Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Website Review: Eat: The Story of Food

The EAT: THE STORY OF FOOD website from the National Geographic Channel provides an engaging look at all aspects of food in life.
Users can choose from six areas to explore including Sugar Rushes, Guilty Pleasures, Carnivores, Baked & Buzzed, Hooked on Seafood, and Food Revolutionaries.
Each section includes short narratives, slide shows, expert videos, tips, recipes, and other connections associated with the theme. Many of the informational pieces contain connections to science and history. Each section is also a video program that can be viewed on the National Geographic Channel.
Librarians will find that this website provides a wonderful opportunity for thematic projects and interdisciplinary approaches. Assign small groups to explore a particular section and report back to the group with their questions. Use this as an opportunity to jump-start personal inquiries into areas of interest.
Pair this website with books by Mark Kurlansky such as Cod and Salt. Or, connect with books like The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Look for other thematic books in your collection on food related topics such as the history of sugar.
To visit the website, go to http://www.natgeoeat.com/.

Website Review: Smithsonian's History Explorer

THE SMITHSONIAN’S HISTORY EXPLORER website provides access to high-quality teaching and learning materials.
The Lesson & Activities section contains hundreds of standards-based educational resources. Users can search by key words and filter results by grade, resource type, historical era, and cross curricular connections.
The Interactives & Media area features audio, video, and interactive resources such as 3D tours, learning games, and tutorials.
The Museum Artifacts element uses an object-based learning approach applying artifacts from the Smithsonian’s collection.
The Themes section explores major topics from American history such as immigration, civil rights movement, westward expansion, and War of 1812.
The Books area features selected children’s books that represent particular historical eras. These titles can be organized by reading level.
The Teacher Resources provides materials to help educators teach with primary resources. This section also links to a variety of professional development materials and opportunities.
The Web Links area links to over one hundred useful websites related to American History. These websites are specifically aimed at K-12 youth.
Librarians will find many opportunities to connect classroom teachers with standards-based activities and resources. Specifically seek out those materials that stress inquiry-based learning and primary sources.
To visit the website, go to http://historyexplorer.si.edu.