Friday, December 29, 2017

Website Review: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

The MET’S HEILBRUNN TIMELINE OF ART HISTORY tells the story of art and global culture using artwork from around the world.
This interactive website pairs essays and works of art with chronologies exploring global culture through art. The essays and works of art sections provide access to dozens of essays by time period, geographical region, or theme. The chronology area allows users to select a time period or geographical region to explore. For each piece of artwork, users can explore information and related topics and resources.
Librarians will find this website to be an interesting way to discuss timelines and other visual representations of information as part of an information literacy lesson. Art teachers will find the website useful in tracing the history of art, while history and social studies teachers can connect art to culture.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Website Review: A Bear's Eye View of Yellowstone

A BEAR’S EYE VIEW OF YELLOWSTONE is an interactive exploration of the world of bears.
Created by National Geographic, this interactive project uses text, images, audio, video, maps, and infographics to provide insights into the life of bears living in Yellowstone National Park. After exploring one bear’s journey, users can follow other bears including both black bears and grizzly bears.
Librarians will find this website to be an excellent resource for reluctant learners. The mixture of audio, video, and images along with small text segments will draw interest. Use this interactive journey as a springboard to an inquiry-based learning experience focusing on animals.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Website Review: Stargaze

STARGAZE is an online project from the Weather Channel exploring dark skies and light pollution around the world.
Users are invited to explore the night sky in dozens of locations around the world. The website also provides information about how to figure out the best time for stargazing using the new moon calendar. Finally, students can learn about the causes and impact of light pollution.
Librarians will find this website to be an excellent introduction to importance of dark skies and the need to prevent light pollution. Collaborate with the science teacher on a unit that focuses on light pollution causes and prevention.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Book Review: Ultimate Space Atlas

ULTIMATE SPACE ATLAS from National Geographic Kids is an activity book filled with infographics, maps, games, and more.
After a table of contents outlining the six major space themes covered by the book, readers are provided with a page detailing how to use the atlas. The visually attractive, brightly illustrated book begins with an introduction to observing the sky. Next, readers explore the inner and outer solar system. Finally, young scientists explore the galaxy and beyond along with information about how space is mapped. The book concludes with additional games, a glossary, and index.
Librarians will find this title popular among children who enjoy space science and activity books. Of particular note are the many maps, star charts, diagrams, and other visual elements. Fans of trivia will enjoy endless hours of entertainment.
Published by National Geographic on June 6, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Website Review: Cassini: The Grand Finale

CASSINI: THE GRAND FINALE explores the two decade mission of NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.
This comprehensive website provides data and information about the journey of the Cassini mission to Saturn. Sections of the website include the journey, science, mission, galleries, news, and resources. The journey section is divided into a timelines, the spacecraft, behind the scenes, and the grand finale. The science area explores the discoveries found during the mission. Audio, video, images, and more can be found in the gallery. Use the resources section for teaching materials.
Librarians will find that science teachers and their students will find this website useful in tracing a NASA mission from beginning to end. Involve students in comparing this mission with other NASA endeavors.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, December 18, 2017

Website Review: Presidential Speeches

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECHES: WHAT MAKES AN EFFECTIVE SPEECH? from the Library of Congress is a teacher resource exploring the people and events that shaped famous speeches from United States history.
This resource includes teaching ideas, photographs of presidents delivering speeches, audio and video of speeches, text of speeches, and other primary sources.
Librarians will find these resources to be useful in both the English and History curriculum. The easy-to-use, entry page would be particularly useful to teachers and students who are sometimes overwhelmed by large digital collections.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Book Review: Tool of War

TOOL OF WAR by Paolo Bacigalupi is the third book in the popular Ship Breaker series.
Set in a post-apocalyptic era, this novel focuses on a genetically engineered soldier called Tool. Told through the eyes of various new and old characters trying to survive in a worn-torn world, the story explores compelling issues related to humanity, slavery, and moral ambiguity.
Librarians will find this riveting series to be popular with fans of dystopian literature. Teens will be particularly drawn to the timely issues including climate change and bioengineering.
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Hachette Book Group on October 10, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Website Review: Radio Garden

RADIO GARDEN is a website resource that helps users locate and explore radio stations around the world.
Upon entering the website, users are shown the live streaming radio stations their area. Clicking the green dots on the map shares information about the streaming stations. The History section provides historical information about radio stations and transmissions. The Jingles area shares radio jingles. The Stories section explores stories about experiences with radio. Users can submit their own stations and experiences.
Librarians will find curriculum connections related to communications and social studies. Involve students in listening to radio stations around the globe. Also, connect the website to foreign language classes.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Website Review: Airview

