Guest post by Stephanie Echeveste
While Earth Day has already passed, it is always a good time to teach students about ecology and conservationism. Since our students are the future stewards of the earth, it is up to teachers to arm them with strong earth science backgrounds and an awareness of what they can do to minimize the damaging effects of pollution. The following are five videos that will help students learn earth science concepts, from elementary to high school. All of these videos come from TeacherTube, which is full of free instructional videos for the 21st century classroom.
In this video, students from the Everglades Preparatory Academy High School, located in Homestead, Florida, discuss why they were inspired to build a butterfly garden at their school. The garden was built as part of an AP Environmental class and inspired by the Fairchild Challenge, through the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Students discuss the importance of building bio diverse gardens that attract beneficial pollinators and express their satisfaction with having such a beautiful space to admire daily on the school campus. This video would serve as a nice introduction to establishing a butterfly and hummingbird garden at your school, an inexpensive garden that would be ideal for most climates.
If you teach earth science at a middle or secondary level, this video is a nice introduction to earthquakes and seismic wave refraction. Refraction, the direction a wave takes as it travels through different types of rock, is explained in this video through narration and helpful visual aids. Snell’s Law is explained and students are even quizzed on wave paths with a realistic scenario. The video was created by IRIS Animations, the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology.
This video is intended for elementary school students and would nicely compliment an ecology/earth science lesson on the water cycle. With videos of running faucets, oceans, lakes and waterfalls, it helps to explain how water changes from one form to another. While this video would just serve as an introduction to a water cycle unit, it is actually a part of a longer 14-minute video offered by Visual Learning Systems.
Children are naturally inquisitive, especially in the matters of science, so this short video will definitely sate curious appetites. The earth animations are particularly cool, hemispheres are clearly distinguished and the narration is energetic, not monotonous. The video is brought to TeacherTube by Ignite Learning, a company that offers materials in the areas of social studies, science and mathematics.
This is an animated music video that explains the earth and its properties. The animation and kids rapping make it suitable for elementary and middle school students. The earth’s axis and seasons are easily explained and the chorus is catchy. The chemical makeup of the earth’s atmosphere and gravity are also explained. The music video was created by Songs of Higher Learning, which offers music videos for every subject area.