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May 15, 2013 BOOKLIST
Find more Websites for Students K–10
Even before the current economic crisis, school libraries focused on finding authoritative, free resources as a means of augmenting their collections. We used to call that managing the vertical file. The Internet has liberated us from writing letters asking for free materials and maintaining those cumbersome file cabinets. Now, we just need to bookmark a link and click our way to authoritative and free resources.
Many free sites defray maintenance costs by displaying advertisements, some of which can be inappropriate for school sites. Usually, however, CIPA-compliant web filters block such ads when sites are accessed from school (but perhaps not when accessed from home)—yet another reason why cybersafety lessons are important.
As always with a selective list, someone will read it and exclaim, “I know a site that should be on this list!” Please share some of the gems you’ve found on Booklist’s Points of Reference blog: add your comments under “Websites for Students”. For additional resources targeted to older students, see Websites for Older Students.
Covers more than 655 fables based on nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century translations, indexed by moral. The site provides real audio narrations, classic images, and lesson plans.
Animated Tour of Dewey.
This site from OCLC features “Dewey to the Rescue” (needs Flash) explaining how DDC organizes “information on any topic under the sun.” Librarians can incorporate this site in orientations.
The Artist’s Toolkit.
Geared for teachers, but young artists can find inspiration and useful hints by exploring the tools that artists use and seeing artists in action.
Astronomy Picture of the Day
This site from NASA features a different daily image or photograph of the universe with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. A similar site is Image of the Day from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.
Consists of 37,000 “carefully reviewed resources, including the top 5 percent in education,” organized by user type and topic. Includes the “Awesome Talking Library” as well as translations in 23 different languages.
Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.
This page on Bartleby has more than 11,000 quotations from the 1919 tenth edition, searchable by subjects, titles, and authors.
Developed by David Warlick and part of the Landmark Project, this citation tool aims to “make it so easy for student researchers to cite their information sources, [they have] virtually no reason not to.”
Lessons and help with prealgebra, algebra, precalculus, and calculus.Also offers puzzles, games, calculator, and a Math Survival Guide.
Federal Resources for Educational Excellence.
One-stop shopping for free federal teaching and learning resources searchable by subject or medium (animations, primary documents, photographs, videos). Don’t forget other great federal sites: the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, the Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate, and the Department of State’s Background Notes.
Holocaust Home Page.
Part of Shamash: The Jewish Network site. The page includes links to Holocaust photographs, Holocaust denial sources and documents to refute such claims, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and more.
How Stuff Works.
Contains “explanation of how the world actually works” in categories such as “Adventure,” “Animals,” “Auto,” and more.
Information Please Almanac.
A quick reference destination for a variety of topics. Also offers such tools as a perpetual calendar.
Mayo Clinic Diseases and Conditions.
Diseases and conditions are alphabetically arranged. Users can explore the site via symptoms, tests and procedures, and more.
This is one of educator Sharron L. McElmeel’s sites. It offers links to children’s and YA author sites as well as her curriculum-ideas page.
Definitions include the part of speech; pronunciation, including audio; and links to words used in the definition. Also here are a thesaurus, a Spanish-English dictionary, a medical dictionary, word games, and more. For the pre-K–2 set, check out Little Explorers: Picture Dictionary with Links.
The Mineral & Gemstone Kingdom.
Offers guides to minerals and gemstones, a glossary of terms, and a photo gallery (currently being redesigned).
In addition to an alphabetical master list of rhymes, users will find rhymes grouped by themes. For more folk-song lyrics and explanations, see Folk Music of England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and America.
Provides teachers and students access to articles, audio slide shows, audio stories, expert Q&A, interactive segments, interviews, program videos, quizzes, time lines, and video shorts related to this TV series.
On This Day in History.
This can add a unique perspective to history classes and students’ own lives. Enter a date between 1800 and 2002 to discover the headlines of the day, top songs, average wages, and more.
Supported by Visionlearning, with funding from the National Science Foundation, this site provides high-quality science modules in biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, and more. A Spanish-language version is also available.
The site for “urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation.” Arranged by category, such as “Cokelore,” “Crime,” “Lost Legends,” “9/11,” and “Hurricane Katrina.”
Virtual Frog Dissection Kit.
Go virtual—save a frog! Users dissect Fluffy the frog and can also play the “Virtual Frog Builder Game.” From the Berkeley Lab (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) and available in several languages.
The Weather Channel.
Lots of videos as well as photos; links to international sites (e.g., Brazil, France, and Germany); and radar and temperature maps.
This can help build vocabulary via a daily e-mail or weekly visit to the site. Usually, there is a theme uniting the daily words each week.
Esther Sinofsky is Director, Instructional Media Services and Library Services, Los Angeles Unified School District, California.