AIRVIEW is a tool the provides information about air quality in a specific location.
Users begin by entering a street address or city. A Google Street View will appear in the background with a layer of information presented above the street view. Users can click on a particular type of pollution such as pollen, dust particles, or road wear to learn more about the air pollution type and the rating. Clicking in the upper right corner of the screen presents an overall air quality score.
Librarians will find this to be an interesting tool for teaching about data literacy. Ask students to compare their location with a global city such as Tokyo or Beijing. Or, involve students in learning more about the science of a particular type of air pollution.
Keep in mind that this website is sponsored by the Blueair air filter and purifier company.
To visit the website, go to

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Website Review: Women's Footprint in History

WOMEN’S FOOTPRINT IN HISTORY is an interactive timeline from United Nations Women featuring well and lesser known trailblazers.
The attractive, interactive timeline features a women from history along with connections or implications for today. Students can stroll down through history or click on specific dates on the timeline.
Librarians will find this easy-to-use website useful for information literacy activities related to timelines and history. Involve students in creating their own “then” and “now” screens based on a person not found on the website timeline.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Website Review: The Garden of Earthly Delights

THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS is an online interactive adventure allowing users to explore the stories behind the artwork of Jheronimus Bosch.
This audio and video experience provides two options. First, users can freely explore the stories hidden behind the painting by clicking on areas of the image. Second, students can take an audiovisual tour of the painting. Keep in mind that this website contains artistic nudity.
Librarians will find this interactive project to be a fun way to learn about how stories connect to artwork. Ask students to explore the website, then use a tool like PowerPoint to create their own clickable stories about a painting of their choice.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Book Review: Select

SELECT by Marit Weisenberg is a fast-paced, young adult fantasy.
When Julia is sent to a public high school, she tries to blend in. However she soon finds herself in a forbidden relationship that will impact her family and beyond.
Librarians will find fans of paranormal romance attracted to the love story, while fantasy lovers will enjoy the idea of the select community. The final twist will make readers wonder when the sequel will be released.
Published by Charlesbridge Teen on October 3, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Website Review: Deforestation in the Amazon

DEFORESTATION IN THE AMAZON is an interactive project exploring the history and current status of the world’s largest rainforest.
Developed by the nonpartisan organization Council on Foreign Relations, this engaging experience takes users through seven topics including an introduction, climate, people, biodiversity, history, deforestation, and reversal. The interactive resource including text, photographs, audio, video, maps, and more. In some sections, users can click for more in-depth information. Teacher resources include discussion questions, learning exercises, and links to additional materials.
Librarians will find this website provides an outstanding introduction to the key issues associated with deforestation and recovery. Feature the website along with books on related environmental issues.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Website Review: Jewish Warsaw

JEWISH WARSAW is a museum website exploring the history of Polish Jews in Warsaw.
The website is divided into three section. First, the project follows the life of Janusz Korczak the founder of the first newspaper published by children and youth. Second, users examine the stories of nine people who influenced the social and cultural life of Warsaw. The stories are told using a graphic novel-type format. Finally, the website features a chronology of life before, during, and after the Holocaust.
Librarians will find students enjoy the easy-to-use, visual format of the website. Use the comic biographies to connect English and history classes particularly with reluctant readers.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Book Review: Invictus

INVICTUS by Ryan Graudin is a science fiction adventure for young adults.
When Farway Gaius McCarthy fails his academy exam, he joins a black market time traveling ship that steals historical artifacts. Along the way, he crosses paths with an array of interesting characters including a red panda. This fantasy adventure contains elements of humor and romance that keep the novel engaged from beginning to end.
Librarians will find this time travel adventure a hit with science fiction fans. Teens will particularly enjoy the time travel twists and mystery elements.
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers an imprint of Hachette Book Group on September 26, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Digital Spotlight: National American Woman Suffrage Association

THE NATIONAL AMERICAN WOMAN SUFFRAGE ASSOCIATION COLLECTION from the Library of Congress contains materials related to the suffrage movement of the late 19th and early 20th century.
Contents: Containing over 100 digitized documents, the collection includes many primary sources related to Carrie Chapman Catt along with other members of the movement. Documents include books, pamphlets, photographs, poetry, speeches, and proceedings of conventions.
Classroom Connections: Teachers will find this collection filled with insights into the day-to-day activities of the association and people that led the suffrage movement. Ask students to select a document that reflects a particular aspect of the movement such as arguments for the amendment or speeches in support of women’s rights.
Featured Digital Objects:
Are Women People?
An Appeal to the Women of the United States
Solitude of Self

