Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Website: iDigBio

IDIGBIO is an educational website providing digitized information about natural history collections.
The project contains three sections.
The Researchers section features a specimen portal. Users can access digital objects by scientific name, a publisher’s list, or an advanced search that includes access to text search and map tools. A tutorial provides assistance. In addition, the website contains research ideas, tools, and links to scientific publications.
The Collections Staff section provides access to technical information, working groups, workshops, and information about projects and digitization.
The Teachers and Students section includes learning resources for the K-12 and college level. A citizen scientist section provides ideas for connecting to the local community. The K-12 resources contain lesson plans, tutorials, video, apps, and website.
Librarians will find this amazing digitization project useful across the science curriculum. Also, use the website to jumpstart discussions about the importance of digitization in the sciences.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, October 15, 2018

Digital Spotlight: Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives

GULAG: MANY DAYS, MANY LIVES takes an in-depth look at life in the Soviet Gulag between 1917 and 1988.
Contents: Uses explore exhibits including original documentaries and prisoner voices. The achieve contains documents and images through history. The teaching and bibliographic resources are useful for teachers. Finally, the reflect area allows visitors to share their thoughts.
Classroom Connections: Librarians will find this website useful in meeting the needs of students and teachers exploring 20th century history.
To visit the collection, go to

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Book: Belle's Journey

BELLE’S JOURNEY: AN OSPREY TAKES FLIGHT by Rob Bierregaard tells the true story of an Osprey’s first migration experience.
When scientist Dr. B places a tracking device on an osprey he names Belle, he’s able to follow her migration to South America and back. Reminiscent of Rachel Carson’s creative nonfiction, the story explores what Belle may have experienced on her long journey. Dr. B’s connection with two young naturalists will appeal to young readers. While the illustrations meet the basic needs of the book, the photographs at the end of the book really bring Belle to life.
Librarians will find an audience for this book among animal lovers and the growing number of nonfiction narrative fans. Share this title on creative nonfiction lists otherwise it might easily get lost among the informational bird books. Encourage science teachers to offer this title as an optional assignment.
Published by Charlesbridge on May 15, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Website: Nature Works Everywhere

NATURE WORKS EVERYWHERE from The Nature Conservancy provides educational resources associated with nature.
The resources section of the website contains lesson plans, videos, virtual field trips, webinars, teacher resources, tip sheets, and other types of resources. Users can search by grade, resource type, standards, themes, or tags.
Use the Nature Works Gardens map to explore over a thousand gardens around the world. The planning tools allows users to design, measure, and track garden activities.
Librarians will find that this website provides useful classroom as well as community connections to nature. Be sure to check out their grant program.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Website: The Founders' Constitution

THE FOUNDERS’ CONSTITUTION is a rich set of resources related to the creation of the U.S. Constitution.
This easy-to-access online resource contains an anthology of 18th century documents. These writings reflect the debate over the creation of the Constitution.
The website begins with a reader’s advisory and introduction. Users can then search by key word or select sections of the Constitution to explore based on major themes or articles. The index provides quick access to authors, documents, cases, and constitutional provision.
Librarians will find that many students are surprised by the various opinions of the founding fathers and how the Constitution was crafted. This website is an effective way to help youth dive into the formation of this founding document.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, October 08, 2018

Website: Ransom Riggs

RANSOM RIGGS is a popular young adult author whose website includes books, films, and photos.
Best known as the author of the Peculiar Children series, Ransom Riggs also has an interest in film and photography. The film section of the website shares mini-documentaries and personal reflections. The photography section focuses on his passion for found photos.
In addition to his website, it’s interesting to follow Riggs on social media including Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Tumblr.
Librarians will find Riggs’ website to be popular with teens. Use it as an example of how authors reach out to their readers. Also, use it to show the author’s passions beyond books. Partner with the English teacher for a writing contest focused on Riggs’ 18 favorite found photos.
To visit his website, go to

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Book: The Ultimate Book of Sharks

THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF SHARKS by Brian Skerry is filled with fascinating facts about this popular sea creature.
This large format, full-color informational book contains eight chapters exploring anatomy, life cycle, species, fossils, conservation, and common myths. Featuring amazing photographs along with maps, diagrams, and infographics, readers of all ages will enjoy the short blocks of informative text, labeled visuals, and numerous sidebars.
Librarians will find this work of nonfiction popular among shark enthusiasts as well as those who enjoy highly illustrated nonfiction. Because of the large size, it could easily be incorporated into small group activities.
Published by National Geographic Kids in May 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, October 05, 2018

Website: Middle School Chemistry

MIDDLE SCHOOL CHEMISTRY from the American Chemical Society contains lessons and multimedia for educators and their students.
The Lesson Plans section is divided into six chapters. Each chapter contains a series of lessons that include a video and multimedia, lesson plan, activity sheets, readings, standards alignment, and teaching resources.
The Multimedia section takes students step-by-step through the lesson with embedded interactives, illustrations, and videos.
Librarians will find that the lessons and multimedia resources align well with the science curriculum. Of particular note are the Spanish language versions and hands-on activities and animations.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Website: The Writing Center

THE WRITING CENTER at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides a tips and tools resource.
Although designed for the college level, the tips and tools at this website are useful for middle and high school students. The materials are organized into four categories: writing the paper; citation, style, and sentence level concerns; specific writing assignments or contexts; and writing for specific fields. Most of the resources are handouts, but a few involve short YouTube videos.
Librarians will find the handouts and videos useful across many grade levels. Be sure to share the Writing for Specific Fields section with teachers in each content area.
To visit the website, go to

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Website: National Screening Room

The NATIONAL SCREENING ROOM from the Library of Congress features movies from the library’s digital collections.
The project contains nearly 300 videos with 18 from the 19th century. Almost half of the collection are in the category of nonfiction while 50 are fiction. In addition, over 100 are silent films.
The project also includes articles and essays that provide a context for the films including an exploration of mental health films and persuasive films. The National Film Registry is a list of films considered to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
Librarians will find this collection useful in teaching about the history of film along with providing fascinating primary sources across the curriculum. Ask students to watch a film from the National Film Registry and write about why they think the film was included for special recognition.
While many of the items are in the public domain, others are copyrighted. Keep in mind that the moving images reflect the time period when they were created, so be sure to talk with youth about changes in perspectives and beliefs over time.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Website: Children & Youth in History

CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN HISTORY is a learning website connecting children to world history concepts.
The project is organized into four sections. Within each section, users can select a particular area of the world to explore.
The Website Reviews section provides descriptions of online resources useful in teaching history.
The Primary Sources area includes 300 annotated primary sources featuring children throughout world history.
The Case Studies area examines specific topics connecting children and world history such as folktales, orphans, propaganda, human rights, and disabilities.
The Teaching Modules section provides primary sources and teaching materials for over a dozen topics.
Librarians will find the focus on children to be an effective way to introduce world history concepts. Work with teachers to weave the primary sources, case studies, and modules into the history curriculum.
To visit the resource, go to