Students see firsthand that stars and constellations are not arranged in a flat, 2-D pattern in this Moveable Museum unit. The five-page PDF guide includes suggested general background readings for educators, activity notes, step-by-step directions, and a Big Dipper map. Students make their own 3-D models of the Big Dipper using readily available materials and examine their models, observing the 3-D constellation from new perspectives.
A 2-D map is a great guide here on Earth—and virtually worthless for finding your way around in outer space. Take a 3-D look at mapping our solar system and universe. This Moveable Museum article, available as a printable PDF file, looks at how astronomers use data to create 3-D models of the universe. Explore these concepts further using the recommended resources mentioned in this reading selection.
This online database of our African Ethnographic collection includes artifacts that were found throughout the continent of Africa, from The Gambia to Madagascar, from Algeria to South Africa. The database allows you to see all artifacts for a country by clicking on a map or list of country names, search by object type, culture, and keyword find out what items are currently on display, and learn about recently acquired artifacts. There are two ways to search the collection as a picture-only gallery, or as a catalog that describes each artifact's provenance (country, locale, culture), materials, dimensions, and year of acquisition.
This comprehensive guide to the Paleontology section of OLogy, the Museum's science Web site for kids, explains how after-school educators can make the most of the site. It focuses on dinosaurs because that's what kids are most familiar with. An introduction to the Big Ideas in Paleontology brings educators up to speed on how scientists study early life on Earth, what kind of information the fossil record contains, and why dinosaurs are not extinct. A Site Map shows where to locate all Paleontology resources, from stories to quizzes to hands-on-activities. Paleontology units offer ways to combine different types of resources around a topic. Follow-up questions encourage inquiry-based learning. Wrap-Up Paleo Projects suggests fun ways to wrap up any of these units. A Links and Resources section lists recommended paleontology-related books and Web sites for educators and for kids. A glossary of paleontological terms wraps up the guide.
This online article, from the museum's Musings newsletter for educators, profiles a student and mentor at work in the AMNH's molecular biology lab. It has an overview of the museum's Precollege Science Collaborative for Urban Minority Youth (PSC) program and discusses the benefits of the program to both students and mentors.
"Normally, an animal gets half its DNA from its mother and half from its father. But Dolly had three mothers: one mother gave Dolly her DNA; one supplied an egg; and the third, her surrogate mother, gave birth to her. Dolly is an identical twin of the mother who gave her her DNA. But Dolly is six years younger."This kid-friendly Web page helps kids understand how and why Dolly was cloned, and understand the potential benefits of cloning as well as the controversy it raises.
The Amazing Mundo is part of OLogy, where kids can collect virtual trading cards and create projects with them. In this interactive comic strip (also available as a printable PDF), kids are challenged to determine the composition of everyday objects. They learn the variety of things made from materials like sand, metal, bauxite and oil.
This classroom activity introduces students to Antarctica's organisms, landscapes, and seascapes. After examining the images in the photo gallery, students work in small groups to discuss their conclusions about the living conditions on this continent. The printable three-page handout includes a series of questions to help students structure their thoughts while viewing the gallery images and a group worksheet that guides students through a discussion of their evolving hypotheses and conclusions.
This online article introduces students to the Objects Conservation Laboratory run by the museum's Anthropology Division. It discusses the main activities of the lab's conservators what that process involves.
After researching the characteristics of arthropods, students observe arthropods in the field, analyze their data, and learn how to develop their own arthropod collection. The unit is designed to be completed in eight or more sessions. The comprehensive curriculum materials contain information for teachers, including activity tips and an overview of the characteristics that define arthropods.
In this Biodiversity Counts activity, students use their arthropod knowledge to create and play a classroom Jeopardy-style game. The printable five-page PDF handout includes a series of inquiry-based questions to help students identify what they already know about arthropods and step-by-step directions for developing Jeopardy-style quiz questions.
This unit, in which students prepare to observe arthropods in their field site's different microhabitats, helps set the stage for a discussion on the ramifications of habitat loss. It's designed to be completed in four or more sessions and has comprehensive curriculum materials for teachers, including activity tips and an overview of the microhabitats in a temperate forest. The unit is designed to answer the following two target questions. What microhabitats exist at our site? Do different arthropods occur in different microhabitats?
This online database of our Asian Ethnographic collection includes artifacts that were found throughout the continent of Asia, from Russia to Indonesia, from Turkey to Japan. The database allows you to see all artifacts for a country by clicking on a map or list of country names, search by object type, culture, and keyword, find out what items are currently on display and learn about recently acquired artifacts. There are two ways to search the collection as a picture-only gallery, or as a catalog that describes each artifact's provenance (country, locale, culture), materials, dimensions, and year of acquisition.
This reference list has 11 kid-friendly books on a wide range of astronomy topics. For each title, the publisher and publication date are included along with author name.
This reference list has more than 20 recommended astronomy books for older students and adults. For each title, the publisher and publication date is included, along with author name. The list is divided into three subcategories: General Astronomy and Astrophysics, Light and Telescopes, and Digital Imaging and the 3-D Universe.
In this hands-on OLogy activity, kids learn about matter by building their own models of carbon out of pipe cleaners, wire, and clay. The activity begins with a kid-friendly introduction to matter, elements, and atoms. The illustrated, step-by-step directions show how to use the information about carbon on the Periodic Table to create a mobile that shows the element's basic structure. A PDF version of the Periodic Table, along with a kid-friendly overview of how to read it, is also included.
This OLogy activity shows kids that there are simple, but very helpful things they can do to protect the ocean, even if they live nowhere near the water. It has a checklist of 14 ways kids can be ocean helpers that includes asking for tap water instead of bottled water and leaving plants and animals where they find them. For each of the checklist items, kids can check either "I am doing this" or "I could do this."
This OLogy activity shows kids that there are simple, but very helpful things they can do to protect the ocean -- even if they live nowhere near the water. The activity opens by introducing kids to Gabby, a future marine biologist who wants to study dolphins. Then it has a checklist of 14 ways kids can be ocean helpers that includes asking for tap water instead of bottled water and leaving plants and animals where they find them.
Students learn about material culture in this Moveable Museum lesson plan by taking a firsthand look at how culture influences the kinds of things we do. The 12-page PDF guide has educator materials including background information, teacher strategies, assessment guidelines, and detailed notes about the curriculum standards addressed. The Becoming a Cultural Researcher activity worksheet has a series of questions that prompts students to reflect on the material culture of daily activities, customs, or ceremonies. There is a kid-friendly glossary of related terms.
This fun Web site is part of OLogy, where kids can collect virtual trading cards and create projects with them. Here, they learn about cladograms and the vast variety of dinosaurs that once roamed Earth. The activity opens by telling kids that there are more than 400 known species of extinct dinosaurs and by explaining how cladograms show their relationships to one another. Students then go to an interactive cladogram that has 19 dinosaur species. Each of the 19 dinosaurs includes a trading card with details about the species and its discovery, photographs, and interactive multiple-choice and "Fact or Fiction?" quizzes.