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Digital Spotlight: National Museum of African American History and Culture

The NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE features a digital collection of 37,000 items.
Contents: This large digital collection contains historical artifacts, documents, photographs, and media related to African American history and culture. Users can access the collection by topic, date or era, name, object type, or place. Students may wish to begin with an exploration of topics such as American South, American West, Civil Rights, Clothing and Dress, Communities, Education, Family, Literature, Military, Music, Photography, Politics, Religious Groups, Segregation, and Slavery.
Classroom Connections: Work with history teachers to weave this collection into particular eras of American history or historical themes such as Civil Rights.
Featured Digital Objects:
Civil Rights
Post Cards
To visit the collection, go to

Monday, November 27, 2017

Website Review: YourShot

YOURSHOT from National Geographic is a social media project that encourages people to share photos.
The web project provides access to photos submitted by the online community including recent photos, trending images, and editor’s favorites. Users are encouraged to participate by contributing photos and stories based on specific assignments. The editor selects photos to share in the archives.
Librarians will find this website to be a fun way to introduce youth to photography. After exploring the website, participate in a Your Shot assignment or build your own. Discuss the website as an example of social media.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Book Review: Chasing Augustus

CHASING AUGUSTUS by Kimberly Newton Fusco follows a child on a quest to find her dog.
Rosie lives with her grandfather in a dusty small town. She’s angry that her absent mom gave away her dog and becomes obsessed with finding it. Along the way, she interacts with a variety of quirky characters.
Librarians will find this book appealing to middle grade readers who enjoy realistic stories of friends, family, and dogs. The book is broken into four parts with short chapters making it nice for small group reading assignments. Pair the book with other family and dog stories such as Because of Winn Dixie.
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House on September 19, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Website Review: The Climate Explorer

THE CLIMATE EXPLORER provides a toolkit for exploring historical and projected climate trends.
A collaborative project of US government agencies, this online tool allows students to easily explore climate data from every county in the contiguous United States. The projections let students see how climate change will impact local areas. Data is access by searching locations, viewing variables such as temperature and precipitation, or by exploring topics including coastal, tribal nations, transportation, ecosystems, and water.
Librarians will find the tools easy for upper elementary through high school students to use in data literacy projects. Connect with math, science, and social studies teachers for projects that connect data literacy across the curriculum.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Website Review: The Age of Aerospace

THE AGE OF AEROSPACE tells the story of Bill Boeing and others who developed an industry based on airplane technology.
Created in conjunction with Boeing and Discovery Communication, this web project explores 100 years of aviation history. The website contains six episodes. Along with a video, each segment includes optional informational resources such as text, images, and additional videos. An interactive library provides easy access to all the project’s content.
Librarians will find this website to be an exciting way to explore aviation history. Involve students in exploring one aspect of the website in-depth, then using books, databases, and other online resources for additional information to support research questions.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, November 20, 2017

Website Review: Thanksgiving

THANKSGIVING from the Library of Congress is a teacher’s guide providing educators with primary sources and teaching materials related to the annual holiday.
This easy-to-use educational resource contains historical context, instructional materials, primary source documents, and learning tools.
Librarians will find the materials useful for elementary and middle school levels. Rather than overwhelming teachers, this short guide focuses on just a few relevant, engaging primary sources to provide learners with an introduction to the historical context of the holiday.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Book Review: Falcon Wild

FALCON WILD by Terry Johnson is an adventure story about two teens and a raptor lost in the wilderness.
After a car accident, Karma and Cooper along with a falcon called Stark become lost in the Montana wilderness. While seeking help, the three learn to trust one another in order to survive the harsh, rugged conditions.
Librarians will find this novel popular with middle grade youth who enjoy friendship stories and outdoor adventures. In addition to the engaging story, readers will enjoy the abundance of information about falconry.
Published by Charlesbridge on September 12, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Website Review: Hidden Worlds of the National Parks

THE HIDDEN WORLDS OF THE NATIONAL PARKS is a project within the Google Arts and Culture website.
Users can explore the website by selecting locations from a Google Map or choosing from dozens of in-depth stories. In addition, students can take virtual tours of over one hundred National Parks, explore nearly 4000 digital collection items, and view videos. An in-depth exploration is provided for five parks.
Librarians will find this website to be a useful resource for students working on National Park projects. Ask students to work in small groups to explore one of the five in-depth explorations. Or, use the virtual field trips as inspiration for brainstorming inquiry questions.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Website Review: The New Europeans

