison for stimulus and stimulus impact. When you are finished creating your map, you can download the data as an Excel file, save your maps as image files, and/or embed your image in other sites. While data can always be presented in different ways, Show is a great starting point for discussion and demographic study.

Show would be a great starting point for sociology, geography, history, government and math courses.

Learning about Chocolate

Maybe it is because it is dinner time, but this entry is a fun tribute to chocolate. Whether it is for an interdisciplinary middle school unit or a foods class, economics, ecology, there are some really fun resources about chocolate out there.  The Field Museum has a great Chocolate Exhibition: Field Museumchocolate exhibition which explores the history of chocolate, the chocolate production process, and a just for kids section which includes trivia, crossword puzzles, recipes and more. There is also a great educator resource kit which includes 12 lesson plans for environment and culture which address economics, ecology, botany and culture and includes lists of resources, facts, recipes, and more.

To support its chocolate exhibition, The Field Museum also has three “interactives” focusing on chocolate: Step 3 of the Chocolate Production Process

1. Manufacturing Chocolate From Seed to Sweet. Explore a virtual cacao harvest and processing of the cacao, fun and informative. A learning log might be useful for students to journal about what they learn.

2. The Chocolate Challenge.  A trivia game of sorts that travels the history and international reach of chocolate.

3. The Cacao Farm. Explores the relationships between plants and animals in the rain forest and the growth of the cacao plant.

And who doesn’t think of Hershey’s when talking about chocolate? The Hershey’s website has a virtual factory tour, a large number of recipes, and the Hershey Communiy Archives guides the visitor through the chocolate creating endeavors of Milton and Catherine Hershey. From photos to patents to online exhibits about candy wrappers, this site holds a wealth of primary source resources relating to an historic “American” endeavor.