THE NEW EUROPEANS from National Geographic explores the voices of a changing continent.
This interactive web project presents the stories of dozens of Syrian and other refugees who streamed into Europe in the past couple years. The website includes dozens of videos along with a news story and photographs.
Librarians will find this website to be an interesting way for students to explore issues related to immigration. Use this website to jumpstart an inquiry into global immigration issues. Ask students to make comparisons with immigration issues in the United States. This website could also be used as part of an informational reading experience in social studies.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Website Review: World War I

WORLD WAR I from the Library of Congress is a comprehensive teacher’s guide providing a wealth of resources related to the time period and the war.
This resource-rich website includes historical context, primary sources, teaching materials, and links to online materials focusing on World War I.
Librarians will find the resource to include important documents related to key events found in the history curriculum. From posters and news clippings to multimedia documents and political cartoons, this website provides an excellent introduction to primary sources related to the war.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Book Review: The Fault Line in the Constitution

FAULT LINES IN THE CONSTITUTION by Cynthia Levinson and Sanford Levinson tells the story of the framers, their fights, and the flaws that affect us today.
This compelling work of nonfiction explores the connection between today’s political issues and the US Constitution. The book addresses both well-known along with lesser-known stories about why the framers of the Constitution chose their words and their impact today.
Librarians will find this well-research work of nonfiction to be an important addition to the US history collection. Teachers will find it a valuable resource in connecting past events to issues in the news today.
Published on September 1, 2017 by Peachtree Publishers. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Digital Spotlight: Maps of North America

MAPS OF NORTH AMERICA from the New York Public Library contains nearly 2000 historical maps.
Contents: From national park illustrations to city and state maps, this comprehensive digital collection features a wide variety of historical maps from the 17th to the 20th century. This varied collection includes railroad and road maps, Underground railroad maps, and city plans.
Classroom Connections: This large collection spanning three centuries contains a wealth of historical information particularly useful to social studies teachers. Use these maps to provide insights into specific locations and periods in North American history. Involve students in comparing maps of the same location in two different time periods.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Website Review: Hollow

HOLLOW is an interactive website providing a fascinating intersection of art and science.
Users explore a virtual version of a permanent public artwork containing a miniature forest of trees from around the globe. Students can examine 10,000 unique tree samples by browsing the sculpture or exploring by piece either alphabetically, by tree family, or by geographic location.
Librarians will find that this web project provides a unique combination of science and art that’s perfect for the STEAM curriculum. Ask students to explore the website and notice the different ways that the wood database can be accessed. Involve students in creating their own intersection between art and science by focusing on a category of animal or animal.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, November 06, 2017

Website Review: Video Game Industry

The VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY is an interactive website focusing on the state of the video game industry across the United States.
The Entertainment Software Association developed this interactive map to help users visualize the impact of the video game industry state by state. Students click on a state to explore industry advocates, college programs, and companies. The website also uses an infographic to present information about the video game industry.
Librarians will find this engaging website to be useful in data literacy lessons. Work with math, science, social studies, and communications teachers to build skills in locating and analyzing data found on maps and infographics. Begin with local data, then ask students to make comparisons among regions of the United States. Involve students in authentic informational reading and writing experiences using the video game theme as motivation.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Book Review: Claymates

CLAYMATES by Dev Petty is a picture book telling the story of two friends made of clay.
After the art studio closes for the day, the artist’s clay characters come to life. The bright colored photographs of the clay characters contributes to the appeal of the story.
Librarians will find this adorable picture book to be popular among primary aged children. It would also provide a fun introduction to an art or claymation project.
Published by Little, Brown on June 20, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Website Review: My Grandmother's Lingo

MY GRANDMOTHER’S LINGO explores the loss of language around the world.
Marra only one of many languages around the world that are dying. This interactive experience helps students learn about the language and why it’s important to save this and other languages. Although the project focuses on an Australia’s indigenous languages, this experience has relevance around the world.
Librarians will find this website to be a fascinating way to help children understand language and the implication of lost languages. Ask students to learn about languages of Native American peoples that are being lost.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Digital Spotlight: The Art of American Advertising

THE ART OF AMERICAN ADVERTISING features advertisements from 1865 to 1910.
Contents: In addition to a searchable digital collection, users can also explore nine exhibitions focusing on national markets, advertising products, trade catalogs, trade cards, souvenirs and novelties, scrapbooks and collectibles, the art of “posting”, brand name management, and a marketing revolution.
Classroom Connections: This collection is useful for activities across the curriculum. Art teachers will want to involve students in evaluating the artwork, while history teachers can use the images to provide insights into particular time periods. Divide classes into small groups to explore specific exhibitions. Involve younger students in “then and now” comparisons.
To visit the collection, go to